Ancestry’s new collection U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939, consists of passenger lists detailing all those departing from or arriving at U.S. ports on Army Transport ships. World War 1 Draft registrations show who registered for the draft but that does not mean they served. The Army Transport Services Lists show the men enlisted at the time of the war. It is important to note that these are not military service records. They include the ship name, arrival and departure date and place and the service member’s name, rank, service number, age, residence, next of kin with relationship and the regiment that they were attached to.
Private Henry Edwin Zimmerman departed Brooklyn, New York on 15 August 1918 on board the Briton sailing for Bordeaux, France. Further U.S. Army Transport Service Lists in which Henry Edwin Zimmerman appears show him departing Bordeaux, France on 7 June 1919, arriving back at the port of Hoboken, New Jersey on 18 June 1919. If we previously did not have the regiment Henry Zimmerman served with, these Army Transport Service lists provide that information. Further research can then be done on that regiment to learn more about their role in the war.
Comparing Draft Registrations with U.S. Army Transport Service Passenger Lists
An interesting comparison can be made between a Draft Registration and the Army Transport Service Lists to determine if someone who registered for the Draft ultimately ended up serving.
Henry Edwin Zimmerman was one of five Zimmerman brothers eligible for service during World War 1. All five registered for the Draft. Two of the brothers claimed exemption, one on medical grounds and one based on his employment in the farming industry. Of the three who did not claim any exemption, one was aged 32, married with an infant and was a farmer. He was temporarily exempted under Draft Category III: ‘Temporarily exempted but available for military service. Registrants employed in agricultural labor or industrial enterprises essential to the war effort’. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Service_Act_of_1917)
Youngest brother, Charles Stephen Zimmerman, aged 21, was drafted under the second Draft registration, on June 5, 1918, for those men who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917. Charles S. Zimmerman was training with the Merchant Marines which exempted him from military duty. The third brother who did not claim an exemption was 22-year-old Otto Emil Zimmerman. He registered for the draft on 5 June 1917. As of this post, military service records for him have not been found. Otto Emil Zimmerman was single with no dependents and would have been eligible and liable for military service.
It is interesting to note that the two brothers, Henry Edwin Zimmerman and Louis William Zimmerman who both claimed an exemption, were called up for service.
|Name||Draft Registration Date
Age & Occupation
|George Everett Zimmerman||12 Sep 1918; 32; Farmer||No||No.|
|Henry Edwin Zimmerman||5 June 1917; 25; Salesman Expert||Yes. Grounds – hernia.||Yes|
|Louis William Zimmerman||5 June 1917; 24; Shipping Clerk||Yes. Grounds – employed by farmer making farming implements||Yes|
|Otto Emil Zimmerman||5 June 1917; 22; Book keeper||No||No records found|
|Charles Stephen Zimmerman||5 June 1918; 21; Office Work – Shipping||No||Training with Merchant Marines|
 Third Draft Registration for men aged 18 to 35. George had married in 1917 and had a 4-month-old child in September 1918. Perhaps exempted Class III: ‘Temporarily exempted, but available for military service. Registrants employed in agricultural labor or industrial enterprises essential to the war effort’.
 First Draft Registration, on June 5, 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31. Henry was unmarried with no dependents therefore was eligible and liable for military service.
 First Draft Registration, on June 5, 1917. Louis was unmarried with no dependents, therefore was eligible and liable for military service.
 Second Draft Registration, on June 5, 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917. Charles was in training with the Merchant Marines in June 1918 and therefore exempt from military service.
Army Transport Service Passenger Lists are another great resource for research into World War 1. In addition to troop information, this collection also contains information on non-military passengers traveling on these ships, including any family members traveling with their military spouses.