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District of Columbia World War II Draft Registration Cards - FamilySearch Historical Records

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
District of Columbia, United States
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Record Description
Record Type Military
Record Group RG 147: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975
Collection years 1940-1945
Arrangement Alphabetically by registrant's name
National Archives Identifier 4764693889
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


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

The collection consists of a name index and images of draft registration cards of men who registered during World War II with the exception of the Fourth Registration (see General Information below). It covers the years 1940 to 1945 and includes information of young men aged 18-44. The event place is the home of the registrant. This collection is part of the National Archives Records Administration’s (NARA) Records of the Selective Service System. 1940– Record Group 147: Records of the Selective Service. Images are courtesy of Ancestry.com($).

General Information About Draft Registration Cards

  • The Selective Service Act of 1940 required that men between the ages of 21–36 register for the draft. This was the United States' first peacetime draft. The draft was run like a lottery with those chosen required to serve for 12 months.
  • During the summer of 1941, the draft was extended for all men who had reached their 18th birthday up to those who had not yet reached the 45th birthday—up until the day before their 45th birthday. The length of service was also extended to 18 months, but could be extended further if national security required.
  • In December of 1941, after the United States had entered World War II, the draft was again extended. All men ages 22–44 became responsible for service in the military and all men ages 18–64 were required to register for the draft. Time of service was extended to six months after the war ended. 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.
  • Draft registration cards were filled out at the registrant’s home and then mailed to the Selective Service Board.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

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

Draft Registration Card may contain the following information:

  • Name, Serial Number, and Order Number
  • Address
  • Telephone
  • Age and date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Country of citizenship
  • Name of person who will always know the address
  • Relationship of that person
  • Address of that person
  • Employer’s name
  • Place of employment or business
  • Race
  • Height, weight, and complexion
  • Obvious identifying physical characteristics

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

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

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the individual
  • The age or birth date of the individual

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

You will be able to search this collection when it is published.

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the State
  2. Select the Surname Letter
  3. Select the Surname 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]

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given.

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

  • Use the person's name and place of birth to find a birth certificate which should list the names of the parents
  • Use the country of citizenship to lead you to immigration or naturalization records
  • Use the person’s age and residence to find family in census, church, and land records
  • Use the marital information to find marriage records. Witnesses were often family members
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • Continue to search the index and records to identify siblings and other relatives who may also have registered for the draft
  • Census, military service, military pension, immigration, naturalization, and land records can be very useful
  • Use employment information to lead you to trade, business, land, property, or education records

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well
  • Immigrant first names may be in their native language
  • Search the records of nearby localities
  • Look at the 1930 and 1940 censuses to identify names and ages of additional family members

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of District of Columbia.

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:
A citation will be available on the Collection Details page when the collection is published.
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.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

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.