Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Anthony Parisi's WWI Draft Registration Card

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Ancestry.com has now digitized and made available the WWI draft registration cards. I was able to find several members of my family. From the Parisi family, I was able to locate the one for Anthony Parisi.

Because these uploads come out so small, and this particular card isn't that clear to begin with, I'll transcribe it below. The front of the card is on the left and back on the right.

Front of Card:

Serial Number: 85 (upper left corner)

Order Number: 1419 (upper right corner)

Name: Anthony Peter Parisi
Age: 30
Address: 635-5th Street, Portland, Oregon

Date of Birth: December 10th, 1886
Citizenship status: Citizen of the U.S.
Place of Birth: Premione, Trent, Austria
Naturalized? Naturalized; [unreadable] came to US when he was 8 years old

Present Occupation: Buyer for Wholesale House

Employer's Name: Parks Brother

Place of Employment: 231 [unreadable] St.
Nearest Relative: Father, mother, 2 brothers & 4 sisters [unreadable note]
Marital Status: Single
Race: [unreadable]
Military service: None
Do you claim exemption from draft: No

Signature affirming above answers: Anthony Peter Parisi

Back of Card:

Height: Medium (box checked)

Build: Medium (box checked)

Color of Eyes: Dark Brown
Color of Hair: Dark Brown
Bald? No

Obvious Physical Impairment: some trouble with arched instep

Signature of Registrar: Cora E. Puffer
Precinct: 91
City: Portland
State: Oregon
Date of Registration: June 5th, 1917

Besides being a document that my ancestor filled out, this registration card gives us a physical description of my grandfather at age 30, an address where he lived in Portland, and employment information. Historical background of the draft cards also helps to put all this information in context. This excerpt is from Warren Blatt's excellent web page at http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/wwidraft.htm:

On May 18, 1917, the Selective Service Act was passed, authorizing the President to temporarily increase the military establishment of the United States. The Selective Service System was responsible for the process of
selecting men for induction into the military service, from the initial registration to the actual delivery of men to military training camps.

Under the office of the Provost Marshal General, the Selective Service System was made up of 52 state offices
(one for each of the 48 states; the territories of Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico; and the District of Columbia), 155 district boards, and 4648 local boards... The average district board had jurisdiction over approximately 30 local boards, each with an average registration of 5000 men. Local boards were established for each county or similar subdivision in each state, and for each 30,000 persons (approximately) in each city or county with a population over 30,000.

During World War I there were three registrations:

The first, on June 5, 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31.

The second, on June 5, 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917. (A supplemental registration was held on August 24, 1918 for those becoming 21 years old after June 5, 1918. This was included in the second registration.)

The third registration was held on September 12, 1918 for men aged 18 through 45.

Using the historical background above, I can see that Anthony registered for the draft during the first registration period.

Shameless plug for Ancestry.com since they have provided a lot of what I'm posting: It's my favorite pay-for-access site and has proven to be worth every penny. I find a lot of stuff on there, and they are adding more all the time. My local Family History Center (another great place!) has a membership and you can access Ancestry.com for free from them. I like my membership since I can access it from anywhere I have a computer and at any time.

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