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Overheard in GenForum: CCC in Florida in the 1940s
by Rhonda R. McClure

Each week Rhonda answers a question from the GenForum message boards and gives her expert answer here. We'd love to hear anything you have to add. Go ahead and leave your comments on GenForum with the original message.

September 09, 1999
See Rhonda's Previous Columns

Q: I am looking for a list of African Americans who served in the Civilian Conservation Corps from Tampa, Florida. My uncle's name was Ellis MITCHELL. He also served in World War II. -- Joyce

A: The Civilian Conservation Corps was created by an act of Congress on 28 June 1937. Often known as the CCC, this group succeeded the Emergency Conservation Work that was established in 1933.

The CCC would be terminated in 1942 by an appropriations act in July of that year. This was one of the groups created as part of the New Deal. For information on the CCC specifically, you will want to locate John A. Salmond's The CCC, 1933-1942; A New Deal Case Study published in 1967.

The CCC offered employment and training to unemployed youths, war veterans and Indians.

Who Worked for the CCC

Many of the programs begun during the New Deal were designed to help employ the many people who were unemployed. The Works Project Administration (one of the groups that genealogists owe much to) was one of those programs. The WPA created work for unemployed teachers and writers. The CCC created jobs for the unemployed youth, some war veterans and some Indians.

Selection of possible workers was done primarily on the state level. The State welfare agency selected those individuals who would be enrolled in conservation and natural resources development jobs. Those war veterans who were employed, were selected through the Veterans Administration.

What Work Did They Do?

Once the individuals were selected, they were assembled and provided with transportation to the camps along with housing, food and medical services. It was the War Department that funded the general operations and finances of the camp.

However, the work the enrollees did was planned and overseen by:

  • The Forest Service
  • The Soil Conservation Service
  • The Bureau of Plant Industry
  • The Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
  • The National Park Service

Where Are the Records?

Some of the records, in fact a large portion of them are located in the National Archives. There are over 732 cubic feet of records that include correspondence, annual reports, manuals, the CCC weekly newspaper Happy Days and other items.

Additional records are located in the various branch offices of the National Archives. Since your uncle was in Florida, the closest branch is the Atlanta Branch,1557 St. Joseph Ave., East Point, GA 30344. The records in their collection are primarily from the Forest Service.

See Rhonda's Previous Columns

Rhonda R. McClure is a professional genealogist specializing in celebrity trees and computerized genealogy. She has been involved in online genealogy for fifteen years. She is the author of the award-winning The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy, now in its second edition. She is the author of four how-to guides on Family Tree Maker. In late 2001, she wrote The Genealogist's Computer Companion. She is a contributing editor to Biography Magazine with her "Celebrity Roots" column and a contributing writer to The History Channel Magazine. Her latest book is Finding Your Famous and Infamous Ancestors. She may be contacted at rhondagen@thegenealogist.com.

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