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Age for WWI Draft Registration
MYRT'S HANDS-ON RESEARCH EXPERIENCE:
Ol' Myrt here learned a lot about the 24 million World War I Draft Registration Cards before viewing some of them in person at the Southeast Region Archives, then located in East Point, Georgia. I simply couldn't believe that the cards for all states were housed there, since the usual definition of a regional archives branch includes housing records peculiar that that region.
To locate a card on a specific individual, I had to complete a form indicating the state AND the county where the person had registered. This made my search a little bit tricky, since I never knew where my maternal grandfather Lowell Froman lived until later in his life. Then the cards were filed alphabetically. In each of the seven boxes I searched, there were problems with the alphabetical filing, probably due to human error.
While in that cramped old reading room, there were four of us going through the boxes of cards we'd requested from the back stack. One dear woman was upset because she couldn't find her relative who served in the war. Another researcher pointed out that IF that individual had volunteered or was already in the service at the time of the draft registration, he would not have registered for the draft.
WHERE TO LOOK AT THE CARDS:
ORIGINAL RECORDS: From the NARA website describes the move from East Point to 5780 Jonesboro Road, Morrow, Georgia 30260, 770-968-2100: "Effective April 1, 2005, all genealogical and microfilm research will be conducted at the Morrow facility. Textual holdings will be transferred from the East Point facility from mid-February to mid-June 2005; the most current schedule for holdings transfers can be accessed at http://www.archives.gov/facilities/ga/atlanta/transfer_schedule.html." Viewed 12 June 2005. It would appear that these files were the first to be moved.
MICROFILM: NARA microfilm publication M1509, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards. The roll numbers consist of the state's postal abbreviation (such as AK for Alaska) followed by a number. See the listing of film numbers at: http://www.archives.gov/research_room/genealogy/military/wwi_draft_registration_cards.html In addition to each state in existence at the time, there is a series titled "Indians, Prisoners, Insane, In Hospital, Late Registrants." Here are the ones I would search for my maternal grandfather who was probably living in Chelan County, Washington at the time.
If I needed to look at microfilm for Pierce County, Washington, that would be a little more challenging since it appears there may be duplication on 2 microfilm:
SCANNED IMAGES ONLINE: http://content.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=List&dbid=6482 Viewed on a membership basis, or through AncestryPlus if your local Family History Center provides free access. Do not be led into thinking an ancestor who doesn't show up in the database didn't register for the draft in 1917-1918, since this project isn't complete. The advantage is that one may search WITHOUT knowing the state and county where the gentleman may have registered. For detailed information on how to search the WWI Draft Registration Cards database at Ancestry.com, see this article:
Searching the World War I Draft Cards [at Ancestry]
by Michael John Neill.
Happy family tree climbing!