Just in case you might have missed them during the harried hustle of the holidays or the long winter’s night, we asked three of our favorite family historians to dish on some of their favorite new records on Ancestry.
Ten years between U.S. federal censuses is just long enough for families to move, people to be born and then die, or get married. It’s easy to lose threads of the family story in ten years. I love state census records because they cut that gap down to five years. The New Jersey State Census collections that recently went live on Ancestry cover the years 1855-1915 and allow me to keep track of the East Coast branch of my family tree. –Crista Cowan
By the end of World War II, more than 50 million men in the U.S. had registered for the draft. Although only 10 million of them would go on to serve, the draft registration records can be a huge boon to family historians seeking information on the “Greatest Generation.” Fold3 now has images of records from 23 states (including the recently added Texas and California), D.C., and the Virgin Islands for men aged 18-44. This collection, along with the “Old Man’s Draft,” which was taken in 1942, are searchable on Ancestry. –Juliana Szucs
My grandfather worked in the steel industry, which meant that the U.S. military wanted him to stay at his job instead of enlisting in WWII. We don’t have records from his employer (yet), but I’m excited to see the growing number of employment records on Ancestry. We’ve recently added steel workers in Colorado, ship builders in Brooklyn, U.S. railroad retirees, and even employees of the East India Company going back to 1746. How awesome is that? –Jennifer Utley