NYSCHENE-L ArchivesArchiver > NYSCHENE > 2007-08 > 1188073569
From: "Bill & Cathy McGrath" <>
Subject: [NYSCHENE] World War I Draft Registration Cards
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 16:26:09 -0400
Over 24 million American men registered for the draft in 1917 and 1918. These draft registration cards have been microfilmed and can be viewed at your library if they have free access to Ancestry.
I recently spent some time at the library in Clifton Park reviewing these nationwide name searchable records and have found a great deal of information for many individuals in my family line. Some of the items, for example, were:
1. Complete dates of birth where I was missing the entire date or where I was missing parts of the date, i.e. no month or day.
2. Birthdates different from my records which were obtained from death certificates. I used the date from the draft registration card since the individual himself filled out that information and I felt that was more reliable.
3. Middle names where I have no middle name or the full middle name where I only had an initial. Surprisingly, the card for my father James McGrath (1900-1974) showed the name James Francis McGrath and his signature was James Francis McGrath. Every record I have on my father was James Joseph McGrath. I have no idea where the Francis came from.
4. Place of birth where I was missing that data. One Rhode Island card for David Dufty (1877-1961) who was married to a great Aunt, Julia O'Connor (1879-1960) gave me his place of birth as London, England and my records had only showed England.
5. Physical description of the individual, height (tall, medium, short), build (slender, medium, stout), color of eyes and color of hair. Blue eyes, by the way, seem to be common in nearly all of the men in imy family branches.
6. Occupation and name of employer.
7. Information on disability. On the card for James Dwyer (1880-1934) who was married to a great aunt, Nora O'Connor (1882-1957). the card was filled out September 12, 1918 and was noted "lost both legs". I knew James lost his legs in a train accident but had never had a time frame for the accident. Now I know it was 1918 or earlier.
8. Marital status.
9. Home address.
Depending upon the state or area, or the time frame involved, three different cards were used for the draft registration process.
One card has 12 questions, another has 10 questions and the third version had 20 questions.
I don't know what the age requirement was for filling out these cards but the ages on the cards I found for my relatives ranged from age 18 to age 45.
These cards are a great resource for genealogy researchers.
Clifton Park, NY
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