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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Finding Ancestors in the Civilian Conservation Corps
Posted by Diane
. My relative worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Where can I find more information about his time there?
. This question was inspired by a
post in our Forum
The CCC—which happens to be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year—was established March 21, 1933, as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal legislation. By the time the CCC disbanded in 1942, when Congress ceased its funding, more than 2.5 million workers had participated.
It was a multi-agency effort, with the Army running CCC camps and various federal agencies sponsoring them.
Over 4,500 camps were established in all states. African-Americans were segregated in “colored” camps. Each enrollee earned at least $30 per month, and had to send $25 of it home to family.
It’ll help your search if you know your ancestor’s camp and the dates he worked, so ask your family members and pore over your research for clues.
The Colorado state archives has a
statewide CCC enrollment index
, which gives the enrollee’s name, county, birth date and camp.
Employment records of CCC workers are in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. You can fill out a research request following
. Provide as much information as possible, and send either a written OK from the person in the record or proof of the person's death.
Most administrative and other records—project reports, correspondence, the CCC’s Happy Days weekly newspaper, publicity materials, meeting minutes, photographs, accident and death reports—are part of
Record Group 35
at NARA’s College Park, MD, facility.
Records of the separate Indian Division of the CCC are with Bureau of Indian Affairs records in NARA’s
The CCC records aren’t indexed and few are microfilmed, so you’d need to travel to NARA or
hire a researcher
there to use them. The finding aid
Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps
by Douglas Helms should help.
Some of the camps had newspapers, you can learn their titles using the
Center for Research Libraries
Learn more about the CCC on these sites:
National Association of Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni site
has historical information and listing of states and camps.
NARA’s online article
tells you about the formation and operation of the CCC.
The Past is Prologue blogger
writes about the CCC’s anniversary and suggests resources
Wednesday, October 22, 2008 8:38:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Thursday, October 23, 2008 9:29:34 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Thanks for this information, Diane. I had no idea this kind of information was available. Now I have several more sources to search! I have several pictures of CCC work crews posted to my tree on Ancestry. They are from work on the 3C highway in Ohio. Members can view on Clark Family Tree, person is John Samuel Earl Clark.
Sunday, October 26, 2008 4:45:02 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I have my fathers 1938 Official Annual of the Sacramento District CCC Ninth Corp Area. It has wonderful group photos in it. the binding is starting to detiorate, but it is wonderful to look through. Each photo identifies the induvidual staff members, officers, and many of the companies has brief histories. How would I go about sharing all this great information so that it could be accessed online?? And would be found by researchers??
Monday, October 27, 2008 1:37:40 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
That sounds like a great resource! For posting online, I would recommend you scan the pages of the book (or have it done by an imaging service) and transcribe the text so it can be searched online. As for where to share it, here are a few options to consider:
* Donate electronic copies to the county GenWeb site: http://www.cagenweb.com/sacramento or another volunteer project.
* Create a blog where you can present scanned pages along with the transcriptions. Papa's Diary Project (http://papasdiary.blogspot.com) is an example of how another researcher has done this.
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