Sunday, April 10, 2011

WWII: Old Man's Draft

My grandfather, Earl(e) Lynn, is one of my most elusive ancestors when it comes to finding information.  I'm anxiously awaiting next year's release of the 1940 Federal census so that I can follow him one step further.  I know that somewhere between 1930 and 1940, he divorced (or left) my grandmother and left Rockingham county, Virginia.  But where did he go?

When I posed that question to the RELIC staff, I was asked, "Have you checked the Old Man's Draft?"

The what??   I had no idea what he was talking about.

Perhaps you, too, are hearing that term for the very first time. 

Unlike the Selective Service Draft that was signed into law after the attack on Pearl Harbor, draft cards from the Fourth Registration were only submitted by men between 45 and 64 years of age.  Hence the term "old man's draft."

When I found it, the registration card told me that on April 24, 1942, Earl Lynn was 50 years of age, born Oct. 11, 1891 in Independent Hill, Virginia.  He was white, 5'7", 130 lbs, with black eyes, brown hair, and a ruddy complexion.  He registered in Kecoughtan, Elizabeth City, Virginia (in the Hampton Roads area).  The "name and address of person who will always know" him is Thomas H. Easton, Elkton, Virginia.  Now I know for a fact where he went and have a few more breadcrumbs to follow.

More information on the "Old Man's Draft" and a searchable database can be found here, at  (NOTE:  You must be an Ancestry member to see the actual record.)

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