Posted by on 9 October 2011 in 15 minutes with 15 collections, General, Record Collections

It’s day nine of our ‘15 minutes with 15 collections’ countdown! Today, we’ve made our US WW I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, completely FREE for everyone to use. They’ll stay that way until October 15th.

When the United States entered World War I in April 1917, their Armed Forces began a huge recruitment drive. Every male in the country aged between 18 and 45 – around 24 million men – had to register for a draft. The resulting registration cards provide a snapshot of a generation, revealing each potential soldier’s address, date and place of birth, country of citizenship, occupation and a physical description.

The period leading up to WWI saw huge immigration into the USA. While non-US citizens weren’t required to fight, they did have to register as part of the draft. So, if you have ancestors who sailed over from Europe, and were within the right age group, you should be able to find them in our records.

Come back tomorrow for free access to our England & Wales, Birth Index, 1916-2005.

See all our free record collections this month
* Each collection will become available to search for free from 7am BST on the relevant day.  All collections will be available to search until 12 midnight BST on 15 October 2011.  To view these records you will need to register for free with with your name and email address.