The Dallas Journal, Volume 51, 2005 Page: 8
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World War I Draft Registrations
Marge Stockton and Ann Melugin Williams
The first draft registration for World War I was
held June 5, 1917, calling men between the ages
of 21 and 30. A second registration was held on
June 5, 1918, and then a supplemental draft, on
August 24, 1918, for men who had become 21
since the last draft. The third registration on
September 12, 1918, provided for those men
between 18 and 45.
The genealogy section of the J. Erik Jonsson
Central Library in Dallas has the microfilm of
draft registration cards for Texas. There are nine
rolls for Dallas County. The registrations are
arranged by the four registration districts in the
city and a separate listing for the rest of the
county. Because World War I had three
different registration forms - for the three
different draft calls in 1917 and 1918 - the
information varies greatly depending upon the
date. If a category is blank, then the information
was not on that form.
In a county like Dallas, where there had been a
great migratory influx at the turn of the century,
some of these registration forms can be most
valuable. On one form, the birthplace of the
father is given. The reader may note in these
extractions the large number of countries and
states represented as birthplace.
Some draft cards on the microfilm are not in
strict alphabetical order. The editors have left
these extracts in the order in which they appear
on the microfilm so that readers can easily
check the microfilm for more information.
Usually those out of order are within five or ten
names of where they should be, but see
O'Dwyer alphabetized as Dwyer. This sort of
order occurs rarely, but as always, the
researcher should look for all spelling
variations. The names are strictly alphabetized
in the journal index. Many cards include middle
Date of Birth
Most of the cards include birthdate, a useful
piece of data because most men in this record
were born before mandatory birth registration
Marital status is listed only if it was stated
specifically on the registration form, so there
may be an "unknown" marital status with a wife
listed as nearest relative. The question was
"Married or single?" Sometimes the answer was
"yes" or "no."
White is used for white or Caucasian. Black
includes Negro, colored, black, and African.
Other races are listed as stated.
Some forms called for the name and address of
the nearest relative. Others asked the question,
"Have you a father, mother, wife, child under
12, or a sister or brother under 12, wholly
dependent on you for support (specify which)?"
The answer to this question gave only
relationships, "No," or "None."
If women relatives have a surname as a middle
name, it is assumed that the middle name is a
maiden name, and the women are indexed under
both surname and middle name. In the index,
the editors tried to err on the side of helpfulness
to the reader.
Some of these records are very dark and hard to
read on the microfilm, and there are the usual
8 Dallas Journal 2005
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 51, 2005, periodical, October 2005; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186864/m1/12/: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.