United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: United States, World War One Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 .

Record Description

The collection consists of a name index and images of draft registraions cards for World War I. Three registrations were conducted between 1917 and 1918 The first was held on June 5,1917 for men between the ages of 21 and 31. The second, June 5,1918 for men 21 since the first registration and a third on September 12,1918 for men between 18 and 45. The registration includes cards for 24,000,000 men. The cards are arranged by state, by city or county,by local draft board, then alphabetical by surname.The draft registartion cards are apart of Record Group 163 Records of the Selective Service System (World War I),1917-1939 and is NARA microfilm publication M1509.

Record Content

World War I had 3 differenct draft registrations. Each registration was slightly different. The detail are itemized with the images shown above. However, they generally included the following genealogical information:

  • Name
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Draft registration date
  • Sometimes the father’s birthplace
  • Name of the nearest relative was included in the second and third registrations
  • Age in years
  • Sex is implied, since all registrants were males
  • First registration indicates if married and if there were any dependents
  • Address

How to Use the Record

Draft registration records were created to determine eligibility for military service. Use these records to learn the date and place of birth. The information could also be used to search for a birth record and for information on parents and siblings. This is the best source of birth information for men born in states where birth registration began late. Also, use the names of spouse, dependents, and residence to look for additional records about the registrant and his family.

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Contributions to This Article

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Citation for This Collection

"United States, World War One Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918." FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org). Record Group 163 NARA M1509. National Archives and Records Center, Washington D.C. FHL microfilm, 1374 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

The suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections is found in the following article: Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record Found in This Collection

  • “Delaware Marriage Records,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 4 March 2011), entry for William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, married 23 November 1913; citing marriage certificate no. 859; FHL microfilm 2,025,063; Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.
  • “El Salvador Civil Registration,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 21 March 2011), entry for Jose Maria Antonio del Carmen, born 9 April 1880; citing La Libertad, San Juan Opico, Nacimientos 1879-1893, image 50; Ministerio Archivo Civil de la Alcaldia Municipal de San Salvador.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.