(KCPW News) A popular family genealogy website based in Provo is offering free access to millions of World War II records to mark tomorrow’s 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Anastasia Harman, Lead Family Historian for Ancestry.com, explains the highlight of the nearly 60 million records is the release of the U.S. Navy muster rolls from 1939 to 1949.
“Every quarter, everyone on board a ship would muster – kind of think it as a roll call – and they’d put down the name of everyone who was on board the ship, their enlistment dates, other information, so that you can track any of your ancestors who were in the Navy during World War II, and find out exactly where they were, what ship they were on, and what they were doing throughout the war,” says Harman.
The muster rolls include more than 33 million records.
Other records available for free include draft cards from November of 1940 to December of 1942.
“It’s so easy for these stories to slip into the past and become just history, and that can’t happen,” Harman says. “You think about this war and the impact it had on the nation, and we can’t forget. And that’s what is so great about this collection.”
Ancestry.com’s free access to the World War II records runs through tomorrow.