Monday, July 28, 2014

WWI Draft Registration Cards

World War I officially began one hundred years ago today. WWI is a particularly fascinating time period to research and one of my favorite military records collections is the United States World War I Draft Registration Cards.

Beginning in May 1917, the Selective Service Act authorized President Wilson to increase the size of the US military. There were three draft registrations between 1917 and 1918:

  • June 5, 1917: All men residing in the US between the ages of 21 and 31 
  • June 5 and August 24, 1918: Registered men who had turned 21 since June 5, 1917
  • September 12, 1918: All men between 18 and 45
About 24 million men were registered--and these were not just American citizens. All men living in the US regardless of their citizenship were required to register. If an ancestor wasn't naturalized, a draft card may be the only place you can find an exact birth date and place of birth for them. Other information typically found in these records includes: address, occupation and employer, name and address of nearest relative, citizenship status, physical description and signature.


Remember that just because an ancestor has a draft registration card does not mean that they served in the war. The draft cards do not include any information about WWI military service. 

You can search for WWI Draft cards through Ancestry or FamilySearch.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Intro to Ancestry

Want to learn how to use Ancestry.com? Come to our class on Tuesday, July 22 at 6pm! Learn how to perfect your searches and start finding your ancestors.

Register online or call 847-729-7500.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Free Ancestry.com Resources

You can always access Ancestry Library Edition for free while you're in the library but when you're at home and don't have a subscription to Ancestry, there are free resources you can access through their site.

You can search Ancestry's Free Index Collection. Search through selected collections of indexes. You may not always be able to view full records without a subscription but you can still find some great information.

You don't need a paid subscription to create a family tree on Ancestry. Upload information about your family and Ancestry will give you "hints" of records that might be applicable to ancestors; however, you'll need a subscription to view the full record.

And you can always take advantage of Ancestry's Learning Center. Videos and research guides can help you further your research.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chicago Ancestors

Steve Szabados shared some great information last night on where to search for your Chicago ancestors.

Here are some of my favorite links for Chicago genealogy:

Chicago Ancestors -- be sure to check out the Tools section
Chicago Genealogy
A Look at Cook
Encyclopedia of Chicago
Cook County Genealogy
Cook County Naturalization Records
Cook County Assessor

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Researching Your Chicago Ancestors

Do you have Chicago Ancestors? Join us on Wednesday, July 9, and discover what sources are available and where they can be found. Databases discussed will include vital records, church records, state records, federal records, employment records, histories of the neighborhoods and many more. The sources that are reviewed will include online websites, genealogy collections held at the major libraries, collections at local libraries and collections compiled by area genealogical societies.

This program will be presented by Steve Szabados who has given numerous presentations to groups in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin and wants to share his passion for Family History. He is a member of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, the board of directors for the Polish Genealogical Society of America, and also a genealogy volunteer at the Arlington Heights Library. His roots are Polish and Hungarian plus he has also had success researching Slovenian and Bohemian records. He has also written three books that over his tips for beginning your research and also European research.

Register for the program online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500.