Tuesday, December 6, 2016

My Favorite Record Collections - U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

One of my favorite record collections for genealogy and family history work is the United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

This collection is described in the FamilySearch Research Wiki as:
"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 21 and 31; the second was held on June 5,1918, for men who had turned 21 since the first registration, and the third was held on September 12, 1918, for men between the ages of 18 and 45. 
"The registration includes cards for 24,000,000 men. Approximately 2,800,000 men were inducted into military service.The cards are arranged by state, by city or county, by local draft board, and 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."
On FamilySearch, the record collection is FREE to search at  https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1968530?collectionNameFilter=false:

I entered the last name of "Carringer" in the search field (with the exact match box unchecked) above, clicked on the "Search" button, and received 62 matches:

Down the list a bit was a link for Otis Monroe Carringer, my 3rd cousin twice removed.  

I clicked on his name on the match list, and the "card" for Otis Monroe Carringer opened with the indexed information for him.

On the right side of the screen is a thumbnail image of the actual registration card (front and back).  Below the card is a source citation for this specific record:

To see the actual draft registration card, I clicked on the link to "View the original document" and the image opened over the screen above:

I can zoom in and out using my mouse wheel or the zoom buttons at the top left of the image.  I can print or download the record image using the links above the image (on the right side of the screen above).

For Otis Monroe Carringer, the information on this draft registration card included:

*  First, middle and last name:  Otis Monroe Carringer
*  Permanent home address:  #27 Sandy Lake, Mercer, Penn.
*  Age in years:  45
*  Date of Birth:  Oct. 23 1872
*  Race:  White
*  U.S. citizen:  Native born
*  Present occupation:  Driller
*  Employer's name:  Claypoll Heuling
*  Place of employment or business:  Okmulgee Co., Okla.
*  Nearest relative Name:  Mrs. Cynthia Carringer
*  Nearest relative address:  #27 Sandy Lake, Penn.
*  Signature:  Otis Monroe Carringer

*  Height:  Medium
*  Build:  Medium
*  Color of eyes:  Blue
*  Color of hair:  Brown G.
*  Physical disqualification:  Right eye blind
*  Date of registration:  Sep. 12 1918
*  Stamp of local board:  Okmulgee County, State of Oklahoma

The FamilySearch provided source citation for this specific record is:

"United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZDL-SWY : 12 December 2014), Otis Monroe Carringer, 1917-1918; citing Okmulgee County, Oklahoma, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,852,063.

This record collection is also available on these other record providers:

*  Ancestry.com ($$) - U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

*  MyHeritage ($$) - United States World War I Draft Registrations, 1917-1918

*  Findmypast ($$) - U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards

Why is this one of my favorite record collections?  Because the registration card usually provides a full name (including a middle name if present), a permanent address, a birth date but no birth place, race, citizenship, an occupation, the employer, the name of the nearest relative and their address, a signature, and a physical description (height, build, eyes, hair, disability), all at a specific moment in time in 1917-1918.

I can use the source citation on all of the Events noted above in my RootsMagic database.  It is a really "rich" record.

In many cases, this is the only record with a full name and an exact date of birth with a signature - this is what the subject wrote down when he registered.


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Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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Geolover said...

Hi Randy, do you have a reason for omitting the County location of Otis'" Permanent residence," Sandy Lake, PA?

Randy Seaver said...

No, I just missed it. I added it in.

Thanks for the proofing!

Cheers -- Randy

Geolover said...

Thanks for the clarification. It is not always apparent when someone has a reason for something that is not apparent to li'l ol' me.

Diane Gould Hall said...

This is also one of my favorite records Randy. I will capture the signature and save it as a separate JPG. I like to have signatures of all ancestors if I can find them. One thing I don't like when I save any image is black borders, crooked images or black in between pages (as in these records). I've learned to use Microsoft Office Picture Manager and Paint to quickly and easily straighten the image and remove the black in between the two pages on these draft cards. Then I add the image to my citation.