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Researching Civil War Soldiers: An Overview

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  • 1. Researching Civil War Soldiers: An Overview DNA Journey Through Hallowed Ground, 18 Jan 2014
  • 2. Civil War Soldiers: By the Numbers • ~3.2 million served in the Civil War • Chances are good that more than one man with that name served in the war 2
  • 3. Did He Serve? • Not every man served • Consider any male born between 1820 and 1845 as a candidate for Civil War service. 3
  • 4. Clues for Service 4
  • 5. Obituaries “The members of the G.A.R., George H Thomas post, will conduct the funeral. 5
  • 6. Tombstones – Military Symbols 6
  • 7. Tombstones – Military Symbols Look at the dates as well. Born 1837: possible Civil War service 7
  • 8. Tombstones Government-issued marker for Union veteran: • Rounded top • Shield shape inscribed in the stone 8
  • 9. Tombstones Government-issued marker for Confederate veteran: • Pointed top • Notation of “C.S.A.” 9
  • 10. Flag Holders/Grave Markers Use as a clue. These can be moved and might be in front of the wrong tombstone. 10
  • 11. 1910 Federal Census Column 30: “Whether a Survivor of the Union or Confederate Army or Navy.”
  • 12. Determining the Correct Service 12
  • 13. As You’re Researching, Remember… • Need more than a name to make sure you’re researching the right person – Regiment – Birth date – Location (birth place, residence) – Associated people (parents, spouse, etc.) • Regiment is key 13
  • 14. Determining the Regiment • Obituaries 14
  • 15. Determining the Regiment • Tombstones 15
  • 16. Determining the Regiment • Units often formed with men from the same area 16
  • 17. Determining the Regiment • Units Comprised of Porter County Men: • 9th Indiana Infantry • 11th Indiana Infantry • 12th Indiana Infantry • 13th Indiana Infantry • 17th Indiana Infantry • 18th Indiana Infantry • 20th Indiana Infantry • 22nd Indiana Infantry • 59th Indiana Infantry 17
  • 18. Published Rosters 18
  • 19. Published Rosters This roster shows where the man was from. Good clue to help differentiate between men of the same name. 19
  • 20. Research Strategies 20
  • 21. Research Strategies • By name – Soldier – Soldier’s family – Others in his unit, especially commanding officer • Unit • Battle 21
  • 22. Research Template 22
  • 23. Research Template • State Historical Societies • State Libraries and State Archives • State and County GenWeb Sites • Unit/Regimental Sites • Local Public Libraries • Local/County Genealogical Societies 23
  • 24. State Archives 24
  • 25. State Archives 25
  • 26. State Libraries 26
  • 27. County Genealogical Societies 27
  • 28. Regimental Sites 28
  • 29. Regimental Sites 29
  • 30. Google Books • Rosters • Unit histories • Regimental reunions 30
  • 31. Searching Online • Try using different terms • Battle names – Union: usually named for natural features – Confederates: usually named for man-made features 31
  • 32. Search Terms 32
  • 33. WorldCat.org 33
  • 34. WorldCat.org 34