United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
The draft registration cards are preprinted forms with information recorded on the front and back. Cards for the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia were filmed with the front of one card on the same image as the back of the next card in the sequence.
After the United States entered World War II, a new Selective Service Act required that all men between the ages of 18 and 64 register for the draft. The fourth draft registration covered males ages 45 to 64. The local draft board of the Selective Service System conducted the registration. The original registration cards were later sent to the regional branch of the National Archives responsible for receiving records from that state. Draft registration cards exist for 40 states and for Puerto Rico. For New York, cards exist only for the boroughs of New York City.
The cards for the following eight states were destroyed:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
These records cover about 10 percent of the population.
This draft registration, called the Fourth Registration, or Old Man’s Registration, was held on April 27, 1942. The purpose of this registration was to collect information on industrial capacity and skills of men who were born between April 27, 1877 and February 16, 1897 (ages 45 to 64). This draft registration was not intended to be used for military service but to provide a complete inventory of manpower resources in the United States that could be utilized for national service during World War II.
Information on the cards was supplied by the individual but recorded by a registrar. While there was a chance of a recording error, each individual signed his card to attest that the information was correct.
While the cards were created on April 27, 1942, they pertain to men born on or between April 27, 1877, and February 16, 1897.
For a list of records by localities currently published in the United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Image Browse) collection, select the Browse.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, or archive for the original records.
- Selective Service System. "United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards with Index." NARA microfilm publications M1939, M1936 and M1937. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. : n.d.
Genealogical information on the registration cards includes:
- Serial number
- Birth date
- Birthplace (town or city, county, state or country)
- Mailing address
- Name and address of person who will always know registrant’s address
- Employer’s name and address
How to Use the Records
To search the collection:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select "Surname Letter"
⇒Select "Name" which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
Draft registration records were created to determine eligibility for military service.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Use these records to learn the date and place of birth. The information could also be used to search for a birth record and for information on parents and siblings. This is the best source of birth information for men born in states where birth registration began late. Also, use the names of spouse, dependents, and residence to look for additional records about the registrant and his family.
Known Issues with This Collection
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Related Wiki Articles
- United States Military Records
- World War II United States Military Records, 1941 to 1945
- United States World War II Draft Records
Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942" index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V481-FX1 : accessed 19 June 2012). entry for Louis Rossi, Price, Carbon, Utah, born 19 March 1881; citing World War II Records, FHL microfilm 4,161,427; National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., United States.