Today’s Tip is for those of you who have veterans in your trees.

Military Records can really hold a treasure trove of great information! They take awhile to get, but WOW can they be worth it!

I suggest you first hit the web site of the National Archives and go to the section on military records and genealogy.

The site is http://www.archives.gov/research/military/genealogy.html.

It will walk you through the two main types of records — Compiled Service Records and Military Pension Records. They both can be wonderful! Plus they have additional records for land, etc.

I will warn you that there was a devistating fire at the USArmy records center in St. Louis, Missouri so many US Army records, especially from World War II are gone (like my father’s) 🙁

Lots more records do exist of course and here is one example: A great Uncle I had never met. I discovered he fought in what are termed The Indian Wars. I requested his file not knowing this, but knowing he was a soldier in the Infantry.

I received over 180 pages of files! I found the posts he was assigned to in New Mexico and Texas. I found where he fought and marched, went into the hospital, etc.

Then I got his pension records! Found all the places he had lived while at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Homes in Ohio, Tennessee, and Washington DC, his burial location, his wives, his children, an Act of Congress that allowed him an increased pension, and even when he was in jail for assault! It has been an amazing file to read!

So I suggest it is worth the order, worth the wait, and can give an amazing window into an ancestor’s military service.

Plus, at least in my case, the folks I dealt with were wonderfullly helpful!

Now, Onward To Our Past!


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