Saturday, August 10, 2019

Now Indexing: Draft Registration Cards

Another month flies by, and suddenly, it's time to do some volunteer indexing of records at Sometimes, despite intentions to regularly volunteer, it seems harder than usual to do more than just show up. Perhaps this has been one of those weeks. Still, there's an importance to being there when making a commitment. So today is one of those "just show up" days.

Usually, I try to focus on record sets which reflect the areas in which I've personally been researching. New York has been home to my father's immigrant family for three generations now, so even though I didn't expect to see any of my father's family in the set I indexed today (my father would have been too young to serve in World War I), I worked on draft registration cards for the New York City area.

Even though I grew up in the New York metro area, I was surprised to see what a variety of surnames I'd find in a chance selection of draft registration cards. I indexed records of men from British Guiana and Turkey, as well as native-born citizens. I even spotted an Astor, though I'm certain any Astor who mentioned where he was employed would not be the kind of Astors I had in mind at the moment.

Next month, I'm sure I'll be back, full strength, and can handle a fuller load or more challenging work, but for today, being able to do a light load—rather than skipping the day entirely—means a lot to me. Perhaps it's like keeping up a winning streak; I just hate to break the sequence. Stopping, even for a little while or for a good reason, makes me lose my momentum. Better to keep going than to have to try and start up again. Lighten the load to match the circumstances and keep moving ahead.


  1. As I fight myself about going for training this morning..... keep the momentum going.... thanks

    1. Susie Q, glad that provided some inspiration for you. A long while ago, I had to remind myself that there are some things I wouldn't think twice about not doing: breathing, for instance. Or eating. Or sleeping at least once in a 24 hour period.

      I just figured I could find a way to make some other things regular habits that I couldn't go a day without doing. Same thing with some weekly habits, or monthly habits. It's a matter of building a personal system that works.


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