The Family History Library (FHL) holds 166 microfilm reels of World War II Selective Service System Registration Cards for the state of Massachusetts. These are the Draft Registration Cards for the Fourth Registration conducted in 1942 and include men born between 28 APR 1877 and 16 FEB 1897. The original cards are located in the Boston Branch of the National Archives in Waltham, Massachusetts. Note: The FHL holds copies of World War II Selective Service System Registration Cards for other states, too.
I was particularly interested in these records since I have been unable to find my grandfather’s birth and baptismal record in Poland. In various official documents, my grandfather stated that he was from the village of Pomoski in the Łomża Gubernia of Russia-Poland, but I couldn’t find his birth and baptismal record in the church records for the village of Pomoski (there was no church in Pomoski itself; the residents of Pomoski belonged to the Parish and Church in Szwelice). Since these World War II Draft Registration Cards included the place of birth, I thought this might help me find my grandfather’s birth and baptismal records.
I have attached images of the obverse and reverse of my grandfather’s Draft Registration Card found on FHL US/CAN Film 2251612 (click on the thumbnails, above, to see larger images). My grandfather listed his name as Konstanty Niedzialkoski, but signed his name as Kostanty Niedzialkowski (he used the spelling Kostanty Niedzialkowski for most of his life). The address, 18 Huntington Ave. in Worcester, Massachusetts, was owned by his uncle, Franciszek Niedzialkoski. Surprisingly, Kostanty listed his place of birth as Warsaw, Poland, not the village of Pomoski! Perhaps Kostanty was born in Warsaw, but lived in Pomoski.
In addition to my difficulty in finding Kostanty’s birth and baptismal record, I haven’t been able to find the marriage record of Kostanty’s parents (Teofil and Ksawera) in Pomoski. My working hypothesis is that Teofil and Ksawera were married in another location and Ksawera gave birth to Kostanty in the same place she was married. A family connection does exist in Warsaw, since Teofil’s mother was born in Parafia Świętego Krzyża (Holy Cross Parish) in Warsaw. So, I have another lead to follow now, although this may be a tough one – the records for Parafia Św. Krzyża held by the FHL include documents that date only from 1826 – 1876, too early to include records for my grandfather or my great-grandparents.
Nonetheless, the information on my grandfather’s World War II Draft Registration Card gives me some additional information and another lead to follow.
As a historical note, the following notice appeared on page 10 of the New York Times on 24 APR 1942, calling older men to register for the fourth registration of the World War II Draft:
All Men 45-64 Required To Register at Week-End
All men in New York City, whether citizens or aliens, who reached their forty-fifth birthday on or before Feb. 16, 1942, or who will not have reached their sixty-fifth birthday by April 27, 1942, must register for selective service either tomorrow or Sunday between 1 P. M. and 6 P. M. or on Monday between 7 A. M. and 9 P. M.
They must register in their own local board area. Selective service headquarters advised them yesterday to learn immediately the address of their local board. It was suggested that they ask neighbors who already had registered where to find the local board; then go to the board to learn whether to register there or elsewhere.
Daily commuters will not be registered in New York City.
Copyright © 2009 by Stephen J. Danko