07 December 2015

Military Monday: Old Man’s Registration

The “Old Man’s Draft”, known formally at the Fourth Registration registered men who born on or between 28 April 1877 and 16 February 1897 and who were not already in the military. It was conducted on 27 April 1942. These men were between 45 and 64 years old.

The registration cards offer a wealth of information. The registrar asked the name of the registrant, his age, birth date and place, current residence, employer information (not just simply occupation), the name and address of someone who would always know where he  would be, and a physical description of the registrant.

In the example of my great grandfather, Panko Hruszczak, this document confirms this spelling of his name and his address as being 274 New St., Coatesville, Chester County. His mailing address was given as “Box 266 or above street address.”  He had no telephone. He gives his age as 48 and his birth date as 6 August 1893. His birth place is listed as Galicia, Europe.

He gives a Harry Spetz as the name as the person who would always know his whereabouts. Spetz’s address is listed as RD#2, Haiti, Valley Township. Panko’s employer is Bethlehem Steel Co. in Coatesville.

Panko is described as a white male, 5’9” tall and weighs 180. He has blue eyes, gray hair and a light ruddy complexion. He had no birthmarks or other physical descriptors. He registered in Philadelphia.

I found his registration in the database on Ancestry.com. There was one other Hruszczak in the database. While my grandfather had several brothers, my great grandfather did not have any known relatives here in the States other than an uncle – Onifer Romanko. The database includes a Ben Hruszczak living in Philadelphia.

Ben lived at 905 N 8th Street in Philadelphia. He was 59, listing his birth as 2 May 1883. He was also born in Galicia. His contact person is a Katie Humanchuk, living at the same residence. Ben was employed at Baldwin’s in Eddystone. He is a white male,  6’8” tall, 175 lbs, with blue eyes, brown hair and light complexion. The little finger on his left hand is slightly deformed. Although he lived in Philadelphia, his registration was done through Bethlehem.

The purpose of the Old Man’s Draft was not to draft these men into military service but rather to ascertain the manpower resources of them.

Military Monday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

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Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.