WWI draft registration cards give unique view

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist
Posted Oct. 02, 2011, at 8:31 p.m.

World War I draft registration cards, 1917-1918, can offer a unique picture of our ancestors. Registration cards for Maine can be found at the Maine State Archives in Augusta, or on ancestry.com, which can be used free at libraries in Bangor, Ellsworth, Oakland and Belfast, among others.

Registrar Bernard H. Harris marked Alfred Mitchell Francis of Greenbush as “short” and “stout,” with brown eyes and black hair.

Under the category U.S. Citizen, Harris marked the box “Native Born.” No kidding, since Francis was a member of the Penobscot Nation.

The 34-year-old Francis told the registrar on Sept. 12, 1918, that he was a snowshoe maker employed by Penobscot Snowshoe Co. in Greenbush.

At the bottom of the registration card for what we now call World War I, Alfred Mitchell Francis signed his name. Cool.

Thanks to the front and back of a small card, we have a description of one of my grandchildren’s ancestors, we know his occupation and we have a signature, wonderful things to add to family history.

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Brooks Historical Society will hold its annual Heritage Day open house 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, at the Pilley House. Peter P. Dalton of Northport, author of “With Our Faces to the Foe: A History of the 4th Maine Infantry in the War of the Rebellion,” will give a presentation using slides and Civil War artifacts.

The 4th Maine Regiment comprised companies from Brooks, Winterport, Searsport, Belfast and Rockland. On display will be the Civil War trunk which accompanied Capt. Andrew Derby Bean of the 4th Maine Regiment at the Battle of Bull Run.

Familiar artisans from past years will demonstrate their skills at spinning, rug braiding, rug hooking, quilting and timber framing. Refreshments will be served on the porch. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Dalton’s book may be found at Maine State Library, Augusta; University of Maine Fogler Library, Special Collections, Orono; Bowdoin College, Brunswick; Camden Public Library; Hobbs Memorial Library, Lovell; Lewiston Public Library; Maine Historical Society, Portland; Maine Maritime Academy, Castine; Portland Public Library; and Rockland Public Library.

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Moosehead Roots, a group of folks interested in family history and genealogy, will hold a program on “October at the Cemetery” at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Center for Moosehead History on the corner of Pritham Avenue and Lakeview Street in Greenville.

Bill Macomber of Blanchard has a wonderful slide presentation on maintaining gravestones, cleaning them and working in old cemeteries. His wife, Jane Macomber, is president of the Maine Old Cemetery Association, which locates, documents and encourages care for old cemeteries in Maine. MOCA has recorded more than 1 million Maine cemetery inscriptions in the past 40 years.

Weather permitting, those attending may join in a recording activity at the Greenville Cemetery. You may want to bring a bag lunch.

Admission to the meeting is by donation. For information, contact Betty Ryder at 695-2287 or betty@rydersroost.net.

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A southern Aroostook outreach of the Aroostook County Genealogical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Houlton Regional Hospital’s Education Center.

Society members are hoping to organize a group that can participate more regularly than traveling to Caribou for the regular meetings, and to establish a network of people in the southern part of the county who can assist with inquiries.

For information, email mrln411@gmail.com.

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Suzy Shaub, a descendant of Paul Revere, will be on hand to answer questions about the Paul Revere bell on the front lawn of Montpelier 1-3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at the Gen. Henry Knox Museum at the turn to St. George in Thomaston. Shaub is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which will provide free refreshments Oct. 8-10 during the museum’s Harvest Weekend.

For more information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at http://bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties/. New this week: a partial listing of cemetery records online, in books and on microfilm. Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402 or email familyti@bangordailynews.com.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/10/02/living/family-ties/wwi-draft-registration-cards-give-unique-view/ printed on April 21, 2014