5 Ancestry.com Databases for WWI Research

Among Ancestry.com’s databases, are some really interesting ones that will help you to research your WWI ancestors. This post covers five of the United States databases.


1. Whether or not your ancestor fought in World War I, this is a go-to database for finding men between 18 and 45 years old. The information includes a man’s birth date and place, occupation, address, physical description, and the name and address of the next of kin. The information on these cards will not tell you if the ancestor served, but can help you to verify if the military records you find are for the same man.

This database was updated on 4/6/2017. I know it is hard not to just jump in and search, but make some time to read the helpful hints in the database description.

U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918


2. If your ancestor served, there may be an application for a military headstone. These applications include information about the military unit in which your ancestor served, which is key to continuing research into his military life.

U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963


3. Over ten percent of the soldiers who served in WWI were from New York State, making this is an important database for many researchers. New York state created these abstracts from the military records that were ultimately destroyed in the National Personnel Records Center fire in 1973. They contain information about service organization(s) with assignment dates and transfers, ranks and promotion, dates of oversea service and injuries These cards typically had a front and a back, so be sure to select the next page to see the back of the card (if it is included). You can even find female ancestors in this database.

New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919


4. This database contains records for officers in the New York National Guard. It contains cards for the officers, and it contains more than WWI records. According to the database description, there may be cards for some Non-Commissioned Officers and Enlisted personnel, but I have yet to find any.

New York, Military Service Cards, 1816-1979


5. If you had a Jewish soldier, The American Jewish Committee (AJC) Office of Jewish War Records sent out surveys to soldiers that were assumed to be Jewish to the service of Jews in the American armed forces. Be sure to look at the pages after the questionnaire in case supporting documents were included.

U.S., WWI Jewish Servicemen Questionnaires, 1918-1921


Searching the Card Catalog for keywords “WWI” will bring up more databases, including British and U.K. records. Searching for “World War I” brought up records for both WWI and WWII.


Have you been looking for an online course about WWI? “World War 1: A History in 100 Stories” at FutureLearn may be of interest to you. The course is a Massively Open Online Course (MOOC). It is different from a regular course because of its size, and also because you will interact more with the other people in the course than with any faculty.



This is a five-week class is presented by Monash University in Australia. It is based on the One Hundred Stories Project at that University. You can learn more about the project here.

Even though the class is focused on Australian participation in WWI, there will be common threads about the war and the home front that might be of interest to you. Like Americans, Australians were fighting a war very far from home. Unlike Americans, they participated in the war from its beginning. Viewing this course gives a larger picture about this global, war that was the first war of modern combat.

You can participate in this MOOC for free, but if you want a Statement of Participation there is a fee. You will need to sign up for a free account to access the course and its materials.

The link for the course is: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/ww1-stories

You can see all the courses listed at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses. Keep in mind that the courses are predominantly from U.K. schools.

Be sure to check out the https://www.futurelearn.com/learning-guideCrowdsourced Guide to Learning.

Note: Unless you pay for the upgrade, the materials in the course are only available during the timeframe of the course.





4 Ways To Find A Genealogical Society

There are many reasons to join a local genealogical society. Societies have knowledgeable members and sponsor educational events. Even if you do not have ancestors who lived in your current location, you may find members researching those locations. Finding people who share your interest in genealogy can be very energizing!

But, have you considered contacting or joining a society in a location where your ancestors lived? The society may have useful resources or participate in projects that could benefit your research. There may be experts in the society to help you with local research.


1. The Federation of Genealogical Societies 

The FGS maintains a list of member societies. You can search by name or use the dropdown box to select your state.



2. Search the listing at D’addezio.com

D’addezio.com hosts a Directory of Historical Societies in the United States, Canada and Australia. These listings include genealogical societies.

Click on the link for your state of interest to see a list of genealogical and historical societies. Many of the listings just show mailing addresses, so you may have to Google the name to look for an online presence.



3. Use Google to find a society.

Use search terms that include your state or city and genealogical society
Example:  maryland genealogical society
If the state has two words, use quotes around the state’s name:
“new york” genealogical society


4. Search Facebook For A Society
You use search terms on Facebook, just as you do in Google, to learn about societies.
Alternately, you can download the free list compiled by Katherine R. Willson from her Social Media Genealogy website. As of February 2017 this PDF has 308 pages with more than 10,600 links. Note, you will only find nonprofit organizations in this list.



Using MET Public Domain Artwork

Recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art made than 375,000 of its public-domain artworks available online. The Met’s images include those of items that are not currently on display, which gives you a chance to look behind the scenes.

This is a great resource for people who enjoy art and history, scholars, and genealogists!

You can find the search page at: http://metmuseum.org/art/collection.



To limit your search to return only those results in the public domain, in the Show Only group, click the box for “Public Domain Artworks”.



When you view the results, there may be some that do not seem to be related to your search terms. Be sure to scroll down through the results. To scan through the results more quickly, you can choose to display a larger number of results per page.



Since I have been doing a lot of World War I research, I used the keywords: World War 1. That returned 5,964 results. It appeared that many of the results had the terms separately, such as world or war.
Searching for keywords: world war i returned 1,699 results. A number of these results were relevant to the First World War. There were several commercial color lithographs published by groups involved in the war effort, like the Red Cross and the Connecticut State Council of Defense.



Searching using the keywords and quotes around them “world war i” returned 84 results. Some were not related to the First World War.

I experimented using a numeral 1 instead of the letter i. “world war 1” returned 0 results.

Searching for keywords: WWI returned 17 results. One was lace shawl handmade by a member of the Royal Family in England that was donated to the British War Relief Committee during WWI.

Next, I tried searching for keywords: St Mihiel. Two of the results were related to St. Mihiel in WWI. Other St. Mihiel results included engravings and etchings from the opera and ballet.



To learn more about the website, check out http://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-met/policies-and-documents/image-resources

To see all Open Access items, go to http://metmuseum.org/art/collection#!?showOnly=openaccess

Visit this website, and try out some searches for a topic you are researching. Remember to vary your search terms and try different combinations of words relating to your topic. Look for artwork that you can use about:

  • A state you are researching
  • A country or place you are researching
  • An event you are researching

Good luck!






Genealogy Fair at Odenton Regional Library

This is breaking news!

The Odenton Regional Branch of the Anne Arundel County Public Library will be hosting a Genealogy Fair on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 10am-3pm.

They hope to have three parts to this event: speakers throughout the day, resource tables available for the whole event, and an open workshop in our computer lab for participants to get some hands-on experience with our resources.

Put this on your calendar!

6 Great Websites for Autosomal Tools and Techniques

Are you excited about your autosomal DNA results? Have you been wondering what to do next? The half dozen websites in this blog post will keep you busy with these tools and techniques to make the most of your autosomal DNA test results.

A great list of third party tools and apps from Blaine Bettinger, the Genetic Genealogist

If you have tested your autosomal DNA at FamilyTreeDNA, or transferred your results there, you will want Nine Autosomal Tools at Family Tree DNA

Downloads of tools and presentations from Kitty Cooper’s Blog

In segment-ology, Jim Bartlett shows us 3 steps to triangulate.

This document contains A Methodology: Identifying your Relatives through your atDNA Results.

The Genealogy Junkie’s blog by Sue Griffith has collected links for tips, tools and managing your matches.

Enjoy digging deep into your autosomal DNA!