Monday, January 14, 2013

Men in the US born 1872-1900 - WWI Draft Cards

All men living in the US in 1917 and 1918 (aliens as well as citizens) who were born between September 1872 and September 1900 were required by law to register for the draft unless they were already serving in the military. If you ancestor was born in that timeframe, check for a draft registration card. The cards include details like current residence, date and place of birth, name and address of nearest relative, and more.

Alabama, Washington county; Roll: U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

Until recently, the only way to find a draft registration card was to look at every card filed (either on microfilm or at the National Archives at Atlanta) by the Draft Board in the county and state where your ancestor lived. Thanks to digitization and indexing efforts, you can now quickly search by a person's name.

Draft registration collections are available on several genealogy web sites including and More than 24 million men registered, so you are likely to find a relation among them.

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