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World War I Draft Registration

Record of the Week Ė WWI Draft Registration

Draft registration records for World War I were created to determine eligibility for military service. This collection consists of a name 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 21 and 31. The second June 5, 1918 for men 21 since the first registration, and a third on September 12, 1918 for men between 18 and 45. The registration includes cards for 24,000,000 men. The cards are arranged by state, by city or county, by local draft board, then alphabetical by surname. The draft registration cards are a part of Record Group 163 Records of the Selective Service System (World War I),1917-1939 and is NARA microfilm publication M1509.

These cards are a great resource for finding an ancestors residence in 1917/1918, complete birth date, birthplace, occupation, single or married, wifeís or motherís name, (on page 2) approximate height and build, hair and eye color, plus whether he was bald. Most of this information should be accurate because the information was given by the individual.

To access this database go to FamilySearch.org, click on All Record collections located below the Search button:

Next you will see the following

Type in United States World War I Draft Registration Cards.  Click the correct link on the right hand side of the page. 

Exercise:  Find one of your ancestorsí who is living in the United States in 1917/1918 and was born between 1872 and 1900. (He doesnít have to be born in the US.) First try just his first and last name, if you get too many hits, try putting his place of residence or birthplace to narrow the search.  Did you find any new information about him? Suggestion:  Add this source to his name on Family Tree and tag his birth date so you donít have to find this record again.

Note:  Some of the states are not searchable yet, so check back in a few months if you think your ancestor would have been in this collection. 

If you canít find any of your ancestors, see if you can find the example I showed above for Hampton George.

If you have any questions about this record please call, text, or email me!!

Carol Hill - 801-380-9192- carollovesfamilyhistory@gmail.com



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