WWII "old men's draft" registration #general

Paul Gordon <flash@...>

Howie Axelrod wrote about a man and woman with three children, who were
all born in Europe, came to America around 1905-1910, and moved to
Pennsylvania. Among other things, Howie would like to find their place
of birth, and he's already looked at immigration, marriage, and Social
Security records.

I suggest checking the records >from the World War II fourth draft
registration (aka the "Old Men's Draft"), conducted by the United States
government in 1942.

The records are on index cards that ask for the person's town of birth,
as well as his birth date, current home and work address, and contact
information for someone who will always know how to reach him (usually
the man's wife).

Men born between April 28, 1877 - February 16, 1897 were registered.
The original index cards are located at the regional branches of the
U.S. National Archives. These cards are now being microfilmed and made
more widely available. As regional branches complete their microfilming
of the index cards, the films will become available at the national
headquarters in Washington.

In my own research, I've made great use of the microfilm for
Pennsylvania, which is one of the handful of states now available at the
Washington National Archives building. For Pennsylvania, the cards for
the entire state are in alphabetical order by name, so you don't need to
know the person's address or even what town he was living in. This is a
significant advantage over the World War One draft cards.

To my frustration, the microfilm for the New York records are not yet
available in Washington. However, the Mormons have recently microfilmed
the New York index cards. For New York City, they are organized first
by borough, and only then in alphabetical order by surname.

This important research source has been mentioned before in the
Discussion Group. However, since it is now becoming so much more easily
available, I think many of us will find ourselves using it more frequently.

Paul Gordon
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
(outside Washington, DC)

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