Today’s new document

Well, I was hoping I could have a good April Fool for this weekend, but with the crazy busy way things have gone since November, it didn’t quite work out this year.  Instead, I’ve got a new (to me) document to share that furthers my research a little and gives me several more questions to answer.

With all of the new records that are being digitized and indexed on FamilySearch, it pays to go back every few months to see if there is anything new.  Today, I found something new.


This is the World War II draft registration card for my great grandfather, Charles Elmo Brown.  Until 2010, I only knew of his middle initial, but it was a conversation with family while I was visiting at Thanksgiving that year that I heard a couple of them say they thought his middle name was Elmo.  Now I have a document that proves it.  Several months ago, I found an entry in the California Death Index that listed his birth date, so this document provides further proof of that data point.  What I didn’t have there was the exact town (although here spelled more phonetically than its actual name).

The most exciting new information here, other than a copy of his signature, is finding out Charles’s home address and workplace, as well as his son’s home address.  The home address shown here is within a couple miles of the USC campus and still appears to be a residence.  I wonder how many times the house on that lot was torn down and rebuilt…

View Larger Map

Also looking a little more at the maps, Charles’s daily commute would have been about 5 or 6 miles depending on which streets he drove.  His son Wallace’s house was about 2 miles south of Charles’s house.  As far as I can tell, Huggins Young Coffee is no more.  A search for the company brings up several photos of the company’s coffee tins, with the latest appearing to be in the 1970s.  I’ll need to look into this a little bit more.

The back of the card confirms the date for this information…


When I showed this document to my son tonight (after we had watched a Laurel & Hardy film about enlisting in the Army), he was surprised to learn that his 2nd great grandfather could be drafted at such a late age.  But this was only his draft registration, and having heard no family stories of him serving, I don’t think Charles’s number actually came up in the draft.  Looking back at the California Death Index again today, this document was created only 18 months before his death on 6 October 1943.  But then again, the Death Index also listed his social security number, so now I’ll need to send off an FOIA request to see if I can get a copy of his social security application.


  • "California Death Index, 1940-1997," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 March 2012), Charles Elmo Brown entry.
  • California Department of Health Services Office of Health Information and Research vital Statistics Section, "California Death Records," index, Rootsweb ( : accessed 22 September 2011), Charles E. Brown death.
  • "World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," digital image, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 March 2012), draft card for Charles Elmo Brown; film number 2423004, digital folder number 4669483, image number 01551.

No comments: