Archive for September, 2012

Military Monday – Draft Registration Cards

Posted by on Monday, 3 September, 2012

There are many military records useful in genealogy. Most talked about military records are perhaps pension records and service records. Another type of military record very useful for genealogy is the draft registration cards. A draft existed for various wars from the Civil War all the way up to the Vietnam War.

More than 20 million men who were living in the United States at the time of World War I filled out a draft registration card. Almost all men between the ages of 18 and 46 were included in the draft. If you have a male ancestor who was between 18 and 46 living in the United States at the time World War I, seek out their draft registration card. Even if they didn’t serve and even if they were not citizens of the United States you can most likely find their draft card.

When World War II started, the United States instituted another draft. This time anyone between the ages of 18 and 65 were required to register. Millions of men filled out and completed their draft registration forms. Many of these cards are currently not available to the public due to privacy laws, but the old man’s draft is available. It is called the old man’s draft by many due to the fact that all men in this draft were born in the 19th century and would have been over 40 when the war started. You may be able to access some of the restricted draft registration cards if you are a direct descendant and the individual is deceased. Finding a WWI draft card and then finding that same individual in the old man’s draft of WWII has led to breakthroughs in my own research.

Search Military Records - Fold3

Depending upon the war and which draft registration card your ancestor is listed on, you can find out a great many details about your ancestor. I had a breakthrough using draft registration cards for my wife’s ancestors. I knew Domenico Fazzari was born in Italy and was married to Genevieve. I had found census records and knew approximately when he was born. I then turned to the Draft Registration cards. Unfortunately, I found two Domenico Fazzari’s WWI Draft Registration cards. One was born in 1889 and the other was born in 1887. The one born on April 4, 1887 was a welder. Descendants thought that Domenico was a welder so I was pretty sure this was my Domenico.

Domenico Fazzari - WWI Draft Registration

I felt I had pretty good circumstantial evidence, but there was still a chance the other Domenico was the right one. I then turned to the WWII Draft Registration Cards. I found both Domenico’s again. This time the Domenico born on April 4, 1887 showed Mrs. Genevieve Fazzari as a person who would always know his address. With this added information I knew I had the right Domenico.

Domenico Fazzari - WWII Draft Registration

What hidden genealogy nuggets are in these two records of Domenico Fazzari? Let’s take a quick look.

  • Dominick Fazzari was born on 4-Feb-1887 in Cittanova, Italy
  • He was tall with a medium build, brown eyes and black hair
  • He was a sideline welder at L. G Johnson & Co.
  • By the time of the WWI Draft, he filed his 2nd papers for citizenship
  • By the time of the WWI Draft, he was married and had a child
  • At the time of the WWI Draft, he lived at 3031 (Corbent)? Ave.
  • At the time of the WWII Draft, he lived at 2404 Crotona Ave., Bronx, NY
  • At the time of the WWII Draft, he was a patient at Essex Mountain Sanatorium, Verona, NJ
  • At the time of the WWII Draft, he was unemployed
  • If you collect ancestor signatures, the signature is on both draft registration forms.

If you’re looking to jump across the pond to find your ancestor in their homeland, you need to know the ancestors town back in the old country. The WWI and WWII draft registration cards will normally have this information for an immigrant ancestor. This was the case with my Domenico Fazzari. With this added information I was able to contact the town of Cittanova, Italy. They sent me a copy of Domenico birth record which showed his parents.

Church Record Sunday – Early Connecticut Marriages by Frederic W. Bailey – volume 2

Posted by on Sunday, 2 September, 2012

A number of churches from the second volume of Frederick W. Bailey’s Early Connecticut Marriages have been loaded into our index. The following churches have been added;

  • New London
  • Lebanon
  • Thompson
  • Plainfield


Sunday Morning Book Review – Unlocking the Secrets in Old Photographs by Karen Frisch-Ripley

Posted by on Sunday, 2 September, 2012

Have you ever wondering who was staring back at you in a old photographs or perhaps your missing a date on a photograph from an old postcard. Some time ago, I acquired a 19th century family photo album. I wondered if there would be a way to determine who was in those photos. Unlocking the Secrets in Old Photographs by Karen Frisch-Ripley was very instrumental in helping me identify at least some of those photos.

Karen’s step by step approach is easy to follow. A first step in the process is to identify which family the photo might belong to. Perhaps there are some family resemblences. For my 19th centutry photo album identification, I already knew the family. Knowing the genealogical details of the family (spouses, children and other extended family) is a must. For most readers of this blog, pull out your family group sheets.

One of the best keys I used was being able to date the photograph. Various clues abound which aid in the dating process. What type of photograph is it (tin type, cabinet card or something else)? When was the photographers studio in existence. Karen’s advice in these areas specifically helped me date some of my photos and led to a cabinet card of a six month old baby being identified.

As an added bonus Karen describes how to restore and care for old photographs, along with methods to locate additional old family photographs.


Society Saturday – Connecticut Ancestry Society

Posted by on Saturday, 1 September, 2012

The Connecticut Ancestry Society, Inc. will be having a free genealogy luecture on September 22, 2012. The lecture will be held at the Stamford Historical Society located at 1508 High Ridge Road, Stamford, Connecticut. Registration begins at 10:00am and the lecture starts at 10:30am.

Nora Gavin will be presenting “Research with Probate Records”. Nora is a professional genealogist. She specializes in Connecticut, New York and Irish Research. A pdf brochure about the lecture is available on the societies website.