United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Collection Time Period

While the cards were created on April 27, 1942, they pertain to men born on or between April 27, 1877, and February 16, 1897.

Record Description

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.

Record Content

Genealogical information on the registration cards includes:

<img src="/learn/wiki/en/images/7/72/World_War_II_Draft_Registration_Card.jpg" _fck_mw_filename="World War II Draft Registration Card.jpg" _fck_mw_location="right" _fck_mw_type="thumb" alt="" class="fck_mw_frame fck_mw_right" />

  • Name
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace (lists town or county and state or country)
  • Age
  • Residence
  • Mailing address
  • Name and address of the person who will always know the registrant’s address
  • Place of employment or business
  • Employer’s name and address
  • Race

How to Use the Records

Use draft registration cards to learn an exact birth date and birthplace for a male ancestor. Use this information to then locate other record types, such as vital records.

Record History

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:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee

These records cover about 10 percent of the population.

Why the Record Was Created

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.

Record Reliability

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.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached <a href="United States World War II Fourth Draft Registration Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues">Wiki article</a>. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to <a href="mailto:support@familysearch.org">support@familysearch.org</a>. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

<a href="http://www.militaryindexes.com/worldwartwo/">Online World War II Records and Indexes</a>

Related Wiki Articles

  • <a _fcknotitle="true" href="United States Military Records">United States Military Records</a>
  • <a _fcknotitle="true" href="World War II United States Military Records, 1941 to 1945">World War II United States Military Records, 1941 to 1945</a>
  • <a _fcknotitle="true" href="United States World War II Draft Records">United States World War II Draft Records</a>

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to tohe 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.

"United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942." index and images, FamilySearch (<a href="https://www.familysearch.org">https://www.familysearch.org</a>): from the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. FHL microfilm, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah.

Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article <a _fcknotitle="true" href="Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections">Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections</a>.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

Example of a Source Citation for a Record Found in This Collection

"United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942" index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 23 November 2011). entry for Aaron Taylor, born 1879; citing World War II Records, FHL micorfilm 4,161,427; National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., United States.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article <a href="Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections">Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections</a>. 

<a href="Category:United_States">Military</a>