Source Information

Ancestry.com. California, WWI Soldier Service Cards and Photos, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data: California, World War I Soldier Service Records. Microfilm publication, 28 rolls. California State Library, California History Section. Sacramento, California.

About California, WWI Soldier Service Cards and Photos, 1917-1918

Service records document an individual’s involvement with the military. This database contains the soldier service records for California citizens. A large amount of information pertinent to genealogical research can be found within these records like birth date and place, spouse’s name, next of kin, etc. Additionally, considerable biographical information can be found such as residence, date of service entry, place or camp the individual was sent to, marital status, age, educational background and work experience.

The United States entered World War I or the Great War on April 6, 1917. Over 4.7 million men and women served in the regular U.S. forces, National Guard units, and draft units. There were 53,402 killed in action, 63,114 deaths from disease and other causes, and about 205,000 wounded. New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio furnished the most soldiers. These service records from World War I can help you find out the circumstances surrounding your ancestor’s service experience.

Locating the unit or organization in which your ancestor served (many are listed in this database) also makes it easier to search for additional applicable records, which may include pension records, pay rolls, order books, hospital records, prisoner of war records, promotions, desertion records, and records of court-martials. Not only can you find listings of next of kin, but you can also reconstruct what that individual’s life was like during the war.

Information in this index:

  • Surname
  • Residence
  • Birth date
  • Birth place
  • Spouse’s name
  • Marriage date and place
  • Age
  • Date entered service
  • Place or camp assigned to
  • Rank
  • Branch of Service
  • Nearest relative

Information that may be in this index:

  • Physical description
  • Educational background
  • Biographical notes
  • Death date
  • Cause of death