Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Tips: Navigating World War I Draft Registration Cards

Although I’m sure I’ll be playing the role of Captain Obvious in pointing out the following, I just noticed something the other night while examining a World War I Draft Registration Card on Ancestry. I have used this Ancestry database quite a bit, but never paid attention to the fact that you can navigate back and forth from card to card on this database just the way you can from one census page to another on the census image databases. After noticing the “back” and “forward” arrows and the fact that there were 800+ images in this particular section of the database, I became curious and used the arrows to see where they would take me. And they took me to other young men with the same last name, in alphabetical order, who lived in the same area (in this case, Greenville County, South Carolina). It was a “Duh!” moment. While I almost always check for these Cards for men in my family tree who were in the proper age range, I never thought of using the family name grouping to find additional family members and make sure I had found all the cards for a family that I could, regardless of how their given and middle names might appear.

Something I have done to make transcribing the cards easier is to have the blank form questions (three forms in all – A, B, and C) in a word document that I can quickly copy into my genealogy program or another document so that only the answers have to be filled in to complete the transcription.


  1. You know there are so many records out there that it is easy to forget the nuances of each different kind of record. Can you scroll forward and backward, is it an index or is it the full record, which record gives which details, etc. I am so happy that someone else has the same moments that I do and I am going to borrow your handy term to describe that moment, "Captain Obvious!" Great entry!

  2. Andrea,

    I think it will take me years to master some of these databases. I wish I could take credit for "Captain Obvious," but I stole it from my daughter.