Saturday, May 26, 2007

Selected Military Resources on the Internet

On April 21st, Eastern Washington Genealogical Society member Barbara Brazington taught a computer class entitled "Selected Military Resources on the Internet." I love attending Barbara's classes! Several years ago, our society had an educational program based on military records (it was not Internet-based). Every month during the year, a different member would teach on an American War or military era, starting with colonial wars and ending with the present war in Iraq. The instructor would give a summary of the war, and list resources where we could find records for our ancestors who fought in that war. Barbara did a fantastic, in-depth presentation on World War I facts and resources, so I was looking forward to her computer class on military records online. I was not disappointed!

We were given a long list of URLs for sites with military records, history, and resources, nicely categorized by Barbara. First off, she listed the major American wars starting with the colonial ones:

Records of military service before the Revolutionary War are kept in state archives.

Pequot War 1637 - 1638
Iroquois War 1642 - 1698
King Philip's War 1675 - 1676
King William's War 1689 - 1698
Queen Anne's War 1702 - 1713
King George's War 1744 - 1745
French & Indian War 1754 - 1763

U.S. Wars for which there are Federal records:

Revolutionary War 1775 - 1783
War of 1812 1812 - 1815
Mexican War 1846 - 1848
Civil War 1861 - 1865
Union records only; Confederate records are found in state archives.)
Spanish-American War 1898
Philippine Insurrection 1899 - 1902
World War I 1917 - 1918
World War II 1941 - 1945
Korean War 1950 - 1953
Vietnam War 1965 - 1973
Gulf War 1991

SERVICE RECORDS - U.S. Military Collection - $
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
National Personnel Records Center - 20th-century records. In 1973 a fire destroyed most of the records stored there, except for Navy and Marine records. Eighty percent of Army records and 60% of Air Force records were destroyed. However, Army and Air Force records have been reconstructed using those stored in other places.

PENSIONS - U.S. Military Collection - $
HeritageQuest Online - available through many city or county library websites (check this list) - and coming soon to a Family History Center near you!
Cyndi's List (remember, Confederate pension records will be held in state archives)

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center

WWI/Doughboy Center
King Philip's War
Civil War - this site and this one

Medals and awards
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center - contains military info between wars

Burial sites
American Battle Monument Commission
Veterans Administration Gravesite Locator - much of this is duplicate information of what is found at the American Battle Monument Commission
Commonwealth Graves Commission
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War National Graves Registration Database - this was not on Barbara's syllabus, but I have added it here

U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center - choose digital documents, not photos
Library of Congress
U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center - another link

Oral histories
Veterans History Project

Other countries

National Archives - Home Page: "Genealogists/Family Historians," "Veterans and Their Families"; ARC - Archival Research Catalog: "Search," "Topics" - state summaries and copiled service records; AAD - Access to Archival Databases
U.S. Army Center of Military History
Naval Historical Center - Dictionary of American Fighting Ships here
U.S. Marine Corps History Division
Cyndis's List - Military
Olive Tree Genealogy
Online Military Indexes, War Records & Databases of Soldiers - Joe Beine's site!
Access Genealogy
Library of Congress Reference Guide
Office of Medical History

Barbara also recommends doing Google searches by state and by war. This is how she found many of the links above. Some great information is located on sites where you would never expect to find military information. For instance, the Missouri State Parks website contains Civil War battle site resources.

Thank you, Barbara, and happy hunting to all of you!

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