Military Records Kathy Petras Library Associate Medina County District Library
Information you can learnfrom military records: Age, including date and place of birth. Dates and places of marriages. Dates of birth of children. Physical description, including any distinguishing scars or birthmarks. Residence Medical conditions and wounds. Military Unit membership. Participation in battles, campaigns, etc.
How to know if an ancestorserved in the military: Family stories and traditions Photographs Published histories Cemetery markers Biographies Membership in a veteran’s organization
Did he/she serve in themilitary? Age at the time of major conflicts ** Census records that have military service information: • 1930 Census asked if a person was a U.S. veteran who had served in any of the following wars: Civil War, Spanish-American, Philippine Insurrection, Boxer, Mexican Expedition, and World War I. • 1910 asked if they were a veteran of the Civil War • 1890 Census had special schedules that listed Union Civil War veterans or their surviving spouses. • 1840 Census lists Revolutionary War pensioners, or their widows, on the second page.
Types of records & where tofind them… There are two main categories of military records on an individual: • Military Service Records and • Pension and Bounty Land Records.
Military Service Records… Are the day-to-day records of a soldier’s service. They include enlistment papers, military rosters, draft records, payrolls, and hospital rolls. They rarely contain a lot of family information, but do include vital information about the soldier, including a description. Access to recent military service records are restricted for privacy reasons and are only available to the member or next of kin.
Military Service Records Enlistment papers record the soldier’s name, age, marital status and the date and place of enlistment. The soldier’s name then goes on a muster roll (attendance sheet) for the organization that he/she joined. Draft, conscription or Selective Service records The federal government has been registering men for military service since 1863. Draft registration cards list name, residence, age, occupation, marital status, birthplace, and physical description. Discharge papers are not part of the military service records that the federal government maintains, but they do contain a lot of valuable information. Discharge papers, for service from 1865 to the present, include duty assignments (locations), training, any discipline or commendations received and date and location of discharge. Discharge papers are usually found with family members. Copies of veteran’s discharge records can sometimes be found in the County Recorder’s Office, but only if the veteran filed a copy.
Military Service Records ,continued Other service records that may exist are pay rolls, order books, hospital records, prisoner of war records, promotions, desertion records and records of court martial. State Records would cover service in state militias, volunteer regiments or National Guard units. These are usually held by state archives, historical societies or by the state adjutant general.
Where to find MilitaryService Records: Military Service Records have been microfilmed and are available from the National Archives: • Pre-World War I Military Service Records • Use NATF -86 to order. http://archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/pre- Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/ DAR – Daughters of the American Revolution www.dar.org and http://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search/
Access to Military ServiceRecords , continued.. World War I Draft Cards lists the full name of the registrant, current address, age, birth date, if a U.S. citizen, race, location of employment, name and address of kin, marital status and how many dependents he supports. The back side notes the physical description of the draftee. The registrant did not have to register in his county of residence. Access to some of these records are available on popular genealogy sites such as: • www.ancestry.com or AncestryLibraryEdition • www.footnote.com $$ footnote.com
Access to Recent U.S.Military Service Records Records relating to the following groups of military personnel are at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO: • U.S. Army personnel separated after 1956. Records for 1912 through 1956 were destroyed by a fire in 1972. Many of these records are being reconstructed from other sources. • U.S. Air Force personnel separated after 1956. Earlier records for Army Air Corps and the Air Force were destroyed by fire in 1972. • U.S. Navy officers separated after 1902 and enlisted men separated after 1885. • U.S. Coast Guard officers separated after 1928 and enlisted personnel separated after 1914.
Recent Military ServiceRecords, continued… Requests for information about veterans should be submitted using Standard Form 180 to the following address: National Personnel Records Center (MPR) 9700 Page Ave. Louis, MO 63132 The form is available from the National Archives web site: http://archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/standard-for or by writing to the above address. If the individual is still living, you will need an authorization signature from them to obtain their records. Turnaround time is 14-16 weeks. Due to Federal Law, all requests must be submitted in writing.
Pension records and bountyland records These records focus on the benefits that a soldier receives after his/her service. They often contain a great deal of family information, including names of spouses and children, places of residence, occupation, and health status. If the service was for the Confederacy or for a state militia, the records will be held at the state level, not by the federal government.
Pension records Pensions and bounty lands were granted to officers, disabled veterans, needy veterans, widows or orphans and veterans for major military actions. But not every veteran applied for or received bounty lands or pensions. Prior to the Civil War, the veteran had to prove financial need to receive a pension. Most veterans who served in the Union forces during the Civil War did receive some kind of pension. Pension records can include the soldier’s name, his rank and military unit, his wife’s name, date and location of the marriage, residence, age, children, occupation, health status and date and place of death.
Pensionapplication forChristianYoung forRevolutionaryWar Service.It continuesfor 8 pagesgiving adetailedaccount of hisservice. Doesgive his placeand date ofbirth anddeath, but noother familyinformation.
Bounty Land Warrants Land warrants were offered for service in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Mexican War and Indian Wars between 1790 and 1855. Bounty land could be claimed by the veteran or by his heirs. Often, the veteran never lived on the land, but sold it for profit. Bounty land warrants and applications for the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 have been microfilmed.
Where to find pension &bounty land records: Pension Records are held by the National Archives and can be ordered online using NATF Form 85. Turnaround time is 12-16 weeks. http://archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/pre-ww-1-records.html Access to some of these records are available on popular genealogy sites such as: • www.ancestry.com or AncestryLibraryEdition and • www.footnote.com $$ footnote.com • Heritage Quest - Selected Records from Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application Files. The Official Federal Land Records Site documents relating to the disbursement of Federal Lands including military bounty lands www.glorecords.blm.gov Index to Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards 1907-1933 http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohwarren/military/pension1907_1933.htm#
Other Sources of MilitaryInformation General Histories can give you detailed information on a particular battle or war and contain information on which military units participated. Histories of the war or the battles that your ancestor participated in can give you insight into the conditions he/she endured.
Map of FortMontgomerywhere ChristianYoung servedduring theRevolutionaryWar.
Washington’s Headquarters at Newburgh New York
Other Sources , continued Unit histories may contain biographies of officers, rosters of soldiers and clues as to where the soldiers were living when they enlisted. Army Military History Institute – Is the Army’s history repository. http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/index.cfm http://www.carlisle.army.mil/AHEC/USAMHI/default.cfm Their collection focuses on military units not individual soldiers. U.S. Army Military History Institute Carlisle Barracks, PA 17013-5008 717-245-3611
Other Sources , continued Cemeteries The first National Military Cemetery was created in 1862. The National Cemetery System has a card index that identifies most soldiers buried in the National Cemeteries. Write to: National Cemetery System Department of Veteran Affairs 810 Vermont Ave. N.W. Washington, D.C. 20422 Or go to: www.cem.va.gov Some states and counties have grave registration records that identify the graves of soldiers buried in local cemeteries. These are found at the in the county’s recorder’s office, the state archives or state historical society. www.findagrave.com A volunteer web site that has transcriptions & some photos of tombstones
Other Sources, continued. Veteran’s Homes Congress established the first federal home for disabled veterans in 1866. In 1930, these homes combined with other agencies to form the Department of Veteran Affairs. Their records are held by the National Archives and their branch locations. Some states, like Ohio, also have established and still operate homes for disabled veterans.