The Proper time to add the World War I category to a profile

+9 votes
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Please don't add the category [[Category:World War I]] or [[Category:United States Army, World War I]] to a profile if all you have to support it is a WWI draft registration document. All of the men filed these, but they did not all serve. National Archives says, 

It is important to note that not all of the men who registered for the draft actually served in the military and not all men who served in the military registered for the draft. Moreover these are not military service records. They end when an individual reports to the army training camp. They contain no information about an individual's military service."

You should post other supporting documents: photos, records, news articles, etc. in addition to this draft registration, in order to include someone in the category. You can use the draft registration for other means, such as corroborating a birth date, place, or names of relatives, description, etc, and it is certainly a useful doument. It just doesn't prove that that particular man served in the war.


National Archives has some helpful information :https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1998/fall/military-service-in-world-war-one.html

in The Tree House by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (828k points)
edited by Natalie Trott
This also applies to the WWII "old man" draft cards of 1942. They all filled them out, but most of those men didn't serve in the war.
You're so right.

But be sure to look at Find A Grave memorial pictures for military foot stones and headstones......   This DOES mean they served  (99.99% of the time;  mistakes always happen!).   Since these monuments or medallions are furnished for free, beginning  1917  (even if there's a privately purchased headstone),  it's common for families to apply to the VA for a marker.    Before 1917,  if the soldier's grave is unmarked the VA will still supply the military marker.... there's always  "small print".
Yes, those are good proof. I think ancestry has some records for applications for headstones, so some folks have access to these records.
Agreed Peggy but due to my general dislike of FAG I would always advocate the War Graves Commission for the best information on those that gave their lives. Unfortunately it is much harder to track the ones that survived! I can't wait for the 1921 census.... I have several relatives who may or may not have survived the war.....
More difficult to find USA information that Commonwealth. The War Graves Commission has done a great job of documenting the fallen. I have to second Stuart's Canadian link. The Library and Archives Canada has made the personnel records available for all. In the USA, a great number of the personnel records were destroyed in a fire at the Saint Louis branch of the National Archives.
Great information! What brought this on is that I was creating a new WWII category, then ended up at the United States Military History category and in the World War I category. I found a bunch of men categorized in these high level categories with no actual proof that they ever served. (Not even a veteran's grave marker.) I know this doesn't mean they DIDN'T serve, but it doesn't show that they did either. So why put them in these categories? (Especially US Military History https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:United_States_Military_History). Seems like indiv. profiles should not be placed in that category, no?)

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