Charles City World War I Draft Registrations

Thadeus Banks and F. Blane Harry

Thadeus Banks; Right: F. Blane Harry

About 200 men from Charles City County served in WWI. Most of the men were drafted under three conscription acts, the first of which was passed in 1917 only one month after the United States entered the conflict. At first, the duty to register fell on all men residing in the U.S. whether natural born, naturalized or alien who were 21 to 31. Two more conscription acts eventually extended the duty to register to all men ages 18 to 45. Across the country 24 million men registered, but only 2 million were drafted to serve.


The 966 draft registration cards for men from Charles City provide important genealogical information that might not otherwise be available. Most importantly the cards provide birthdates for many men born during a time when Virginia did not require births to be recorded. The cards also provide information about place of birth, race, occupation, employer, and nearest relative. Not every registration contains the same categories of information because different information was collected under the three separate conscription acts. The original Draft Registration Cards are located at the National Archives and Records Administration.


Total records: 966
Last updated: 9/27/2010