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Navy Muster Rolls, 1939-1949

December 19, 2012 by | Comments Off

World War II Navy Muster Rolls are now being added to Fold3’s World War II Collection. With a full title of “Muster Rolls of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Other Naval Activities, compiled 01/01/1939 – 01/01/1949,” these are reports of enlisted personnel formally attached to ships, stations, or other commands (known as “activities”). They are assembled every quarter from reports of status changes, and may also include records of passengers aboard a vessel.

A forwarding sheet accompanies each quarterly roll. It includes the name of the ship, number of pages in the report, the date, signatures of the executive and commanding officers, and from where the report was issued. Report of Changes forms, created monthly or whenever a major change in personnel took place, are an integral part of the muster roll. Men listed at the top of each form are referenced by the same number at the bottom where their circumstances are detailed and an explanation for the change is printed. In addition to duty transfer, a status could also include desertion, death, hospitalization, and change in rating. If passengers were aboard, they were identified in reports of Non-enlisted Passengers.
WWII Navy Muster Roll of the Crew
The Muster Roll of the Crew is a quarterly snapshot, identifying all personnel at a particular location, with full names listed alphabetically by surname. It provides service number, rating (rank), date of original enlistment, and when each person was received on board.

You can create memorial pages from any name listed on the WWII Navy Muster Rolls and the Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls. Move your cursor to the appropriate line on the document image, click on the box that appears, and then on the sailor’s name. This will take you to a page where you can leave a tribute, upload photos, or add details about that person’s life.

Explore the growing collection of WWII Navy Muster Rolls on Fold3.


Lincoln, the Movie

November 22, 2012 by | 2 Comments

Last week, some of the Fold3 team went to see the movie, Lincoln. (Not the one with vampires, but Mr. Spielberg’s epic based on Doris Kearns Goodwin book, A Team of Rivals.)

In full disclosure mode, I must tell the reader that I hold Mr. Lincoln in the highest of regards. I consider him a man raised up to his day and purpose. I do acknowledge there are those who may not be quite so disposed to consider him so extremely large of stature, and there are even those, I am told, who consider him nothing more than a rather ignoble politician.

Spoiler alert: You will see all three perspectives in the movie. It was wonderful. And, perhaps reading my personal view on the subject into the script, I think the movie portrays him as an incredible, larger-than-life man—fitted to his day and purpose, in spite of being quite human and even exhibiting just a little of that ignoble politician. (The man was in Washington, D. C., after all.)

Regardless of your political views on the man who worked to preserve the Union and bring about the end of slavery in this country, you will likely agree with me that the team who made this movie made one incredible movie.

Upon returning from the megaplex, one of our talented designers went into the Fold3 archives and started looking at the Mathew B. Brady photos of the people portrayed in the movie and noticed an impressive success on the part of casting, makeup, wardrobe, and these twenty-first century actors themselves, to match the nineteenth-century prototypes. I have provided a few comparisons, below, but invite you to compare for yourself other Lincoln movie characters in Fold3’s always-free Mathew B. Brady collection.

(In some cases I have flipped the Brady image to allow for better comparison to the image from Just in case, the Brady image is the one on the left. Click on each image to view it larger: Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Robert Lincoln, William Seward (on the left in the movie image), and Thaddeus Stevens.)



Fold3 Site Update

November 6, 2012 by | 1 Comment

UPDATE 3 3:40 pm eastern:  Thank you for your patience. The site is now working. We apologize for the inconvenience.

UPDATE 3 1:35 pm eastern:  Our current estimated time for the site to be functioning is now around 3 pm eastern.

UPDATE 2 10:30 am eastern: Due to unforeseen issues the site is down and we expect it to be down for the next couple of hours. Thanks for your patience.

UPDATE: 9:00 am eastern: is up and running. We will need to do further updates later but for now enjoy the site. Let us know if you find anything out of the ordinary.

Our efforts to update the site this morning are taking a little longer than we initially planned. We know there is no convenient time to have the site down and we apologize for any trouble this causes. We hope to have the site up and running soon. Thank you for your patience.

Fold3 Surpasses 100 Million Images

October 17, 2012 by | 5 Comments

100 Million images

Earlier this month, we reached a major milestone when the counter on the Fold3 home page spun to and exceeded 100,000,000 record images. Our digital partners—the National Archives (NARA), Allen County Public Library, FamilySearch, and others—helped Fold3 attain this significant event. We thank them and you, our members and fans, for your support and enthusiasm over the last six years

In January 2007, (Fold3’s predecessor) launched with an initial 4 million images. Many of the Fold3 Team members have been around since those early days, watching the titles roll and the images multiply at an increasingly steady pace, assuring that our visitors can access an impressive range of original military records online.

Example War of 1812 Pension

The first sets of documents on the site proved very popular and continue to be some of Fold3’s biggest hits today. They include:

Since those early days, Fold3 has added many more popular titles, including:

Here we are, one hundred million images strong, looking eagerly toward the next hundred million. At the pace our team is digitizing and scanning, it will certainly happen sooner than we think. You can catch up on all of Fold3’s significant achievements here on the Fold3 HQ Blog.

WWII Draft Registration Cards – North Carolina

September 18, 2012 by | 1 Comment

On Wednesday, October 16, 1940, 25-year-old Beuford Astor Bost stood in line at his local draft board in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, to register for the first peace-time draft in U.S. history. He was one of over 16 million men throughout the country to do so that day. Bost was 5’ 8” tall, 152 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair, and a light complexion. He worked at a soda shop located at 831 North Tyron Street in Charlotte. His mother, Ethel Lee Bost, lived in Concord, NC.

We know this information—and more—from a draft registration card signed by Bost. It’s one of over a million recently added images in Fold3’s newest collection of WWII Draft Registration Cards. By the end of the war, there were five more registrations, including the “Old Man’s Draft” Registration (also on Fold3), plus an “Extra Registration” for American men living abroad.

A Second Registration was taken on July 1, 1941—still prior to U.S. involvement in the war—for men who had reached the age of 21 since the first registration, less than nine months earlier. Clifton Ferris Edgerton was born in 1920 and turned 21 on June 11. He was a free-lance writer, living in New York City. He registered at a draft board in Duplin County, NC, and provided similar information, adding that he had a scar on his forehead. What his registration card doesn’t tell us is that he’s buried in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium. He died on September 19, 1944. He was a sergeant with the 87th Armored Field Artillery Battalion.

The Fold3 description for World War II Draft Registration Cards provides more details about the various registrations and more images and stories. Currently, draft registration cards from North Carolina are the first to become available on Fold3.

Start searching the WWII Draft Registration Cards.

Civil War Photos

September 4, 2012 by | 3 Comments

Recently I have been going through the several thousand new Civil War Photos that have been added to the Fold3 site. I actually have no ancestors who served in that great conflict, but I still find the photos fascinating, and I envy those whose ancestors are depicted in the several thousand indexed people-photos in the collection.

However, this collection includes more than just photos of people. My favorites are of buildings (being an architecture buff), and it has been fun to cull them out and then research whether or not the buildings still stand today. Many, of course, have fallen prey to the ravages of that war, or to the time that has passed since it ended. Some have pleasantly endured.

Some of the enduring buildings are famous, such as our nation’s Capitol and Ford’s Theater. Others are not quite so famous, with a sampling below.

President’s Box at Ford’s Theater (Fold3 image):

Petersburg Virginia Courthouse (Fold3 image):

Gate to Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (Fold3 image):

General Robert E. Lee’s Richmond Residence (Fold3 image; no public domain modern image available, but Google 707 East Franklin Street, Richmond, Virginia, and check out the modern “street view”):

My favorite building so far, however, is one I am reasonably certain has not survived the nearly century and a half since its construction. It is a log church constructed by the 50th New York Engineers in Petersburg, Virginia. Care and creativity show in every part of it. The branches used to create the “window panes”, the detailing on the base of the spire, even the little cap on the post at the front-left of the image suggest the engineers in the 50th had a lot of fun designing and building this church, fun that was probably hard to come by in the midst of that decimating conflict.

Modern images from Wikimedia Commons.

All other photos from the Civil War Photos collection.