Saturday, July 10, 2010

World War I Civilian Draft Registration

In 1917 and 1918, approximately 24 million men registered for the draft in the United.States.  The men that were required to register were born between Sept 11, 1872 to Sept 12, 1900.  Read more about the registration cards that were generated at during this time period (Genealogy

There are a few places where you might look for these records:
  • Travel to Salt Lake City and visit the Family History Library.  The records have been microfilmed and you can view them there at the library, or you can order the microfilm at your nearby Family History Center for about $5.50 (cheaper than traveling to Utah, for those of us living in the south).
  • Access the information at the National Archives or at a regional center of NARA.
  • Visit a public library that has a subscription to  The registration cards have been digitized and are available at Ancestry through a subscription to its database.  You can also subscribe to this resource online if you have access to the Internet.  The images can be printed, saved to your hard drive, or you can extract the information from them using a blank form (download at Ancestry).  
Because the local draft boards in various locations were utilized for this selective service project, you may discover if the information gathered, even though they were basically just filling in the blanks of the form/card.  The type of information you can expect to find may include:
  1. A given name, along with the middle name and a surname.
  2. Permanent home address.
  3. Age by years.
  4. Date of birth.
  5. White? (Race/ethnicity)
  6. Negro?
  7. Oriental?
  8. Indian, Citizen?
  9. Indian, Non-Citizen?
  10. Native Born?
  11. Naturalized?
  12. Citizen by Father's Naturalization before Registrant's Majority?
  13. Alien-Declarant?
  14. Alien- Non -declarant?
  15. If not citizen of the U.S., of what nation are you a citizen or subject?_____________________
  16. Present Occupation
  17. Employer's Name
  18. Place of Employment or Business (Address)
Nearest relative, name and address.
Registrant's signature and affirmation.

All of this information is on the front side of the card.  On the back side of the card, the Registrar's Report is given.  First, is a description of Registrant, including Height, Build, Color of Eyes, and Color of Hair.  The registrar states whether the registrant is physically disqualified.  Has person lost arm, leg, hand, eye, etc.

The registrar verifies and affirms that this information is true and that the registrant did read or had read to him all of the questions and has signed or made his mark.

So some of the Givens names that I found at in the database for WWI Civilian Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 were:
  • Henry Thomas Givens, born 29 Sep 1874, is White, and registered in Okaloosa County, Florida.
  • John Homer Givens, born 31 Mar 1884, White, registered in Okaloosa County, Florida.
  • Richard Lud Givens, born 14 Feb 1894, White, born in Alabama, registered in Okaloosa County, Florida
  • William Edward Givens, born 3 Feb 1891, White, born in Florida, registered in Okaloosa County, Florida.
I also ordered the microfilm for Okaloosa registrations so I could browse through and pick out other names that I was interested in.  This is a gem of a resource and reading the description of the registrant's appearance is almost as good as having a photo!

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