Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Go To War! - Part One

Draft registrations for World War I and II have recently come on-line. These documents not only contain the name and birth information of the registrant, they also may list his employer, address of his home and employer, nearest kin, telephone number and physical description, and signature.

The registrations have to be searched through a subscription service such as Ancestry.com. Some libraries have this service available for free at their local branches. Be sure to call to see if it is available.

We got on the Internet and visited Ancestry.com. After signing in, there is a SEARCH dialog box. There appear four tabs above the box - Historical Records, Family Trees, Stories and Publications, Photos and Maps. Make sure that the Historical Records tab is selected. In the Name boxes we typed George Ruth and clicked on Search.

This takes us to a page with every historical record for anyone named George Ruth. There are censuses, marriages, births deaths, etc. Scroll down to military and click on World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. There are 77 of them.

We need to narrow our search. Fortunately there is a dialog box at the bottom of the list. We can select state / county / city of residence, birthplace and birth day / month / year. We are unsure where he is presently residing. We do know he was born February 1895. But there is some uncertainty if it was the 6th or 7th day. So we filled in the first and last name and the month and year and selected +/- 1 year.

The search returns 3 names Two of the three are George Herman Ruth. It appears that it is the same person but it is listed twice. Sometimes that happens. We selected the View Image button and the following image appears to the right. Click on it to enlarge.

It is not a good copy and is rather blurry. We can work at deciphering what it says or we can view a better image. Since George Ruth is a famous person, let us try a search with YAHOO for the following words "babe ruth wwi draft record". The first item returned has the title World War I Draft Cards: Babe Ruth.

The U.S. Archives sponsor this. Click on the following link: http://www.archives.gov/atlanta/wwi-draft/ruth.html

If we then click on the Larger View button everything is much clearer. George Herman Ruth is residing at 680 Commonwealth Ave., Boston Massachusetts. Date of birth: Feb. 7, 1894.Note that the year is off by one. This is not uncommon. He might have been confused or he wanted to appear older. The card further states that he was a natural born citizen in Baltimore, MD.His occupation is Baseball. His employer is Boston American League at Fenway Park. He is married and has a wife dependent on him. Her name is not listed.

His signature is at the bottom of the card. On the back of the card it lists that he is 6 foot 2 inches and of stout build. He has brown eyes and dark hair. The card is dated June 5, 1917

All males in the United States, born between the years 1872 and 1900, were required by law to register for the draft throughout 1917 and 1918. If you need to find a male ancestor born about this time and you cannot find them with census data, you may have better luck with this resource.

Next Posting: Part Two


US Archive WWI Draft Card Image

Copyright 2008 BabeRuthGenealogy

No comments: