26 December 2013

Treaure Chest Thursday: Jack Garber WWI Draft Registration Card

A recent review of my grandfather's World War I Draft Registration Card, one that I've had in a file for more than five years, surprised me. Oh, I'd seen the information before. But, it never made an impression. Item 9: Jacob Garber was financially supporting his wife, his mother and his father. 

"World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 May 2008), card for Jacob Garber, no. 277, Kings County Draft Board 80, citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917 - 1918, National Archives microfilm publication M1509; imaged from Family History Library microfilm roll 1,754,612.

Back in June 2012 I posted an article about my great grandmother Chana (Anna) Mazewitsky Garber. At that time I used birth dates of grandchildren, especially those whose names were clearly bestowed in memory of Chana, to postulate when she might have passed away in the Russian Empire. Now, here, with this draft card record, I have another independent source showing that on 5 June 1917, Chana was, likely, still alive.

No. 277 
1. Name in full  Jacob Garber
2. Home Address  453 Williams Brooklyn NY
3. Date of birth  Dec 15 1893 [1]
4. Are you (1) a natural-born citizen, (2) a naturalized citizen, (3) an alien, (4) or have you declared your intention (specify which)?
5. Where were you born?  Lubin Voline Russia
6. If not a citizen, of what nation are you a citizen or subject?  Russia
7. What is your present trade, occupation, or office?  Glazier
8. By whom employed?  IM Meyers [2]
    Where employed?  66 - 6th Ave NY
9. Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister or a brother under 12, solely dependent on your support (specify which)?  Wife & Mother & Father
10. Married or single (which)?  Married
    Race (specify which)? Cauc.
11. What military service have you had? Rank, branch, years, Nation or state  [blank]
12. Do you claim exemption from draft (specify grounds)?  Support of Family

I affirm that I have verified above answers and that they are true.
/S/ Jacob Garber        
31-9-80-A                   REGISTRAR'S REPORT 

1. Tall, medium, or short (specify which)?  Tall
    Slender, medium, or stout (which)?  Med
2. Color of eyes  Gray
    Color of hair  Black
    Bald  No
3. Has person lost arm, leg, hand, foot, eye, or both eyes or is he otherwise disabled (specify)?  No

I certify that my answers are true, that the person registered has read his own answers, that I have witnessed his signature, and that all of his answers of which I have knowledge are true, except as follows
/S/ Robert Weine        
Precinct  55 ED  22 AD
City or County  Kings                                      6/5/17
State  NY


Now, of course, we all know that there would have been ample reason to lie or, at least, stretch the truth if one did not want to serve in the U.S. military. But, in this case, Jacob would have achieved the desired effect without additionally listing his mother (i.e., "have a wife and father to support" would have been sufficient to meet the conscription exemption criteria). In addition, Jacob and his wife Dora had their first child Leah three months later. Had Chana been dead at that point, Jacob and Dora would likely have named their daughter after her grandmother. So, I think the footing on determining Chana's date of death is getting firmer. 

1. On other documents, Jacob's birth date is listed as 15 Dec 1894: application for Social Security Card (SS-5 filed 28 May 1937), World War II Draft Registration Card (April 1942) and Petition for Naturalization (26 June 1924).
2. Myer Myers, Dora Morris Garber's great uncle, owned a glass store at 66 - 6th Avenue in Manhattan at this time.


  1. Isn't it interesting (and fun) when you find out something new even though you have looked at a document plenty of times before.

  2. Yes, and we all know we should revisit documents every now and then, but we don't do it often enough(!). Thanks for the comment, Elizabeth.

  3. This is a shot in the dark. I noticed you are coming to the JGSPBC on Jan. 8th. I plan to be there because of my interests in GARBER surname. It's my husband's grandmother, Sarah Rebeccca (aka Sara Rifka) GARBER or GARBATTI, dau. of Mordechi Tzie Garber, sister of Aaron Garber, of Polish Russia. Sarah married Rabbi Meyer Joel Levy (aka LEV) really a cantor. They migrated from Bialystok, Russia to NY and later to Brooklyn. Both are buried in the Washington St. Cemetery. They had nine known children all immigrates to US. They family doctor was a Dr. WILSON. Your GARBER family have curious coincidences with Mel's family. A stained glass window in the Queens Jewish Center is in her memory. We have no other knowledge of the ancestry of Sarah Rebecca (GARBER) LEVY.

  4. Thanks for the comment, Lovely Levy. I look forward to meeting you at the JGSPBC meeting. I have seen some tantalizing clues on manifests (and one in the Labun cemetery) about other Garbers from the family shtetl of Labun and nearby Gritsev, but I have been unable to determine, thus far, any relationship. And there is no family lore about other family members with that surname in the USA. Also, have not come across relations from Bialystok. But one never knows. We'll have to compare notes.


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