Here’s something to watch out for when you’re searching and finding records in an online database like Ancestry: look and see if there is a page 2 to the image that you have found. The two examples below should tell you why.
Example 1: A World War II Draft Registration card for Charles Peterson gives all the information you might expect, including address, birth date, and place of employment, even a fairly nice signature:
But take a look at the next screen and you might find something surprising:
Charles Peterson is 5’8″, 165 pounds, blue-eyed, blond, and blind. You might never have known this about your ancestor if you hadn’t looked for page 2.
Example 2: On line 3 of the passenger list below we find Hedvig Rosalie Helgeson and learn her place of birth and that she lives in Winnetka. (She had probably left the country and was now coming back)
However, when you look on page 2, you will learn more about Hedvig Rosalie:
Line 3 now tells us the name and address of Hedvig Rosalie’s father, not to mention the facts that she is 5’6″, has brown hair, and is in good health, and is going to see her friend in Winnetka, Hans Philips. A close inspection of page1 might have given us a clue that there is more. Notice the incomplete heading at the top of the page: “List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United.”
Often we are so excited when we find our ancestor in a record that we don’t take time to examine the record fully or look for more. The next time you find an ancestor in an online database, remember to slow down and look for page 2!