I love how draft registrations glean so much information on the person we are investigating.
Here's James Birch, Sr (little clue here ... for middle name "None") of Conehaugh Township in Somerset, Pennsylvania. I've confirmed, via Ancestry.com records, that James Birch, Jr. is his son.
James describes himself as "white, 5'11", 172 lbs, blue eyes, grey hair, ruddy complexion, with a Hernia - left side".
His Date of Birth: Oct 9, 1879
James was employed by "Bird Coal Co." and after doing a little checking around I discovered that company had three mines located on Tire Hill.
Bird No. 1 Mine, near Johnstown, Tire Hill, Conemaugh Twp., Somerset Co., PA
Bird No. 2 Mine, near Johnstown, Tire Hill, Conemaugh Twp., Somerset Co., PA
Bird No. 3 Mine, near Johnstown, Tire Hill, Conemaugh Twp., Somerset Co., PA
I need to do a little more researching on the coal mines in Pennsylvania
This journey is going to lead me down the path of the Birch's and all those other names that have joined them. I know this will take me to England, Germany, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois and elsewhere. The men in this family will be working as coalminers, railroad brakemen and Laborers in Saw Mills.
The common name "birch" is derived from an old Germanic root, birka, with the Proto-Indo-European root *bherəg, "white, bright; to shine."