Jan 24

Military Monday: World War I Draft Cards

World War I draft registration cards are a valuable resource and many have used the microfilm copies that are on Ancestry.com. But have you held the “real thing” in your hand, the one your ancestor actually held in his hand (that is if he could write) when he signed his name? Have you seen the “real thing” or a color copy of the same to get the full flavor of the registration card? Somehow the black and white images from microfilm cannot render the same affect. Did you know that the cards for the first draft (5 June 1917) were printed with black ink, cards for the second (5 June 1918) were printed with blue ink, and that cards for the third (12 September 1918) were printed with red ink? Did you know that the cards frequently have numbers written with a red pencil or a blue pencil? The images herein (although only the front side of the card — important data is also recorded on the reverse side) may give you a completely different outlook on the record.

All of the original existing World War I draft registration cards for the entire nation are located at the National Archives at Atlanta.

(c) 2010 Linda Woodward Geiger, All Rights Reserved.