Monday, June 6, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Draft Registration for Herman Feinstein

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written Iby another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

I began this project back in February of 2009, and since then, many others have joined in on the meme.  Why do we transcribe?  I provide my three reasons in the linked post.  You may find others.  If you participate, feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments.


This week, in honor of the anniversary of D-Day, I continue to look through various wartime documents.  While this week's anniversary pertains to a different war, I decided to transcribe another World War I draft registration - this time that of my great grandfather, Herman Feinstein.  

Registration Card

1. Name: Herman Feinstein |  Age in years: 30
2. House address: 1416 Semple Ave, St. Louis, Mo
3. Date of Birth: July 29, 1886
4. Are you (1) a natural born citizen (2) a naturalized citizen 3) an alien 4) or have you declared your intention (specify which): Naturalized
5. Where were you born? Don’t Know, Russia, Russia
6. If not a citizen, of what country are you a citizen or subject? Naturalized
7. What is your present trade, occupation, or office: Driver
8. By whom are you employed? Manhattan Laundry.
 Where employed? St. Louis, Mo
9. Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister or brother under 12, wholly dependent upon you for support (specify which): Wife and 2 children
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 (specify grounds)
I affirm that I have verified about answers and that they are true
(signature) Herman Feinstein


1) This image was obtained from  Page two of the document, not shown above, indicates it was filled out on June 5th, 1917, over a year prior to the form I transcribed last week, which his brother, Aaron, filled out.  The order and phrasing of several of the questions are different on the forms.  For example, Aaron wasn't asked where he was born.  I wish Herman had known what city he was born in - the origin of the Feinstein family is one of the mysteries I would like to solve.  Herman's mother was still alive in 1917, but apparently he didn't bother to ask.

2) Herman would become the father of a third child in December of 1917.

3) According to his obituary, by 1963 Herman had been a manager of a laundry for 40 years.  So in the five years between 1917 and 1923 he moved up from driver to manager.

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