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

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United States

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United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Index)  and United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Image Browse)
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.

United States
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Record Description
Record Type Draft Registration Cards
Record Group RG 147: Records of the Selective Service System
Collection years 1942
National Archives Identifier 476 59923
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This article describes multiple collections of the fourth World War II draft registration of men age 45-64 (born 1877-1897). The draft was conducted on April 27, 1942. This collection is part of National Archives Record Group 147, Records of the Selective Service System, 1940-. The collection United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Index) contains an index and images of the registration cards. The collection United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Image Browse) contains only images of the registration cards. The images are arranged by state, surname letter and the first name in the browse string. Index and images for Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington are courtesy of Ancestry.com.

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 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. The cards for the following eight states were destroyed:

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

The 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.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

  • Serial number
  • Name
  • Residence
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Age
  • Mailing address
  • Name and address of person who will always know registrant’s address
  • Employer’s name and address
  • Race

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Image[edit | edit source]

Coverage Table[edit | edit source]

Links in the Locality field are to entries in the National Archives Catalog.

Locality Index Image Browse
Alaska X
Arkansas X
California X
Connecticut X
Delaware X X
Idaho X
Illinois X X
Indiana X X
Louisiana X
Maryland X X
Massachusetts X X
Michigan X
Nevada X
New Hampshire X X
New Jersey X
New York, Bronx X X
New York, Brooklyn X
New York, Kings X
New York, Manhattan X X
New York, Queens X X
New York, Staten Island X X
Ohio X X
Oklahoma X
Oregon X
Pennsylvania X X
Puerto Rico X X
Rhode Island X X
Texas X
Vermont X X
Virginia X X
Washington X
West Virginia X X
Wisconsin X X

Digital Folder Number List[edit | edit source]

This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. The list does not contain any description of the DGS folder's content. A table listing each DGS number and its contents can be found at United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 Digital Folder Number List.

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person registering for the draft
  • The birth date and birth place of the person
  • The state and county of residence for the registrant

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Index)

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Images)

This collection does not have a searchable index. Only images are available. See View the Images to access them.

View the Images[edit | edit source]

United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Index) To view images in this collection:

  1. Look at the United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder/film number for the images you want to see
  2. Go to the Browse Page
  3. Select the Digital Film number to view the images

United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Images)

View images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
  1. Select State
  2. Select Surname Letter
  3. Select Name to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Use the birth date and place to obtain a birth certificate
  • Use the names and residences to find the registrant and his family in census, church, and land records
  • Continue to search the cards to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may also have registered
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names
  • Search the cards of nearby states
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals with the same family number

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.

FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Historical Records[edit | edit source]

Known Issues[edit | edit source]

Click here for a list of known issues with this collection.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.