This page is part of Family history documents: Joseph Black & family.
-- Margaret Fulford
SAMUEL BLACK - U.S. DRAFT REGISTRATION - MANHATTAN - JUNE 5, 1917
- We can be confident this is "our" Samuel Black, since the address (246 East Houston) is the same as that found in the 1915, 1920, and 1925 censuses, and since the occupation (operator at a neckware company) is the same as that found in other documents such as his and Anna's marriage certificate.
- His name is given as "Sam Black." Although most of the form was filled in by a registrar, the signature is his own; since he signed "Sam" rather than "Samuel," presumably he preferred to be called "Sam"? (at least in 1917).
- This document provides us with his date of birth (December 18, 1887) and place of birth ("Balta, Russia")!
- "Balta, Russia" probably refers to Balta in present-day Ukraine (which was part of the Russian Empire); Balta had a significant Jewish community at the time. See the Wikipedia page about Balta and the
JewishGen page about Balta
- It tells us Sam's place of employment: Royal Neckware Co., 535 Broadway. See 535 Broadway today in Google Maps. It's a 17-minute walk from 246 East Houston to 535 Broadway, according to Google Maps.
- Sam's date of birth is given as December 18, 1887 and his age as 29. This makes him one year older than we would have expected given the information on his marriage certificate, which indicates he was 25 on June 7, 1914. Since the draft registration includes both a birth date and an age, whereas the marriage certificate includes only an age, I think the draft registration is more likely to be correct; if so then he would have been 26 when he got married.
- Samuel is described as being of medium height, medium build, with black eyes and black hair.
- The form indicates that he is supporting his wife and child and mother-in-law (that would be Sarah Finkelstein).
- Historical context: All men in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 45 were required to register for the draft. On June 15, 1917, those aged 21 to 31 had to register; then on June 5, 1918, those who had subsequently turned 21; then on Sept. 12, 1918, men aged 18 to 21 and those aged 31 to 45 had to register. The war ended two months later (Nov. 11, 1918).