Source Information

Ancestry.com. U.S., American Red Cross Nurse Files, 1916-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Historical Nurse Files, Compiled ca. 1916–ca. 1959. Series number A1 27140, textual materials, 101 boxes. ARC ID: 649203. Records of the American National Red Cross, 1881–2008. National Archives at College Park. College Park, Maryland, U.S.A.

About U.S., American Red Cross Nurse Files, 1916-1959

From tending to miners during the influenza epidemic of 1918 to teaching hygiene to impoverished communities to helping mend soldiers and sailors in wartime, dedicated nurses have always aided the American National Red Cross in fulfilling its mission. Perhaps one of your relatives was one of them? This collection includes case files for nurses who served in World War I and World War II . These rich biographical records include applications, recommendations for awards, lists of assignments, newspaper clippings, efficiency reports, correspondence, and more.

Details found in the files are as diverse as the correspondence, but you may find the following:

  • name
  • residences
  • birth date and/or place
  • assignments
  • education and licensing
  • professional experience and specialty skills
  • names of friends and relatives
  • length of service in the Red Cross
  • dates and places relating to Red Cross service
  • citizenship
  • letters of references
  • overall health
  • Red Cross badge number

The files in this collection include multiple pages on each nurse, so be sure to page forward so that you can view all of the contents in the file.

Related collections

Since many of these nurses served overseas, check the collection of U.S. passport applications. Applications from this era typically include photographs. You may also find arrivals in U.S. passenger lists, and for those who may have departed from or passed through the UK, check UK, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890–1960 and UK, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878–1960.