In 1917 the United States declared war on Germany. Due to only moderate amounts of citizens enlisting in the military at the time, the draft was initiated in an effort to gather more troops.
On three days in 1917 and 1918, 24 million men born between 1872 and 1900 provided information for draft registration cards. More than 80% of these men were awarded exemptions or referrals and were not asked to serve.
At the time of the draft the only two Zesut’s eligible were my great-grandfather Anthony and his younger brother Joseph.
Following is a microfilm scan of Anthony’s WW1 draft card. Click on the image to view enlargement.
Source: Ancestry.com. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Registration Location: Hartford County, Connecticut; Roll: 1562000; Draft Board: 1.
Anthony Zesut’s WW1 Draft Card
- 1. Name In Full? Anton Ignas Zesut
- 2. Home Address? Glastonbury, Conn
- 3. Date Of Birth? May 12, 1895
- 4. Are you a (3) Alien? An Alien
- 5. Where were you born? Tarnobrzck, Austria
- 6. If not a citizen, of which country are you a citizen or subject? Austria
- 7. What is your present trade, occupation or office? Polisher 13
- 8. By whom employed? Colts Firearm Co.
- 9. Dependant? Wife
- 10. Married Or Single (which)? Married Race (specify which)? Caucasian
- 11. What Military Service have You Had? No
- 12. Do you claim exemption from draft? No
The reverse side contains the following information:
- 1. Tall, medium or short. Specify which. Medium
- 2. Color of eyes? Brown Color of hair? Dark Brown Bald? No
- 3. Has person lost arm, leg, hand, foot or both eyes or is he otherwise disabled (specify)? No
The form is signed by the survey taker W.G. Philips in the Glastonbury precinct in the city of Hartford in the state of CT on June 5, 1917.
There’s a nice amount of genealogical material on this small card. I learned for the first time that Anthony’s middle name was Ignas and that his date of birth was May 12, 1895. We also get confirmation that he was now employed by Colt Firearms in Hartford, CT. We see he is referring to himself as “Anton”. Tarnobrzeg, Austria (misspelled on this form) again appears as his place of birth. To top it the document is actually signed by him – a first in this paper trail.
The National Archives now sells color scans of the original draft cards. I intend on ordering a color scan at some time in the future. When it arrives I’ll update this article with the new improved image.
Anthony’s name appeared as “Antone Ignats Zesut” in the June 25, 1917 edition of The Hartford Courant indicating he had fulfilled his duty and registered. Following is the portion of the listing his name appeared in.
Source: GLASTONBURY. (1917, June 25). The Hartford Courant (1887-1922),p. 7. Retrieved January 13, 2008, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers Hartford Courant (1764 – 1922) database. (Document ID: 781104542).
As it turns out, Anthony was never called to serve.