United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

The collection consists of an index and images of draft registration cards for World War I. Three registrations were conducted between 1917 and 1918: the first was held on June 5,1917 for men between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-one; the second, June 5,1918, for men who had turned twenty-one since the first registration; and the third on September 12, 1918, for men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. The registration includes cards for 24,000,000 men. The cards are arranged by state, by city or county, by local draft board, then alphabetically by surname. The draft registration cards are part of Record Group 163: Records of the Selective Service System (World War I),1917-1939, NARA microfilm publication M1509.

For a list of records by localities currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Record Content

World War I had 3 different draft registrations. Each registration was slightly different. The detail are itemized with the images shown above. However, they generally included the following information:

  • Name
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Draft registration date
  • Sometimes, father’s birthplace
  • Name of nearest relative
  • Age in years
  • Sex is implied, since all registrants were males
  • Marital status
  • List of any dependents
  • Address

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name
  • Residence

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection by image.

⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "State"
⇒Select the "Local Draft Board" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.

Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • Use these records to learn the date and place of birth. The information could also be used to search for a birth record and for information on parents and siblings. This is the best source of birth information for men born in states where birth registration began late.
  • Use the names of spouse, dependents, and residence to look for additional records about the registrant and his family such as census, church, and land records .

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties and states.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

World War I Selective Service Records

Related Wiki Articles

United States World War I Draft Records

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"United States, World War One Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA Publication M1509. National Archives and Records Administration, East Point, Georgia.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 3 July 2014, at 17:51.
  • This page has been accessed 20,670 times.