The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

April 21, 2013

Website lists names’ abbreviations

First names are often abbreviated in historical records, and often lead to inaccurate interpretations and possible errors. While it is usually preferred that abbreviations be transcribed the way they are found (for example, do not change a “Jn” to “John” when copying a record), it can be helpful to be aware of what an abbreviation may stand for.

Genealogy in Time Magazine has compiled a helpful list of first name abbreviations at http://www.genealogyintime.com/dictionary/list-of-first-name-abbreviations.html?awt_l7yl96&awt_mIcr_IHBGuQk.Vy. The list may be helpful when searching census records or other historical documents.

Nicknames

Nicknames can add to the challenge of interpreting given names. A project of the USGenWeb provides a helpful online list (free) of common male and female nicknames. Visit http://usgenweblorg/research/nicknames.shtml to read/download this informative list.

WWI draft cards

FamilySearch continues to add to its free records online, including additional World War I draft registration cards from 1917-1918. This index can be searched by name, and a typical record also provides address, date of birth, race, citizenship, occupation, employer, height, hair and eye color, and name and address of next of kin.

It has been suggested that a search should be made even if an ancestor did not serve in that war because records of many men in their 40s completed the registration cards.

Three registrations were made between 1917 and 1918. The first was held on June 5, 1917, for men between 21 and 31. The next was held June 5, 1918, for men who turned 21 since the previous registration. The third registration started Sept. 12, 1918, for men between 18 and 45.

The index is still being created but is more than 88 percent complete. The draft registration cards are part of Record Group 163, Records of the Selective Service System (WWI), 1917-1939, and are National Archives Microfilm publication M1509. To access this database, visit https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1968530.

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