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World War 1 Draft Registration Cards

All men between the ages of 18 and 45 were required to register regardless of citizenship status or other factors. The Selective Service Act of 1917 passed by Congress on 18 May 1917 authorized the United States President to increase the armed forces through conscription. The Act directed the Provost Marshal General Office to select eligible men for military service. More than 24 million Americans (nearly 98 percent of the male population under the age of 46) registered for the draft during 1917 and 1918. The GG Archives has curated examples of the World War 1 Draft Registration Cards shown below.

Questions on the World War I Draft Registration Card with "12 Questions"

Front Side

Front Side, World War 1 Draft Registration Card, Christian Gjenvik of Garfield, Minnesota dated 5 June 1917.

Front Side, World War 1 Draft Registration Card, Christian Gjenvik of Garfield, Minnesota dated 5 June 1917. Gjenvick-Gjønvik Family Archives. GGA Image ID # 18d94ee363

  1. Name in full - given name, family name. Christian Gjenvik
    Age in years [This information is asked but it is not a numbered question] 25
  2. Home address - #, street, city, state Route 4 Madision MInn
  3. Date of birth - month, day, year January 11th 1892
  4. Are you (1) a natural-born citizen, (2) a naturalized citizen, (3) an alien, (4) or have you declared your intention (specify which) Declarant
  5. Where were you born? town, state, nation Trondhjem, Norway
  6. If not a citizen, of what country are you a citizen or subject? Norway
  7. What is your present trade, occupation, or office? Farm Labour [sic]
  8. By whom employed? A. F. Flauck Where employed? Garfield, Lac Qui Parl, Minn
  9. Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister or brother under 12, solely dependent on you for support (specify which)? No
  10. Married or single (which)? Single Race (specify which)? Caucasion
  11. What military service have you had? None Rank - branch - years - nation or state
  12. Do you claim exemption from draft (specify grounds)? No

I affirm that I have verified above answers and that they are true.

signature  or mark of registrant /s/ Christian Gjønvik

[The following is printed across the lower left-hand triangular corner or the card:]
If person is of African descent, cut off this corner.

The Number in the Upper Left-Hand Corner of the Draft Registration Card (548) is known as the "Red Ink" Serial Number. The draft was a lottery in which numbers written on pieces of paper (in red ink) were pulled from a bowl by the U.S. Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker. Every number represented one registrant from each local board who would be called in for examination and if accepted, would be inducted into service. The Order No. (5) was the order of registration, in this case, the fifth person to register. On the bottom left, the 21 CA marking indicated a white male, age 21, who was an alien at the time of registration.

Reverse Side

Back Side, World War 1 Draft Registration Card, Christian Gjenvik of Garfield, Minnesota dated 5 June 1917.

Back Side, World War 1 Draft Registration Card, Christian Gjenvik of Garfield, Minnesota dated 5 June 1917. Gjenvick-Gjønvik Family Archives. GGA Image ID # 18d953a6f4

12 Questions - Side 2, Additional Information

  • Tall, medium or short (specify which)? Short Slender, medium or stout (which)? Slender
  • Color of eyes, Light Blue color of hair Light Bald? No
  • Has person lost arm, leg, hand, foot, or both eyes, or is he otherwise disabled (specify)? No

Signature  of Registrar

Precinct, Garfield

city or county, Lac Qui Parl

State Minn

Date of registration June 5, 1917

On the back of the card it has stamped 22.1.11.A. These numbers and letters are codes for the following

  1. The first number (22) represents the state, in this case, Minnesota
  2. The second number (1) represents the District Board Number
  3. The third number (11) represents the local board number
  4. The Trailing Letter (either A, B, or C) correspondes with the First, Second, or Third draft registration.

World War I Draft Registration Cards Repository

WWI Draft Registration Cards at 
National Archives and Records Administration, Southeast Region

The original cards, in excess of 24 million, were received at our facility a number of years ago. Upon their receipt, they were boxed and arranged by NARA employees. The original arrangement was by state, there under by county or draft board, and there under alphabetically by the registrant's last name. The cause for arrangement by draft board instead of county is due to the size of certain cities. For example, New York City had in excess of 180 boards, Chicago had over 80. As a result, we require a street address when searching for cards in most large cities.

The cards were later microfilmed by representatives of the Genealogical Society of Utah in the exact order they were originally arranged; each NARA regional facility has a copy of the microfilm for the states in the region that it serves. Any patron wishing to use microfilm will find the cards arranged exactly as they are in the box. The arrangement of the cards has never been changed.

Draft Registration Card - World War I - Secor

Copy of World War I Draft Registration Card for Ralph Daniel Secor of Momitawville NY. The card information has been transcribed with responses by registrant.

Front Side

Front Side, World War 1 Draft Registration Card, Ralph Daniel Secor of Momitawville, NY dated 5 June 1917.

Front Side, World War 1 Draft Registration Card, Ralph Daniel Secor of Momitawville, NY dated 5 June 1917. GGA Image ID # 18d963c0c0

  1. Name in full - given name, family name. Ralph Daniel Secor
    Age in years [This information is asked but it is not a numbered question] 26
  2. Home address - #, street, city, state Momitawville NY
  3. Date of birth - month, day, year Feb 13 1890
  4. Are you (1) a natural-born citizen, (2) a naturalized citizen, (3) an alien, (4) or have you declared your intention (specify which) Natural Born
  5. Where were you born? town, state, nation Momitawville NY USA
  6. If not a citizen, of what country are you a citizen or subject?
  7. What is your present trade, occupation, or office? Farmer
  8. By whom employed? D. O. Secor Where employed? Momitawville NY
  9. Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister or brother under 12, solely dependent on you for support (specify which)? No
  10. Married or single (which)? Single Race (specify which)? Caucasian
  11. What military service have you had? None Rank - branch - years - nation or state
  12. Do you claim exemption from draft (specify grounds)? No

signature  or mark of registrant /s/ R. D. Secor

[The following is printed across the lower left-hand triangular corner or the card:]
If person is of African descent, cut off this corner.

Reverse Side

Back Side, World War 1 Draft Registration Card, Ralph Daniel Secor of Momitawville, NY dated 5 June 1917.

Back Side, World War 1 Draft Registration Card, Ralph Daniel Secor of Momitawville, NY dated 5 June 1917. GGA Image ID # 18d9bb6803

12 Questions - Side 2, Additional Information

  • Tall, medium or short (specify which)? Short Slender, medium or stout (which)? Medium
  • Color of eyes, Light Brown color of hair Black bald? Slightly
  • Has person lost arm, leg, hand, foot, or both eyes, or is he otherwise disabled (specify)? No

I certify that my answers are true, that the person registered has read his own answers, that I have witnessed his signature, and that all of his answers of which I have knowledge are true, except as follows:

Age 1 yr younger than shown by date of birth as given

Signature  of Registrar
Precinct, 3 city or county, Orange state NY
Date of registration June 5, 1917

World War I Draft Registration Cards

WWI Draft Registration Cards at 
National Archives and Records Administration, Southeast Region

The original cards, in excess of 24 million, were received at our facility a number of years ago. Upon their receipt, they were boxed and arranged by NARA employees. The original arrangement was by state, there under by county or draft board, and there under alphabetically by the registrant's last name. The cause for arrangement by draft board instead of county is due to the size of certain cities. For example, New York City had in excess of 180 boards, Chicago had over 80. As a result, we require a street address when searching for cards in most large cities.

The cards were later microfilmed by representatives of the Genealogical Society of Utah in the exact order they were originally arranged; each NARA regional facility has a copy of the microfilm for the states in the region that it serves. Any patron wishing to use microfilm will find the cards arranged exactly as they are in the box. The arrangement of the cards has never been changed.

Registration Card - World War I - Second Version 1918

WWI Registration Card

LeRoy Amos Newville, Faribault, Minnesota

Front Side

Front Side, World War 1 Draft Registration Card, LeRoy Amos Newville of Winnebago, Minnesota dated 12 September 1918.

Front Side, World War 1 Draft Registration Card, LeRoy Amos Newville of Winnebago, Minnesota dated 12 September 1918. This was for the Third Draft Registration held on 12 September 1918 for men age 18 through 45. GGA Image ID # 18d9df00b9

  1. First Name - Middle Name - Last Name . LeRoy Amos Newville
  2. Home address - #, street, city, country state Winnebago, Faribault, Minnesota
  3. Age in years 36
  4. Date of birth - month, day, year March 5 1882
    RACE
  5. White
  6. Negro
  7. Orienta
  8. Indian Citizen
  9. Indian Noncitizen
  10. US Citizen Native Born
  11. Naturalized
  12. Citizen by Father's Naturalization Before Registrant's Majority
  13. Alien Declarant
  14. Alien Non-declarant
  15. If not a citizen of the U.S. of what nation are you a citizen or subject?
  16. PRESENT OCCUPATION Section Foreman
  17. EMPLOYER's NAME C.M. &St. P. Ry. Co.
  18. PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT OR BUSINESS Winnebago, Fairbault, Minnesota
    NEAREST RELATIVE
  19. Name Beulah M. Newville
  20. Address Winnebago, Minn.

I AFFIRM THAT I HAVE VERIFIED THE ABOVE ANSWERS AND THAT THEY ARE TRUE

signature  or mark of registrant /s/ LeRoy Amos Newville

P.M.G.O. Form No. 1. (Red) C3-6171 (OVER)

Reverse Side

Back Side, World War 1 Draft Registration Card, LeRoy Amos Newville of Winnebago, Minnesota dated 12 September 1918.

Back Side, World War 1 Draft Registration Card, LeRoy Amos Newville of Winnebago, Minnesota dated 12 September 1918. This was for the Third Draft Registration held on 12 September 1918 for men age 18 through 45. GGA Image ID # 18d9f9e616

Reverse Side: DESCRIPTION OF REGISTRANT

HEIGHT

  1. Tall
  2. Medium
  3. Short

BUILD

  1. Slender
  2. Medium
  3. Stout
  4. COLOR OF EYES Blue
  5. COLOR OF HAIR Red
  6. Has person lost arm, leg, hand, eye, or is he obviously physically disqualifed? Slightly Bald
  7. I certify that my answers are true; that the person registered has read or has d read to him his own answers; that I have witnessed his signature or mask, and that all of his answers of which I have knowledge are true, except as follows: Blank

Signature  of Registrar

Date of registration Sept. 12, 1918

Stamped

Local Board for the County of Faribault, State of Minnesota, Blue Earth, Minnesota

(The stamp of the Local Board having jurisdiction of the area in which the registrant has his permanent home shall be placed in this boz.) c3-6171 (OVER)

World War I Draft Registration Cards

WWI Draft Registration Cards at National Archives and Records Administration, Southeast Region

The original cards, in excess of 24 million, were received at our facility a number of years ago. Upon their receipt, they were boxed and arranged by NARA employees. The original arrangement was by state, there under by county or draft board, and there under alphabetically by the registrant's last name. The cause for arrangement by draft board instead of county is due to the size of certain cities. For example, New York City had in excess of 180 boards, Chicago had over 80. As a result, we require a street address when searching for cards in most large cities.

The cards were later microfilmed by representatives of the Genealogical Society of Utah in the exact order they were originally arranged; each NARA regional facility has a copy of the microfilm for the states in the region that it serves. Any patron wishing to use microfilm will find the cards arranged exactly as they are in the box. The arrangement of the cards has never been changed.

M1509, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918

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