Wednesday, November 9, 2011

World War 1 Draft Registration Cards

In May 18, 1917 the Selective Service Act was passed which authorized the President, Woodrow Wilson, to increase temporarily the military establishment of the United States.  This is called "the draft", conscription or compulsory military service.

The World War 1 Draft Cards are available for researchers via  As Veteran's Day approaches I wanted to share a sample draft card with you.

Charles H. Slowey 
Draft Card

The reason I picked this card is that Charles H. Slowey was a State Representative at the time and he was drafted and served overseas.  He didn't get any favoritism because of his status, although he did list his occupation as a grounds for exemption.  He is also related to my husband's family.

Charles H. Slowey was born October 27, 1886, in Lowell the son of Charles H and Elizabeth (Bohannon) Slowey.  He served five terms in the state legislature as a member of the House of Representatives.  He was elected Mayor of the City of Lowell for the 1932-33 term.  He also owned the C.H. Slowey Insurance Company.  He was appointed postmaster of Lowell by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on September 15, 1935 and served for 21 years until his retirement on September 31, 1956.

He was married to Mary C. (Nelson) Slowey.  He died on January 10, 1964 in Lowell and is buried at St. Patrick's Cemetery.  

You can get free access to ancestry at most local libraries.  I have found both my grandfather's registration cards and it's really cool to see your grandfather's signature.  Especially when I never got to meet one of them.

Page 1
1.  Name in Full:  Charles H. Slowey  Age: 30
2.  Home Address: 10 Webster Ave Lowell, MA
3.  Date of birth:  October 27, 1886
4. Citizenship: Naturalized Citizen
5.  Where were you born?  Lowell, MA  U.S.
6.  If not a citizen, of what nation are you a citizen of subject:
7.  What is your present trace, occupation, or office:  State Representative
8.  By whom and where employed?  Mass  State House Boston
9.  Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister of brother under 12, solely dependent on you for support (specify which)?  No
10.  Married or single?    Single               Race?  Caucas
11.  What military service have you had?  Rank  none 
12.  Do you claim exemption from draft (specify grounds)?  my occupation
Page 2 - Registrar's Report
1.   Tall, medium or short?   med         Slender, medium, or stout (which)?  med
2.  Color of eyes     gray     Color of hair       lt brown               Bald    no
3.  Has person lost arm, leg, hand, foot, eye, or both eyes or is he otherwise disabled (specify)?  no


  1. Nice, I'm glad to see a new a post from you, it's been a while. Keep up the good work!

  2. That is interesting.  I am thinking the law may have changed.  A former roommate of mine while at Davis-Monthan AFB subsequently ended up at Hahn AB, in Germany, where he [temporarily] lost his commission because VPI (or maybe it was VMI) had appointed him to the Board of Visitors (He was one of the first Back graduates, back in about 1964).  The Board of Visitrs is an official State office and this violated some law.  The fact is the Air Force needed Back Seat pilots (To sit Victor Alert) more than Virginia needed members for it's Board, so this chap quickly got his commission back, but it had been an automatic forfeiture.

    Regards  —  Cliff