Today’s tip is to remember to search through the World War II draft registrations for your ancestors that were too old to serve in active duty. This record for Ernest Howard Barnes from the 1942 Selective Service Registration shows his age to be 57. The copy was through the database on ancestry.com, and although it is a paid subscription service, it is also available for free at Family Search, from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Family Search website gives a description of what was called the “Old Man’s Registration”.
“This draft registration, called the Fourth Registration, or Old Man’s Registration, was held on April 27, 1942. The purpose of this registration was to collect information on industrial capacity and skills of men who were born between April 27, 1877 and February 16, 1897 (ages 45 to 64). This draft registration was not intended to be used for military service but to provide a complete inventory of manpower resources in the United States that could be utilized for national service during World War II.” Source: http://familysearch.org/learn/
During World War II there were six different draft registrations, and these original records are stored at the National Archives at St. Louis, MO. These records are also available to search at the branches of the National Archives. Very often the men from this age group also have a World War I Draft Registration Record card. Below is the second page, the Registrar’s Report. Here is the the link for Ernest Howard Barnes’ 1942 registration, through Family Search. https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11768-137024-30?cc=1861144This photo is of Ernest Howard Barnes (1885-1951) holding his first grandchild, the son of Barbara and Ernest Barnes, Jr., on 10 May 1943. With him are his wife, Helen Barnes, and on the other side, his daughter, Helen Barnes Golden.
What was interesting to me was comparing the description of Ernest to that of his grandfather, Jacob H. Barnes, who died during the Civil War in 1863 after being injured at the Battle of Gettysburg, and taken prisoner. Both were tall, with dark hair, eyes, and dark complexions. It was said that Ernest took after the Barnes side and not his mother’s side the Rose family. We are very lucky that these military records are still available thorough the National Archives.