Wednesday, May 6, 2009

De Luca Family: WWI Draft Registration

Continuing in my series on the De Luca family, today's topic will be Peter Louis De Luca, Sr.'s WWI draft registration card. As noted in previous posts, Peter and Clementina, along with their daughter, Mary, arrived at Ellis Island in Sep 1907 and had made their way to St. Louis, Missouri, by 1910. By 1918 at the time of the draft registration, they were living in Knobview, Phelps County, Missouri. Knobview is now called Rosati, and is about 90 miles southwest of St. Louis in central Missouri. According to Steve Zulpo, author of the website on Rosati history, a large group of northern Italian immigrants settled Knobview in 1898, and the primary industry became vineyards and the wine industry. Over the next several years, families in the St. Louis area were directed to Knobview by the Italian consulate. Perhaps this is how the De Luca family found out about Knobview and the other Italian immigrants there. Steve says the De Luca family arrived in Knobview in 1912. Since Peter was a farm laborer in Italy, perhaps he had had enough of crowded city life and wanted to return to the farming industry. Knobview became Rosati in 1934 when the residents petitioned the post office to rename their town after the first Bishop of St. Louis and the first bishop west of the Mississippi, Bishop Joseph Rosati. For even further information on Rosati, please visit Steve's website.

The US declared war on Germany and officially entered into WWI on 6 Apr 1917. The Selective Service Act was passed in May 1917, which authorized the President to expand the US military. Because of this Act, every male between 18 and 45 was required to register for the draft. Of course, not all of the men who registered were drafted. I have not found any evidence that Peter was drafted, but he did register for the draft on 12 Sep 1918.

This draft registration card gives Peter's birthday as 4 Oct 1875, which conflicts with what we've found so far in the 1910 US census and in the ship passenger list. These both suggested he was born in either 1877 or 1878. Was he trying to appear older in order to avoid the draft? Another important item to note is that it says he was a citizen of Italy. This means he had not been naturalized yet, though the 1910 census did say he had filed his first set of papers. Peter is now working as a self-employed farmer, and Clementina is listed as his closest living relative.

Stay tuned to find the De Luca family in the 1920 US Census!

Links to other posts in this series:
De Luca Family: Intro
De Luca Family: Immigration Records
De Luca Family: 1910 US Census
De Luca Family: 1920 US Census
De Luca Family: 1930 US Census
De Luca Family: Death Records

1 comment:

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