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World War I Draft Registration
History
 

On 18 May 1917 the Selective Service Act was passed, six weeks after the United States officially entered World War I (on 6 April 1917), which authorized the president to increase the military establishment of the United States. As a result, every male living within the United States between the ages of eighteen and forty-five was required to register for the draft.

Young men were required to register for the draft regardless of their U.S. citizenship status. Not all the men who registered as a part of the civilian registration served in the armed forces, and there were some who served in the war but did not register for the draft.

 
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Registration
 
The World War I draft consisted of three separate registrations.

First Registration. The registration on 5 June 1917, was for men aged twenty-one to thirty-one—men born between 6 June 1886 and 5 June 1896. The cards from this first registration contain the following information: name, age, address, date and place of birth, citizenship status, employer’s name and address, dependent information, marital status, race, military service, and physical appearance.


Second Registration. The registration on 5 June 1918, was for men who had turned twenty-one years of age since the previous registration—men born between 6 June 1896 and 5 June 1897. Men who had not previously registered and were not already in the military also registered. In addition, a supplemental registration on 24 August 1918, was for men who turned twenty-one years of age since 5 June 1918. The cards for this registration contain the following information: name, age, address, date and place of birth, father’s birthplace, citizenship status, occupation, employer’s name and address, dependent information, name and address of nearest relative, and physical appearance.


Third Registration. The registration on 12 Sept 1918, was for men aged eighteen to twenty-one and thirty-one to forty-five—men born between 11 Sept 1872 and 12 Sept 1900. The cards from this registration contain the following information: name, address, age, date of birth, race, citizenship status, occupation, employer's name and address, name and address of nearest relative, and physical appearance.

The complete registration included men between the ages of 18 and 45—males born between 1873 and 1900—who were not already in the military.

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NOTE: These records have been transcribed from several different sources, either by us or by other researchers and provided as a starting point to assist you in your research; we've verified as many as we could, but be aware that there may be errors (either mis-spellings on the original records, almost illegible writing on the records, and/or typing errors on my part), so make sure to double check them prior to assuming they're "the gospel truth". We will never deliberately include erroneous information in any part of this site.

These records have not been copied by either of this site's coordinators from other sites, as has been implied by some. Sources have included records from the E.E. Barton research files, military records, newspapers, microfilm and/or compiled lists that were provided by family members and other researchers. If you have records that you'd like to see added to this site, please contact either Sherri or Suzanne and we'll be glad to add them to this collection.

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