Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yet Another John Kelly Stevens

Now that Frank and Norma Stevens are both on the same side of the Atlantic at the same time, and now that they’ve already taken their honeymoon to some undisclosed location, they are busy setting up housekeeping in a little town outside Liverpool in England.

I imagine that this housekeeping project is being embarked on in earnest, for it isn’t long until Frank’s mother, Agnes Tully Stevens, receives a tiny airmailed announcement from the A. P. O. in New York City.

The arrival of a Boy, John Kelly Stevens, to Mr. & Mrs. F. X. Stevens on Dec. 27, 1950. Weight 8 lbs. 10 ozs.
            7500th A. B. G. (Media)
            c/o A. P. O. 125
            N.Y.  N.Y.

With details only a proud parent could provide, a note inside divulges, as one might expect, that baby and father share a great many resemblances.

Dear Mom—

            He’s real cute, got a head full of black hair and I’ve been told looks just like Steve. Steve said he had his nose and his eyes look sort of grey. I hope he looks like his Daddy.

Baby Kelly joins the family in the small town of Burtonwood in England. Once part of the historic county of Lancashire, Burtonwood has, in a much more recent century, been known as the location of the Royal Air Force station Burtonwood, an air field and military base also used by the United States Air Force in the years following World War II—precisely what brings Frank Stevens and family to this location.

This little one, John Kelly Stevens, makes Agnes’ ninth grandchild—and the first one to be born outside the country. As far as numbers go, though, the most important thing to remember is that this baby becomes the family’s third male to be named “John Kelly Stevens.” He is the namesake of both his uncle, Frank’s eldest brother, and his paternal great-grandfather (who was also named after his father—though not including the middle name; "Kelly" was supplied by the maiden name of this John's wife—being the first in this Stevens line to emigrate from their homeland in County Mayo, Ireland, around 1850).

Though I don’t suppose this British-born baby—nor his American parents—are aware of how close his birthplace is to his family’s ancestral home, this youngest John Kelly Stevens spends the first two years of his life doing all the things young children usually do, regardless of where they are raised. Towards the end of this time period, he is joined by a little sister, and soon after, the entire family gets to “accompany” their father to his next post in this new tour of duty in the Air Force.


  1. Great keepsake and a sweet picture to go with it!

  2. I agree. The baby announcement is priceless especially with the photo!

    I wonder if they have "unclassified" some of the older APO box numbers yet? All the ones from WWII for instance?


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