Friday, November 11, 2005

World War I Draft Registration

In 1917 and 1918, all males born between 1872 and 1900 were required to register for the draft. The draft registration cards are a great source of genealogical information, with registrant's home address, occupation and physical description.

Lee's father Will Kolm had to register, as did several of Lee's uncles.

Name: William Louis Kolm
Address: 490 East Pine, Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon
Birth: July 27, 1884 (age 34), native born
Occupation: freight rate revisor, United States R.R. Administration, OWR&N lines,
at cor. 6th and Oak, Wells Fargo Building, Portland
Nearest relative; Nellie Kolm (wife), same address
Description: Tall, medium build, gray eyes, light brown hair

Will's older brothers Henry, Frank and Charles were born before the draft registration cut off date. However, his brother Fred did register:

Name: Frederick William Kolm
Address: 12th & Chase, Columbus, Platte Co., Nebraska
Birth: May 28, 1882 (age 36), native born
Occupation: stonecutter, at E. C. Bergman, 12th St. , Columbus
Nearest relative: Mrs. Victoria Kolm (wife), same address
Description: tall, medium build, brown eyes, light hair

Neither Will nor Fred served during the war.

Lee's mother Nellie had three younger brothers; Bill, Jack and Sidney Bernitt.

Name: William Carl Bernitt
Address: 1459 Sacramento, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon
Birth: June 21, 1885
Occupation: Sec'ty for S. Birkenwald Co., ? Flanders, Portland, Multnomah, Oregon
Nearest relative: Willa S. Bernitt (wife), same address
Description: medium height, medium build, blue eyes, light hair

Name: John A. Bernitt
Address: Cashmere, Chelan, Oregon
Birth: April 3, 1889, Marshfield Oregon
Occupation: no current occupation
Marital status: single
Description: short, medium build, blue eyes, light brown hair

No draft card has been found for Nellie's brother Sidney, probably because he enlisted before he had to register.

Jack Bernitt served in France as an airplane mechanic. Sidney Bernitt was killed when the troop ship Tuscania was torpedoed off the coast of Scotland. You can read more about the Bernitt boys in WWI in last year's Veterans Day post.

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At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came into S Birkenwald Co. 1939 writing on old walk-in cooler door while we torn it down during remolding few years back. We also found the note stated that he (name forgotten)who works for Birkenwald lost his pocket knife inside the door cavity filled with insulated materials. The old door was at Skyline Inn Restaurant, 2424 Main St., Sweet Home, Oregon.


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