Thursday, December 17, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday - World War I Draft Registration

It's Treasure Chest Thursday, where we display some of the family treasures that were in the boxes and albums handed down from our parents, or the treasures found in digital format from our family history research.

Here is a World War I Draft Reghistration card for my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver of Leominster, Massachusetts:

According to the information provided by Frederick, he was:

* Name is "Frederick Walton Seaver"

* Residence is "290 Central, Leominster, Worcester, Mass."

* age "41," born "9 October 1876"

* Race "White " is checked

* "Native born" citizenship is checked

* Occupation is "Superintendent at Paton Mfg Co."

* Employed by "Paton Mfg Co."

* Business address is "282 Central St., Leominster, Wor., Mass."

* Next of kin is "Wife, Alma B. Seaver, resides at 290 Central St., Leominster, Wor., Mass."

* Signature as "Frederick W. Seaver"

* Height is "Medium"

* Build is "Stout"

* Color of Eyes is "Blue"

* Color of Hair is "Lt. brown"

* Disabilities is "No"

* Registrar is "J. Ward Healey"

* Date of Registration is "September 12, 1918"

These World War I Draft Registration cards provide a wealth of information and a signature of your ancestor or target person. They have been very helpful in adding full names, birth dates, current residence address, citizenship, occupation and place of work, next of kin, and physical description for my one-name studies on Seaver, Carringer, Dill, Vaux, Auble and other surnames.

The World War I Draft Registration cards were required for all males born between 1874 and 1900, except those already in the Armed Forces, and were gathered in several batches in 1917 and 1918 as the need for soldiers in World War I increased. However, not every male registered, but there are over 24 million of these cards in the collection, which is about 98% of the number of males between ages 18 and 46 in 1918. The form is somewhat different for each group of persons. The complete collection is on


Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

I really enjoy seeing the handwriting on these draft forms! They were filled out by our male ancestors, and and signed by their own hand. Priceless!

bgwiehle said...

I think from my study of my relatives' draft cards, that the cards were filled out by the registrars (literacy and language).
The companion set of WW2 draft cards for those same men who lived to 1942 in the right states is also very helpful. Sad too, when all the injuries acquired occupationally are documented.

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

I concur all around. WWI Draft Card Registrations have been a wealth of information for my wife and I in our research as well. Thanks for sharing this important Treasures!

Bill ;-)

Kaisa Kyläkoski said...

Definately one of the most valuable sources in my project in tracking immigrants from my former home town in Finland (I still live in Finland). With the birth date and occasionally birth place I have been able to confirm that I'm looking at the right person, which is not evident from census records if the name is too common. And with the nearest relative I have found additional immigrants.

And then the signatures which are really moving since not all of the people had had all that much schooling.