About WWI Draft Cards
Taken from an article written by Juliana Smith, the editor of the Ancestry Daily News and author of The Ancestry Family Historian’s Address Book.
There were three draft registrations for WWI:
The first registration. (05 June 1917) was for unenlisted men born between 6 June 1886 and 5 June 1896 and used a card calling for name, age, address, date and place of birth, citizenship status, employer’s name and address, dependent information, marital status, race, military service, and physical appearance.
The second registration (05 June 1918 and a supplemental registration on 24 August 1918) was for unregistered/unenlisted men born 6 June 1896 and 24 August 1897 and used a card calling for name, age, address, date and place of birth, father’s birthplace, citizenship status, occupation, employer’s name and address, dependent information, name and address of nearest relative, and physical appearance.
The third registration (12 September 1918) was for all unregistered/unenlisted men born between 11 September 1872 and 12 September 1900 and used a card calling for name, address, age, date of birth, race, citizenship status, occupation, employer's name and address, name and address of nearest relative, and physical appearance.
Overall, these records include males living in the U.S. who were born between 11 September 1872 and 12 September 1900 who were not already enlisted in the military—approximately 24 million men. Citizenship was not a factor in the registration requirements, so you may find recent immigrants in the collection, despite the fact that they hadn’t been naturalized.
A couple of important points:
Registration did not necessarily mean that your ancestor was called for service.
Registration did not include those already in the service.