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United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946

Toni Carrier
by Toni Carrier
Asbury Lawton World War II Draft Registration, Duval, FL
“Florida, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945.” Database with images. FamilySearch. https://FamilySearch.org : 2 January 2020; records extracted by FamilySearch. Images digitized by Ancestry. Citing Nara NAID 7644725. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926 – 1975, RG 147. (National Archives at St. Louis, Missouri, n.d.).

About This Collection

Today’s featured FamilySearch collection is United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946. This collection was built from a database provided by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and is a name index to Army Serial Number Enlistment Card Records, which covers the years 1938-1946, excluding officers, in the United States Army including the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and the Enlisted Reserve Corps. This index, which is not complete, covers about nine million men and women. The collection’s Learn More page notes that the collection may contain scanning errors.

What’s in This Collection

Information in the records includes:

  • Name
  • Date of enlistment
  • Place of enlistment
  • Race
  • Citizenship
  • Birth year and place
  • Education level
  • Civilian occupation
  • Marital status
  • Rank
  • Army branch
  • Army component
  • Serial number

Researching From This Collection

If you find an ancestor listed in this collection, add the information to your ancestor’s timeline, then use the information in the index to search for other records for your ancestor. Note that for each ancestor you find in the index, there should be a corresponding World War II Draft Registration record. You can search the FamilySearch collection World War II Draft Registration Cards to find the draft registration for your ancestor.

The FamilySearch Wiki page Finding a World War II (1939-1945) Veteran’s Records provides helpful information for locating other military records relating to your ancestor’s service in World War II.

Let’s look at an example for Asbury Lawton, who enlisted in the Army at Camp Blanding in Jacksonville, Florida in May of 1945.

Asbury Lawton World War II Army Enlistment

Name: Asbury Lawton
Name (Original): LAWTON ASBURY
Event Type: Military Service
Event Date: 14 May 1945
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Event Place: Cp Blanding, Florida, United States
Race: Negro
Citizenship Status: citizen
Birth Year: 1915
Birthplace: SOUTH CAROLINA
Education Level: Grammar school
Civilian Occupation: Attendants, hospitals and other institutions, n.e.c.
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Military Rank: Private
Army Branch: No branch assignment
Army Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source Reference: Civil Life
Serial Number: 44110777
Affiliate ARC Identifier: 1263923
Box Film Number: 15523.376

Affiliate Publication Title: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938-1946

“United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8BX-2Y3 : 5 December 2014), Asbury Lawton, enlisted 14 May 1945, Cp Blanding, Florida, United States; citing “Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938-1946,” database, The National Archives: Access to Archival Databases (AAD) (http://aad.archives.gov : National Archives and Records Administration, 2002); NARA NAID 1263923, National Archives at College Park, Maryland.

Asbury Lawton World War II Draft Registration

We searched the FamilySearch collection World War II Draft Registration Cards to find the draft registration for Asbury Lawton. This record reveals more biographical information for Mr. Lawton. Here we learn his address, exact date of birth, occupation and employer’s name.

Asbury Lawton was born 12 Apr 1915 in South Carolina. He was the proprietor of his own business, the DeLuxe Cafe at 821 Kings Road in Jacksonville. To find more information about his business, we can search city directories and historical newspapers to see if he advertised his cafe in either of those publications. We can contact the local libraries and historical societies to see if they have more information about, or even a picture of, the DeLuxe Cafe.

Asbury Lawton World War II Draft Registration, Duval, FL
“Florida, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945.” Database with images. FamilySearch. https://FamilySearch.org : 2 January 2020; records extracted by FamilySearch. Images digitized by Ancestry. Citing Nara NAID 7644725. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926 – 1975, RG 147. (National Archives at St. Louis, Missouri, n.d.).

Name: Asbury Lawton
Event Type: Draft Registration
Event Date: 16 Oct 1940
Event Place: Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, United States
Race: Black
Complexion: Dark Brown
Employer: De Luxe Cafe Own Business
Birth Date: 12 Apr 1915
Birthplace: Bronson, South Carolina
Relative’s Name: Marie Marshall
Relationship to Head of Household: Sister
Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Sister

Affiliate Publication Title: World War II Draft Cards for the State of Florida
Digital Folder Number: 102814629
Image Number: 01006

“Florida, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2CP-F38Y : 16 August 2019), Marie Marshall in entry for Asbury Lawton, 16 Oct 1940; records extracted by FamilySearch and images digitized by Ancestry; citing Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, United States, Draft Registration, NARA NAID 7644725. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926 – 1975, RG 147. National Archives at St. Louis, Missouri, n.d.

We see that Asbury Lawton listed his sister Marie Marshall at 132 McDuff Avenue as his next of kin/contact person. We searched for Marie Marshall in World War II Draft Registrations to see if any other relatives my have listed her in their draft registrations. This led us to a draft registration card for Murphy Lawton.

Marie Marshall in World War II Draft Registrations: Murphy Lawton

Murphey Lawton World War II Draft Registration, Duval, FL
“Florida, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945.” Database with images. FamilySearch. https://FamilySearch.org : 2 January 2020; records extracted by FamilySearch. Images digitized by Ancestry. Citing Nara NAID 7644725. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926 – 1975, RG 147. (National Archives at St. Louis, Missouri, n.d.).

Name: Murphy Lawton
Event Type: Draft Registration
Event Date: 14 Feb 1942
Event Place: Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, United States
Race: Black
Complexion: Light Brown
Employer: R F Wilson
Birth Date: 28 Mar 1899
Birthplace: Allendale, South Carolina
Relative’s Name: Marie Marshall

Other information in the record of Murphy Lawton
Name: Murphy Lawton
Event Type: Draft Registration
Event Date: 14 Feb 1942
Event Place: Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, United States
Race: Black
Complexion: Light Brown
Employer: R F Wilson
Birth Date: 28 Mar 1899
Birthplace: Allendale, South Carolina
Relative’s Name: Marie Marshall

Affiliate Publication Title: World War II Draft Cards for the State of Florida
Digital Folder Number: 102814629
Image Number: 01050

“Florida, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2CP-FF67 : 16 August 2019), Marie Marshall in entry for Murphy Lawton, 14 Feb 1942; records extracted by FamilySearch and images digitized by Ancestry; citing Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, United States, Draft Registration, NARA NAID 7644725. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926 – 1975, RG 147. National Archives at St. Louis, Missouri, n.d.

His draft registration card reveals his exact place of birth as Allendale, South Carolina. Murphy Lawton’s date of birth is 28 Mar 1899. Could he be Asbury Lawton’s brother? Let’s see what we can learn.

We searched for Murphy Lawton in the U.S. Census for Allendale, South Carolina and found him in the household of his father Donnie Lawton. Here we see that Murphy has two brothers named Angus and Asbury. Further research may reveal records to corroborate our tentative identification of Murphy as Asbury Lawton’s bother.

Asbury and Murphy Lawton, 1920 U.S. Census

Asbury and Murphey Lawton, 1920 U.S. Census
Year: 1920; Census Place: Allendale, Allendale, South Carolina; Roll: T625_1683; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 27. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls).
Name:Donnie Lawton
Age:36
Birth Year:abt 1884
Birthplace:South Carolina
Home in 1920:Allendale, Allendale, South Carolina
Street:Rail Road Avenue
House Number:908
Residence Date:1920
Race:Black
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital status:Widowed
Father’s Birthplace:South Carolina
Mother’s Birthplace:South Carolina
Able to Speak English:Yes
Occupation:Laborer
Industry:Working out
Employment Field:Wage or Salary
Home Owned or Rented:Rented
Able to Read:Yes
Able to Write:Yes
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:NameAgeDonnie Lawton36Murphy Lawton14Angus Lawton11Asbery Lawton5James Washingto24

Year: 1920; Census Place: Allendale, Allendale, South Carolina; Roll: T625_1683; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 27. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

Marie Marshall in Other World War II Draft Registrations

Our search for Marie Marshall in World War II Draft Registration Cards revealed that two other men in Jacksonville named Andrew Jones and Arthur Wallace listed Marie Marshall as the contact person on their draft registrations. If this is your family, you can conduct further research to learn what these men’s relationships with this family were.

Marie Marshall in World War II Draft Registrations: Andrew Jones

Andrew Jones World War II Draft Registration, Duval, FL
“Florida, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945.” Database with images. FamilySearch. https://FamilySearch.org : 2 January 2020; records extracted by FamilySearch. Images digitized by Ancestry. Citing Nara NAID 7644725. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926 – 1975, RG 147. (National Archives at St. Louis, Missouri, n.d.).

Name: Andrew Jones
Event Type: Draft Registration
Event Date: 17 Jul 1943
Event Place: Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, United States
Race: Black
Complexion: Dark Brown
Employer: Railway Express Agency
Birth Date: 17 Jul 1925
Birthplace: Furman, South Carolina
Relative’s Name: Marie Marshall

Other information in the record of Andrew Jones
Name: Andrew Jones
Event Type: Draft Registration
Event Date: 17 Jul 1943
Event Place: Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, United States
Race: Black
Complexion: Dark Brown
Employer: Railway Express Agency
Birth Date: 17 Jul 1925
Birthplace: Furman, South Carolina
Relative’s Name: Marie Marshall

Affiliate Publication Title: World War II Draft Cards for the State of Florida
Digital Folder Number: 102814957
Image Number: 00245

“Florida, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2C5-VZFN : 16 August 2019), Marie Marshall in entry for Andrew Jones, 17 Jul 1943; records extracted by FamilySearch and images digitized by Ancestry; citing Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, United States, Draft Registration, NARA NAID 7644725. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926 – 1975, RG 147. National Archives at St. Louis, Missouri, n.d.

Marie Marshall in World War II Draft Registrations: Arthur Wallace

Arthur Wallace World War II Draft Registration, Duval FL
“Florida, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945.” Database with images. FamilySearch. https://FamilySearch.org : 2 January 2020; records extracted by FamilySearch. Images digitized by Ancestry. Citing Nara NAID 7644725. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926 – 1975, RG 147. (National Archives at St. Louis, Missouri, n.d.).

Name: Arthur Wallace
Event Type: Draft Registration
Event Date: 02 Dec 1943
Event Place: Jacksonville, , Florida, United States
Race: Black
Complexion: Dark Brown
Employer: Foremost Dairies
Birth Date: 01 Dec 1925
Birthplace: Furman, South Carolina
Relative’s Name: Marie Marshall

Other information in the record of Arthur Wallace
Name: Arthur Wallace
Event Type: Draft Registration
Event Date: 02 Dec 1943
Event Place: Jacksonville, , Florida, United States
Race: Black
Complexion: Dark Brown
Employer: Foremost Dairies
Birth Date: 01 Dec 1925
Birthplace: Furman, South Carolina
Relative’s Name: Marie Marshall

Affiliate Publication Title: World War II Draft Cards for the State of Florida
Digital Folder Number: 102815095
Image Number: 00005

Discussion

Working from the World War II enlistment record for Asbury Lawton of Jacksonville, Florida, we searched for, and found, the corresponding draft registration card for Asbury Lawton. In this record, he listed his sister Marie Marshall as next of kin/contact person. Searching for Marie’s name in World War II draft registrations led us to a draft registration card for Murphy Lawton, who also listed Marie Marshall as next of kin/contact person. Using information from all three records, we searched for, and found, Asbury and Murphy in the home of their father in Allendale, South Carolina in the 1920 U.S. Census.

Explore More: Related Resources

The related FamilySearch collection World War II Draft Registration Cards can help you locate the corresponding World War II draft registration for an ancestor you find in World War II Army Enlistments.

The FamilySearch Wiki pages World War II United States Military Records, 1941 to 1945 and Finding a World War II (1939-1945) Veteran’s Records provide helpful resources and research strategies for finding more records related to your ancestor’s service in World War II.

To learn more about researching African American military records, you can view BlackProGen LIVE Ep30: Rebellion and Resistance: People of Color and the U.S. Military.

More FamilySearch Wiki Resources for African American Genealogy

Researching African American Genealogy provides step-by-step guidance for beginning your ancestor search, as well as links to online resources.

Quick Guide to African American Records contains information on beginning research tips, links to suggested guides for beginning your search for African American ancestors, overviews of major record sets, tips for finding the slaveholder, links to tutorials for African American genealogy in the FamilySearch Learning Center, and links to other online and offline resources.

Southern States Slavery and Bondage Collections will help you locate digitized searchable collections as well as digitized microfilms in the FamilySearch catalog related to slavery and bondage. The page is arranged by state. 

African American Genealogy provides links to Wiki pages for researching African Americans in each U.S. state.

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