At the outbreak of World War I, my father’s Uncle Albert Barney Charboneau and his brothers were required to register for the draft.
And this they did, carefully penning their information on cards that have survived into the digital age.
Albert, the oldest brother, was age 33 when he registered in 1918 — giving his date of birth as 15 Feb. 1885, his address as 42 State Street, Dolgeville, Herkimer Co., N.Y. and his wife’s name as Annie E. Charboneau.
He wrote that he was employed as Woodworking Foreman at Julius Breckwoldt lumber works. The registrar described Albert as tall and stout with black hair and blue eyes.
My grandfather Ray’s draft registration
Two of Albert’s brothers registered before him. My paternal grandfather William Ray Charboneau registered on 5 June 1917. Born 3 April 1888 in Forestport, N.Y., he was age 29 and described as tall and slender with blue eyes and black hair.
Ray lived on Dolge Ave. in Dolgeville, N.Y. and worked as a warehouse clerk at the Daniel Green Felt Shoe Co. — which had taken over the original Dolge factory complex. Ray also had an exemption from the draft: He was married with three children — my dad’s older brothers Owen, Franny and Hube
Uncle Tom signed up with Ray
Next in line on 5 June 1917 — registered the same day as Ray — was Orville “Tom” Charboneau. Born on 23 April 1892, Tom was 25 and described as tall with medium build, blue eyes, brown hair and slight baldness.
Tom lived at 10 Church St. in Little Falls, N.Y., where he worked as an automobile repairman for C.A. Ross on West Main St. He was single with no dependents.
Uncle Dewey registered in 1918
George Dewey Charboneau, the youngest brother, registered on 12 Sept. 1918 — the same year as Albert. Born 12 June 1898, he was age 20 and described as tall and slender with blue eyes and brown hair.
Uncle Dewey worked as a shoemaker at the Daniel Green Felt Shoe Company — where my grandfather Ray also worked — and lived with his parents Will and Eva (Bull) Charboneau on Cline Street in Dolgeville, N.Y. Unmarried, he listed his father Will as his next of kin.
Of the four, Tom and Dewey were called up — toward the end of the war — and their service was entered onto a roster compiled by the Herkimer County Home Defense Committee of soldiers who were drafted or volunteered their services in WWI. However, Uncle Albert and my grandfather Ray appear to have performed service of their own in Herkimer County.
More on this in the next post. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.
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