World War I Records on Fold3.com

Posted by Jennifer Holik on October 11, 2017 in Guest Bloggers
Photo courtesy of the National Library of Scotland

I’ve found one of the best ways to search what is available on Fold3 is to search within the records of a particular conflict. I wrote a little about this concept in my WWII article, Combining World War II Research on Fold3 With Your Ancestry Family Tree on this blog in April 2016. The same idea applies whether we look at WWII or WWI or any other conflict on Fold3.

Looking at the available World War I records on Fold3, we see a lot of British records, which include the Canadians and Aussies. There are not as many American records. We were however, only in the war a brief time.

Using the concept of searching within, I discovered resources I didn’t know existed. Rather than searching for a specific name, I look at the various publications available within World War I records. When we explore this way, we may find resources created for other states or soldiers that may apply to our soldier. For example, you will find a publication called Connecticut WWI Service Rosters which are sorted by town. The link here takes you to Avon county which pulls up a sheet of information on men from the town.

What kind of information do we find here that is useful for our research?

  • Service number
  • Ethnicity
  • Home town
  • Induction location
  • Units in which served
  • Discharge (and whether or not it was honorable)
  • Wounds or death
  • Campaigns in which they participated

This information is an incredible starting point for anyone with a soldier from Connecticut who had little to no prior information. Have you checked to see if your state created a registry similar to this? If nothing is published online, check with your state archives, state historical society, and state library to start.

Did your family member serve in the Armed Guard? There are Rendezvous Reports Index Cards. You can view the one for Dan Jackson Babb which provides ship and station information with dates.

I wrote an article called U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939, that discusses Ancestry’s passenger lists for both living and dead service members. Fold3 has a publication called U.S., Army WWI Transport Service, Passenger Lists, which do not seem to contain actual lists, but do contain a lot of information about the transports.  You can choose incoming or outgoing ships and review their numerous documents. Looking at the USAT Wheaton, the ship my great grand uncle Michael Kokoska was repatriated on after the war, I found some interesting documents. You can combine both document sets and learn a lot about the ship(s) your soldier was on board.

There are many other American World War I Publications on Fold3. Take a look at what’s there. But before I end this article, you might pay particular attention to the publication, WWI Panoramic Photographs. While Michael Kokoska’s 32nd Infantry Division 127th Infantry Regiment photograph was not part of this collection, the 126th Infantry Regiment photo is. Take a look and then search for your soldier’s unit within this collection to see what you can discover.

What exciting discoveries in Fold3 World War I records have you made? We’d love to hear about them in the comments. As with any website, check back often as updates and additions are always being made. You never know what you’ll discover!

Past Articles

October is American Archives Month

Posted by Linda Barnickel on October 10, 2017 in Guest Bloggers

October is American Archives Month, and institutions throughout the country are celebrating! Here are seven ways you can get involved: 1) Attend an event Many archives will be having special events throughout the month. These might include open houses, lectures, tours, exhibits or other activities. Check the websites of nearby repositories, including college campuses, public Read More

What to Know About World War I Burial Files

Posted by Jennifer Holik on September 29, 2017 in Guest Bloggers

A couple of months ago I wrote an article about the Ancestry collection of U.S. Army Transport Service Passenger Lists 1910-1939. If you review that article, near the end I talk about my great-granduncle Michael Kokoska’s ship manifest, on which it shows he is deceased. In that article I mention briefly the World War I Read More

PBS’ Finding Your Roots Returns October 3 at 8/7c

Posted by Jessica Latinović on September 26, 2017 in Website

A brand new season of PBS’ hit show Finding Your Roots, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., premieres on Tuesday, October 3 at 8/7c. This star studded season features some of our favorite comedians, journalists, and A-list celebrities. Catch the season teaser below: Episode 1 | The Impression Guests: Larry David and Bernie Sanders. Two Read More

New! New York Death Index, 1880-1956

Posted by Juliana Szucs on September 6, 2017 in Collections

If you’re researching in New York State, we have some good news for you. Ancestry has just launched a collection of New York State death indexes covering 1880 to 1956. The collection includes more than 5 million names of people who died in New York State. Prior to this release, this index was only on Read More