World War I
Obtaining WWI Draft Applications
Texas was one of nine states that suffered a total of 170,000 casualties during
World War I. The grand total of all casualties for all stats was 302,612.
The following is accredited to Texas
Died of wounds, 24 officers, 432 men.
Died of disease, 29 officers, 913 men
Killed in action, 59 officers, 1,105 men
Died of accident, 9 officers, 43 men.
Drowned, 8 men
Suicide, 1 officer, 10 men
Murder or homicide, 1 officer, 9 men
Other known causes, 1 officer, 15 men
Causes undetermined, 3 officers, 35 men
Presumed dead, 25 men
Total dead, 127 officers, 2,595 men
Prisoners died, 1 officer, 5 men
Repatriated, 10 officers, 65 men
Wounded slightly, 145 officers, 2,780 men
Wounded severely, 131 officers, 2,549 men
Wounded (degree undetermined), 49 officers, 1,677 men
Total casualties, 463 officers, 9,670 men.
World War I Draft Application
Prior to the US's entry into WW1 (approx. 1917-1918) every male between the
age of 18 and 40 was required to register for the draft. The information
found on the card was provided by the individual himself. The registration cards
vary in information depending on the individual draft board. But by and large the
cards include: The full name of the person (this means first, full middle name, any
additional middle names and last name); the current address of the man; his age; his
birth date (some include his place of birth); whether he is a US citizen or a naturalized
citizen (some ask if his father was a naturalized citizen and his father's race); his
race; his occupation; where he is employed (name of employer); address or location of
employment; name and address of his next of kin; some cards ask if the man is married or
single and how many people he supports. The card is signed by the draftee. On the back of
the card his physical description is noted: Height is broken down by short, medium,
tall although some cards give the actual height in feet and inches; Build by slim, medium,
stout although some cards list actual weight along with the build; color of eyes and hair;
any deformities or injuries are listed (such as one arm missing, blind in one eye, etc.);
the name and address of the draft board and the date.
When these original cards were transferred to the East Pointe NARA branch the LDS spent
about 3 years microfilming these cards. There are hundreds and hundreds of boxes and the
LDS opened one box at a time and filmed them -- in state order. However, within each state
the cards were filed by draft board, not by county or by draftee. This makes the searching
of the microfilm difficult to say the least.
The good news is that the Friends of the National Archives took each box after it was
filmed (and checked) and sorted all of these thousands and thousands of cards into --
state and then COUNTY order and then in alphabetical order by surname and put then in new
boxes. The Friends deserve all the kudos we can give them for this monstrous task.
So ... rather than spending hours and hours searching the LDS microfilm you can order
copies of the original cards from NARA. if you know the county your ancestor lived in
And BTW - Ancestry.com lists WW1 Draft cards in their searchable data bases, however I
know for a fact that there are 22 cards for the surname WHITE found in McIntosh Co, OK and
Ancestry only gave me 4 of them so don't depend on that site. I was told yesterday that
some reps from Ancestry had visited the archives a couple of weeks ago to talk about
filming the cards, took one look at the hundreds and hundreds of boxes and simply left.
For copies: Send a letter requesting copy(s) to:
1557 St. Joseph Ave
East Point, GA 30344
In your letter be sure to say you want copy(s) of the WWI Draft application Cards. Include
the name of your ancestor and his race, the state and the county. If you want copies of
ALL of the cards with a given surname, ask them the cost of the copies and send a SASE for
them to let you know the copying cost. In your letter be sure and say you want a copy of
the FRONT and BACK of the card. Be sure to send a SASE for the return of you copies.
The cost for the copy is 50 cents - 25 cents for the back and 25 cents for the front. If
you only want one copy send a buck and say the difference is to be given to the Friends of
the Archives, because after all they did all this wonderful hard work for you <VBG>
And feel free to pass this on to any of the lists you are on.
John Quigley [email protected]
Navarro County TXGenWeb
Edward L. Williams & Barbara