WWI Research Ideas

Last week, I had the pleasure of listening to Janis Minor Forte discuss records generated by the WWI selective service registration process. The DuPage County Genealogical Society hosted her talk, “Even Gangsters Had To Register: WWI Draft Cards and the Selective Service Records They Produced.”

I never knew that so many documents were created beyond the draft registration cards. The big questions is whether they were kept by an ancestor’s home county.

We’ve all probably looked at the draft card images available online. But, did you know that the cards and ink came in different colors. I didn’t before the presentation. If you get a chance to hear Janis speak, I highly recommend it.

After hearing more about WWI selective service registration process, here is my research plan:
1. Identify relatives who were born between 12 Sep 1873 and 5 Jun 1897.
2. Indicate the relatives for whom I have already found a WWI draft card and whether the digital image is in color.
3. Find these relatives in the 1930 Census to see if they served or not.
4. Research counties of interest to see if selective service draft registration board records are available through county clerk or archives.

Resources for your own WWI research:

“Researching Individuals in WW1” National Archives’ Resources for Genealogists (https://www.archives.gov/research/genealogy/wwi : accessed 21 Nov 2018)

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