1918: Joseph Zesut Registers For The Draft

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 Joseph’s WW1 draft card. Click on the image to view enlargement.

Joseph Zesut WW1 Draft Card 1918

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.

Joseph Zesut’s WW1 Draft Card

  • 1. Name In Full? Joseph Paul Zesut
  • 2. Permanent Home Address? Box 2 Glastonbury, Htfd Conn
  • 3. AgeIn Years? 18
  • 4. Date Of Birth? March 18, 1900
  • 5. Race? White
  • 14. Alien?Non Declarate
  • 15. If not a citizen, of which country are you a citizen or subject? Austria, (Galicia)
  • 16. Present Occupation? Fireman
  • 17. Employers Name? N.Y.N.H.+H.R.R. Co
  • 19. Nearest Relative? Mrs. Annie Zesut (Mother)
  • 20. Nearest Relative Address? Box 2 Glastonbury Htfd Conn

The reverse side contains the following information:

  • 22. Height? Medium
  • 25. Build? Medium
  • 27. Color Of Eyes? Blue
  • 28. Color Of Hair? Brown

The form indicates he has no reasons for exemption from the draft.
The card is signed by the survey taker Stancliff Hill.

Nothing new here genealogically but I wanted to post everything I had about Joseph since the next post regarding him is fairly important.

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5 Responses to “1918: Joseph Zesut Registers For The Draft”

  1. Toni (Thibeault) Barrett Says:

    Hi Elliot,
    I am very surprised to see that Joseph had Blue eyes, where everyone else in the family so far has brown eyes. Of course there may have been more family members with blue eyes as well. My mother and all her sisters had brown eyes. Anthony and Victoria also had brown eyes. I think the fairest sister was Mary. She stayed blonde the longest and she may have had blue eyes, I am not possitive on that now that I think of it. Very interesting. Also I wonder what medium height and weight meant at the time.
    Aunt Toni

  2. wrannej Says:

    I went back and checked the passenger list for Anna and the kids and it says that Anna and Joseph had grey eyes and Michael had blue eyes. The other kids all had brown eyes. I’ll have to see about what height and weight ranges were common for the “medium” designation – I’m sure there’s a key somewhere.

  3. Carol Thibeault Says:

    Elliot –Is that Joseph’s signature at the bottom of the card? Nice handwriting.

  4. wrannej Says:

    From http://www.slcl.org/branches/hq/sc/banks/reg-loc.htm

    “Staff were asked to classify individual men as to height and weight. The three categories provided were rather vague, and occasionally staff wrote in actual weight and height instead. In some cases, the eye color entered on the card was not technically correct. For example, no person really has black-colored eyes, but thousands of men were listed as having black-colored eyes. In a few cases, the eye and hair colors were reversed, and such odd combinations as red eyes and blue hair were listed. Apparently these physical descriptions were intended to be used as a method of being able to correctly identify the registrant again if the need should arise. The military took more accurate measurements of height and weight during the induction process.”

  5. wrannej Says:

    That signature on the bottom of the card is Joseph’s….unless the registrar filled it in for him!

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