Military Service Records
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE
Arrangement: Organized into 5 subseries: Subseries 1, Abstracts of World War I Military Service of Army Officers; Subseries 2, Abstracts of World War I Military Service of Nurses; Subseries 3, Abstracts of World War I Military Service of Enlisted Men; Subseries 4, Abstracts of World War I Military Service of Sailors; and Subseries 5, Abstracts of World War I Military Service of Marines.
Arrangement within subseries is alphabetical by last name.
The series consists of abstracts of military service for New York residents who enlisted or who were inducted into the armed forces of the United States from 1917 through 1919. The record consists of a 4 x 6" card (or a 5 x 8" card for Navy personnel) for each individual.
The record for each individual provides the following data:
- serial/service number
- designation as "white" or "colored"
- place and date of enlistment/induction
- place of birth
- age or date of birth
- organizations served in, with dates of assignments and transfers
- dates of overseas service
- wounds or other injuries received in action
- date of separation/discharge (and place of separation for Navy personnel)
- percent of disability at discharge
For those who died while in service, date and cause of death, name and address of person notified of death, and relationship to the deceased are provided.
These records were procured in 1920, by the Bureau of War Records, from the federal government pursuant to Chapter 75 of the Laws of 1919 which directed the Adjutant General, through the Bureau, to compile, collect, and preserve the "records and relics... relating to the wars in which the state participated." (See also Chapter 247 of the Laws of 1887, which established the Bureau as the "Bureau of Records of the War of the Rebellion.") Most federal records of World War I service were destroyed in a repository fire. Many of the cards in this series are fragile and use may be restricted.
It should be noted that the Bureau discovered over time numerous errors in the transcription of the records provided by Washington that required correction. They made corrections to errors as they were found (see Annual Report of the Adjutant General, 1935, page 36).
Arrangement: By military unit and therein alphabetical by name.
The series consists of abstracts of the service of officers and enlisted men in units of the New York National Guard who were mustered into the regular U.S. Army during World War I. The records were created pursuant to Chapter 75 of the Laws of 1919, which directed the Adjutant General to compile, collect, and preserve records relating to the wars in which the State participated.
The Military Law of the Consolidated Laws of 1909 (nominally Chapter 41), as amended by Chapter 644 of the Laws of 1917, governed the New York National Guard during World War I. The New York National Guard was drafted into the service of the United States by presidential order effective August 5, 1917.
The record for each individual usually provides the following data:
- U.S. Army serial number
- date and place of commission or enlistment in State service
- date of appearance for duty
- dates of muster into service (N.Y. and U.S. with rank, company, and regiment)
- date and rank at time of leaving service
- reason for leaving service (type of discharge or transfer)
Following these data are "remarks" which sometimes give details of such additional matters as service overseas, promotions, or conduct during service.
At the bottom of the form is space to record:
- color of eyes and hair
- marital status
- name of wife, parent, or guardian
These spaces more often than not are blank.
Finding aid: Volume list.