52 Documents in 52 Weeks #4 – Charles E. Adams, WWI Draft Registration

For many years, I had no idea about my great grandfather’s middle name. He was sometimes found as Charles Adams, but most of the time, he was Charles E. Adams.

My grandfather died before I started researching our family history so I never asked him about his dad and, although my grandmother knew her father-in-law, she didn’t know what the E stood for. Grandmother was a sharp lady, but Charles died about a year and a half after my grandparents had married. They moved from Calais to Massachusetts soon after and I doubt that Charles’s middle name was ever a topic for discussion.

There were two names beginning with the letter E that popped up more than once in other Adams members in the extended family – Edward and Edwin – but which name also belonged to Charles was a toss up.

I had resigned myself to probably never knowing for sure until the World War I draft registration card appeared online. I had my answer:


World War I Draft Registration Card
Source: Ancestry

Thank you, Great Grandfather! Without this record, I probably would never have known your middle name.

Notice the other great information here, besides Charles’s full name. His street address is given, although it looks like “29 Avenue.” It was actually 29 Calais Avenue, but “the Avenue” was an in-place to live and Mr. Woodman likely knew that when he recorded it.

Charles’s date of birth is given, along with the name of his wife, although the box is for naming the closest relative. It was checked off that he was short and stout with brown eyes and black hair. He was a merchant by occupation and he signed the bottom line on the front side of the card.

If you have an ancestor who was an adult at the time of the onset of World War I, be sure to check this collection.

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