2 Replies Latest reply on May 1, 2019 7:12 PM by Melissa Himes

    World War 1 Draft Registrations

    Melissa Himes Adventurer

      Why were three different forms used for the Draft Registrations of World War 1?  On the first registration, did they intend for Natural Born in Question 4 to mean someone born outside the United Citizens who was entitled to US Citizenship?  Why didn't they use Natural Born on the third registration under the U S Citizenship question.  Why did they want to know the registrant's Father's Birthplace in the Second Registration beginning July 15, 1918? 

        • Re: World War 1 Draft Registrations
          Rebecca Collier Ranger

          Dear Ms. Himes,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled Final Report of Provost Marshal General on the Operations of the Selective Service System, and Selective Service Regulations, 1917 - 1919 in the Records of the Selective Service System (World War I), 1917 - 1939 (Record Group 163) that is in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL).   This series consists of two books related to the WWI-era Selective Service System. The first is the “Final Report of Provost Marshal General to the Secretary of War on the Operations of the Selective Service System to July 15, 1919,” a 288-page book that was published by the Government Printing Office in 1920. It is the final report of Provost Marshal General E.H. Crowder to the Secretary of War. It includes tables that break down classifications by age and state, as well as charts detailing deferments, aliens, physically disqualified registrants, desertions, and budget distribution. Appendices list officers who worked for the Provost Marshal General's Office and states' headquarters, civilians who worked for the Provost Marshal General's Office, and a statement on the evasion of the draft in North Carolina. It is also available in digital form by the HathiTrust Digital Library.

           

          The second is the “Selective Service Regulations Prescribed by the President Under the Authority Vested in Him by the Terms of the Selective Service Law [Act of Congress Approved May 18, 1917, With Supplementary and Amendatory Acts and Resolutions]”, a 254-page book that was published by the Government Printing Office in 1918. It includes general rules and regulations, then goes into detail about various roles, classification, selection, special cases, mobilization, physical examinations, disbursement, forms, and statutes. It also includes a forward by President Woodrow Wilson. The book includes an index and also is available in digital form by the HathiTrust Digital Library.

           

          In addition, we located the “Second Report of the Provost Marshal General to the Secretary of War on the Operations of the Selective Service System to December 20, 1918.” In Chapter IV: Classification Principles and Results of this 607-page report has a section about Alienage beginning on p. 86 that may discuss the reasons why the citizenship questions changed. This report is available in digital form by the HathiTrust Digital Library.

          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: World War 1 Draft Registrations
              Melissa Himes Adventurer

              Thank you so much, Ms. Collier! I can't wait to start reading through the books.  We are so lucky to have the internet, digital books, and people like you who can direct us to the proper resources.  My question comes from a group of volunteers for FamilySearch.  There are at least 10 WW1 draft registration projects that we are currently indexing to provide more searchable records on their website.  Indexing the records is a very rewarding hobby and usually leads us to questions like these.  Your help is greatly appreciated.