In the 1917 draft registrations, I found the name of Sherry Poodry, born in 1896 and who registered for the draft in Genesee County, NY. A first name like Sherry is typically a clue that I need to look at the original card because there is a data entry error. I mean, really, who would name a son Sherry? Now of course, Sherry might be a nickname for something like Sherwood, but one would not register for the draft by one’s nickname.
So I looked, and sure enough, the name is Sherry. So then I checked to see how the man signed his name. Again, large and legible, Sherry Poodry. No middle name, no initials, nothing more.
I decided to check the 1920 census. He is not found and neither is anyone else with a name beginning with S in Genesee County, NY, or nearby. No other males born in 1896. Sherry is missing. Must be a misspelling. But just to be sure, I checked the 1910 census, and there he was….Sherry Poodry, full blooded Seneca living on the Tonawanda Reservation with his grandparents.
I checked further. Where was he in 1920? One good thing about having a quite unique name, like the surname Poodry and the first name of Sherry, and living in the 1900s, search engines return results that are actually quite useful.
Sherry’s name really was Sherry. And by the way, I figured out where he was in 1920 as well.