NCGS Journal Highlight: Researching Ancestors in the WWI Papers

By: Matthew M. Peek, Military Archivist, State Archives of North Carolina

Do you have family members who served in WWI? Are you trying to learn more about their service? As a member of NCGS, there are two fantastic journal articles just a few clicks away that will put you on the right research track.

“Researching Ancestors in WWI Papers Parts 1 & 2” are located in Volume 43 No. 2 and Volume 44 No. 1. These articles were written by the State Archives’ Military Archivist, Matthew M. Peek.

Matthew provides an overview of the WWI Papers which “consist of numerous collections from local and state wartime organizations, as well as from individual WWI veterans, documenting the war’s effects on North Carolinians at home and on the front lines. Collected since 1917, the collections within the WWI Papers are the largest source of original N.C. WWI archival materials in the state, and one of the largest in the country. ” Matthew shares the historical background regarding decisions about which records to keep and how to the preservation efforts moved forward.

Discover some of the significant collections included in the WWI papers like the North Carolina Draft Records which is a collection of “draft records, desertion records, and military recruitment materials.” These records are “composed of original correspondence, subject files, government records, recruiting materials and posters, and blank forms created and utilized by the cities, counties, and the state of N.C. during WWI.”

Another valuable collection for genealogical research in the WWI Papers is the North Carolina County War Records which “is composed of correspondence, poems, songs and song books, sheet music, newspaper clippings, photographs, booklets and pamphlets, scrapbooks, small posters, compiled histories, reports, official draft records and draft reports, soldiers’ casualty records, and miscellaneous records. They document the counties and citizens of North Carolina during World War I.”

In addition to the overview and significant collections review, other transcribed WWI era materials have appeared in the NCGS Journal in the following issues:

WWI Red Cross
Lee County (Vol 43 no 3, Vol 43 no 4, Vol 44 no 1, Vol 44 no 2 & Vol 44 no 3)
Onslow County (Vol 43 no 2)
McDowell County (Vol 43 no 1)
Wake County (Vol 42 no 4)

To read the full articles, visit https://www.ncgenealogy.org/read-a-back-issue/. The online archive of the NCGS Journal is a member-only benefit. Back issues are available for purchase by non-members. If you would like to become a member to read this article and thousands more, head to https://www.ncgenealogy.org/join/.