World War I Records

Before World War II, the war was also known as The Great War, The World War, The Kaiser’s War, The War of the Nations, The War in Europe, or The European War. In the United Kingdom and the United States it was commonly called The war to end war. In France and Belgium it was sometimes referred to as La Guerre du Droit (the War for Justice) or La Guerre Pour la Civilisation/de Oorlog tot de Beschaving (the War to Preserve Civilization), especially on medals and commemorative monuments. The term used by official histories of the war in Britain and Canada is First World War, while American histories generally use the term World War I.

World War I was a military conflict centered on Europe that began in the summer of 1914. The fighting ended in late 1918. This conflict involved all of the world’s great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (centered around the Triple Entente) and the Central Powers. More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilized in one of the largest wars in history. More than 9 million combatants were killed, due largely to great technological advances in firepower without corresponding ones in mobility. It was the second deadliest conflict in history.

The United States was a formal participant in World War One from April 6, 1917 until the war’s end in 1918. Up to that point, the US had remained neutral, though the US had been an important supplier to The United Kingdom and other Allied powers. During the war, the US mobilized over 4,000,000 military personnel and suffered over 300,000 casualties, including over 110,000 deaths. The war saw a dramatic expansion of the US government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the US military. See Wikipedia

1914-1918 (US entered 1917)

Records for World War I

Cemeteries

World War War I Draft Records

World War I Draft Records

Microfilm Roll Lists

 Records of Interest

Records by State

You should check the following sites for County information for Draft Registrations, Databases, Death Indexes, Casualties, Unit Rosters before going to records by State.

Alabama World War 1 Records

Arkansas World War 1 Records

Arizona World War 1 Records

California World War 1 Records

Colorado World War 1 Records

Connecticut World War 1 Records

Delaware World War 1 Records

District of Columbia World War 1 Records

Florida World War 1 Records

Georgia World War 1 Records

Idaho World War 1 Records

Illinois World War 1 Records

Indiana World War 1 Records

Iowa World War 1 Records

Kansas World War 1 Records

Kentucky World War 1 Records

Louisiana World War 1 Records

Maine World War 1 Records

Maryland World War 1 Records

Massachusetts World War 1 Records

Michigan World War 1 Records

Minnesota World War 1 Records

Missouri World War 1 Records

Nebraska World War 1 Records

Nevada World War 1 Records

New Jersey World War 1 Records

New Mexico World War 1 Records

New York World War 1 Records

North Carolina World War 1 Records

North Dakota World War 1 Records

Ohio World War 1 Records

Oregon World War 1 Records

Pennsylvania World War 1 Records

Rhode Island World War 1 Records

Tennessee World War 1 Records

Texas World War 1 Records

Utah World War 1 Records

Vermont World War 1 Records

Virginia World War 1 Records

Washington World War 1 Records

Wisconsin World War 1 Records

Wyoming World War 1 Records

Military Subscription Databases

Ancestry

  • American Soldier Deaths of World War I
    This database is a record of the American soldiers who lost their lives in World War I. The work is arranged alphabetically by state. For each soldier who fought and died in this Great War his picture, name, rank, and means of death (killed in action, died of disease, died of wounds, died of accident, or wounded in action) is provided. While the pictures under each state are not arranged alphabetically, there is an alphabetical listing following the pictures for each state, arranged first by mean of death, then rank, and finally last name. This listing is the official list of men who lost their lives in World War I compiled from the Official Bulletin provided by the government. In addition to the pictures of all the deceased men of this war, this work also provides a parallel record of war events among the leading countries involved in the war from 1914 to 1918. These countries include the United States, Great Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Balkans, Turkey, and Russia. This database is a great source of information for both historians of World War I and family historians who are seeking information about their relatives who served and died in this war.
  • Ireland, Casualties of World War I, 1914-1918
    This data collection contains the book, Ireland’s Memorial Records – an 8 volume set compiled by The Committee of the Irish National War Memorial, originally published in 1923. These volumes provide information on over 49,000 Irish men and women who died in the Great War.
  • U.S. Naval Deaths, World War I
    Although the United States Navy did not take part in many World War I battles, thousands of American sailors died fighting for their country during the war. This database collects from disparate sources the death records for over 7200 sailors who died between 1917 and 1919. Each record reveals the sailor’s name, rank, branch of service, death date, and cause of death. Additionally, the sailor’s enlistment address is given along with the nearest living relative. For those seeking ancestors who died in World War I, this can be an extremely illuminating database.
  • U.S., Register of Gold Star Mothers and Widows, 1930-1933
    In 1929, after lobbying efforts by the Gold Star Mothers’ Association, the U.S. Congress authorized the War Department to arrange trips to Europe for mothers and widows to visit the graves of their sons and husbands lost in the First World War. (A gold star on a service flag was an emblem that indicated families had lost a member in the service.) Between 1930 and 1933, almost 6,700 women took the government’s offer and made the pilgrimage to Europe.
  • U.S. World War I Mothers’ Pilgrimage, 1930
    In the late 1920s the War Department of the United States compiled a list of mothers and widows of deceased soldiers killed in World War I and offered to send them to their loved one’s final resting place in Europe. This database contains the names those women who were entitled to make the pilgrimage, as shown by department records on 15 November 1929. Each record provides the name of widow or mother, city and state of residence, and relationship to the deceased. Additionally, information regarding the decedent’s name, rank, unit, and cemetery is provided. In a few cases the woman’s surname and decedent’s surname can be different, most likely due to an error in spelling in the original document. Providing information regarding nearly 11,000 mothers and widows.
  • World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
    In 1917 and 1918, approximately 24 million men living in the United States completed a World War I draft registration card. That accounts for approximately 98 percent of men in the U.S. born between 1872 and 1900. The total U.S. population in 1917-1918 was about 100 million individuals, so close to 25 percent of the total population is represented in these records.
  • WWI Civilian Draft Registrations
    Originally posted to Ancestry.com in January of 1998 and taken from the original draft cards, this database provides information on some of the men registered. This update, part of an ongoing project, adds over 300,000 names to the previously posted database and brings the total number of names provided to 1.2 million. It adds information on registrants from Florida, Mississippi, and South Dakota.

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Suggested Reading or Watching

The First World War – Complete Series – Although the First World War gets less attention than its successor, it was really the watershed event of the 20th century. This conflict shaped the world that came after to this day.

An American Soldier in World War I – This extraordinary collection of Brownie’s letters reveals the day-to-day life of an American soldier in the European theater. The difficulties of training, transportation to France, dangers of combat, and the ultimate strain on George and Marty’s relationship are all captured in these pages.


Topics:
World War 1,

Collection:
US Military Records.

2 thoughts on “World War I Records”

  1. Andrew Jacob Palamidy Sr.

    Dear Access Genealogy,
    How and where can I find the date(s) of when civilians could enlist for WWI in Paterson, New Jersey? My great grandfather’s last name was Mac Lean. At times, he even spelled his last name as Maclean.

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