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Researching  
Military Ancestors

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National Veteran’s Cemetery,

 Fort Logan, Colorado

A Guide for Researching Your  Military Ancestors

 

Introduction

U.S. Military Record Research

List of American Wars, Conflicts, & Military Events

Military Gravestone Inscription Abbreviations

Website

Resources

About This Webpage

 

Our Military Ancestors

MILITARY ANCESTORS:  Bozarth; Peiffer; Quigley; Rhubart; & allied families

MILITARY ANCESTORS:  Moreland; McVicker; Pinnell; Scruggs; and allied families

MILITARY ANCESTORS:  Dellinger; Knecht; Pfeffer; Silar; and

allied families

MILITARY UNITS:

Image Galleries and

Source Documents

MILITARY UNITS:

American Revolution

MILITARY UNITS:

American Civil War

MILITARY UNITS:

World War One

MILITARY UNITS:

World War Two

 

INTRODUCTION

Introduction

Wars have been an integral part of American history and, as such, have produced indispensable genealogical records of literally millions of persons.  These are records that not only hold the key to successfully extending many pedigrees, but also contain valuable family history information that helps one to see their ancestors as the real persons they were and not just names on a chart or in a database.  This web-page entitled “Researching our War Veterans”, has been designed to provide a researcher with the following:

A Listing Of Important Wars, Conflicts, And Military Events

Each is linked to information that will provide the researcher with additional insight regarding the key aspects of each conflict.

General Military Information

Links to additional U. S. Military websites of a broad nature can be found in a dedicated section near the end of this page.

A Guide to U.S. Military Records

The section of this webpage entitled “U.S. Military Record Research” is linked to the U.S. Military Records Research Outline at the Family Search website.  This outline introduces strategies and records that can help one to learn more about  ancestors who served in the United States military. Use of this information will assist an investigator in setting meaningful research goals, evaluate the likelihood that an ancestor is found in military records, and select the records that will help to achieve defined goals.   This outline describes the content, use, and availability of major sets of records created mostly by the federal government. It does not discuss historical sources about military institutions, weapons, battles, or tactics.  There is no specific time during a search when military records should be used but one must know that they are one of the first sources to consider once research has begun on an individual who may have had military service or may have been closely related to someone else who did.  This is because the information found in military records is often of such a nature that it facilitates the use of other sources and suggests new possibilities.

Military Gravestone Inscription Abbreviations

Gravestones provided by the U.S. Government to deceased military veterans contain a wide variety of inscriptions that can give a researcher much valuable information about that person’s service to their country.

 

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Military record research

U.S. Military 
Records Research

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Your ancestor's birth date tells you what wars he may have fought in.  Look over your family tree to find ancestors, especially men, who were born during the following time periods, then check military draft, service or pension indexes for the corresponding conflicts. (These are general guidelines; men and women who served at very young or old ages may fall outside these ranges.)

 Birth years: War (battle years)

1726-1767: Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

1762-1799: War of 1812 (1812-1815)

1796-1831: Mexican War (1846-1848)

1811-1848: Civil War (1861-1865)

1848-1881: Spanish-American War (1898)

Birth years: War (battle years)

1849-1885: Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902)

1872-1900: World War I (1917-1918)

1877-1925: World War II (1941-1945)

1900-1936: Korean War (1950-1953)

1914-1955: Vietnam War (1964-1972)

Military records identify individuals who served in the armed forces or who were eligible for service. This outline introduces strategies and records that can help you learn more about your ancestors who served in the United States military. Use this outline to set meaningful research goals, evaluate the likelihood that your ancestor is found in military records, and select the records that will help you achieve your goals.

This outline describes the content, use, and availability of major sets of records created mostly by the federal government. The Family History Library’s research outlines for the separate states have more information about state military records. This outline discusses only sources that identify personal information about individuals in the armed forces and their units. It does not discuss historical sources about military institutions, weapons, battles, or tactics.

 

Introduction
Basic Search Strategies

      Step 1. Identify Ancestor You Wish To Find In Records

     Step 2. Decide What You Want To Learn
     Step 3. Select A Record To Search
     Step 4. Find And Search The Record

Records At The Family History Library
Types Of Military Records
     
Service Records
     Pension Records
     Bounty Land Warrants
     Draft Or Conscription Records
     Unit Histories
     Census Records
     Cemetery Records
     National Homes For Disabled Volunteer Soldiers
     Veterans’ And Lineage Society Records
     Biographies
     Awards And Decorations

Colonial Wars, 1607 To 1763
Revolutionary War, 1775 To 1783
     
Service Records
     Pension Records And Bounty Land Warrants
     Unit Histories
     Census Records
     Cemetery Records
     Veterans’ And Lineage Society Records
     Sources For Further Reading

War Of 1812, 1812 To 1815
     
Service Records
     Pension Records
     Bounty Land Warrants
     Prisoner Of War Records
     Cemetery Records
     Veterans’ And Lineage Society Records
     Sources For Further Reading

Mexican War, 1846 To 1848
     
Service Records
     Records Of Officers
     Pension Records
     Cemetery Records
     Veterans’ And Lineage Society Records
     Sources For Further Reading

 Civil War, 1861 To 1865
     
General Reference Sources
     Civil War Soldiers System
     Union Sources
     Confederate Sources
Indian Wars
     Service Records
     Pension Records
     Sources For Further Reading

 

Spanish-American War, 1898
     Service Records
     Records Of Officers
     Pension Records
     Veterans’ And Lineage Society Records
     Cemetery Records
     Sources For Further Reading
Philippine Insurrection, 1899 To 1902
     Service Records
     Pension Records
     Census Records

World War I, 1917 To 1918
     Service Records
     Pension Records
     Draft Records
     Census Records
     State Records
     Cemetery And Death Records
     Sources For Further Reading
World War II, 1941 To 1945
     Service Records
     Pension Records
     Cemetery Records
     Draft Records
     Unit Histories
     Prisoner Of War Records
     Sources For Further Reading
Korean War, 1950 To 1953, and

Vietnam War, 1964 To 1972
     Unit Histories
U.S. Army
     Service Records
*
     Pension Records
     Sources For Further Reading
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Navy
     Service Records
     Records Of Officers
     Pension Records
     Sources For Further Reading

U.S. Air Force

Service Records *
For Further Reading
Computer Numbers For Selected National Archives Microfilm Publications
Comments And Suggestions

 

Source: Family Search - Research Guidance v2.0

* = In July, 1973 there was a fire at the National Personnel Records Center, < http://www.archives.gov/facilities/mo/ >.  About eighty percent of Army Records of those discharged from 1 November 1912 through 1 January 1960, were burned.  About seventy-five percent of the Air Force files were destroyed.  These were files of those who were discharged between 25 September 1947 and 1 January 1964, and whose names were from Hubbard, James E. through Z.

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WARS OF THE UNITED STATES

List of American Wars, Conflicts and Military Events

The following is a listing of important wars, conflicts, and military events identified as integral to the history of the United States of America.  Each is linked to information that will provide the researcher with additional insight regarding the key aspects of each conflict.

1622-1644 Anglo–Powhatan Wars

1637         Pequot War

1675-1676 King Philip's War

1676         Bacon's Rebellion

1677-1679 Culpeper's Rebellion

1689-1697 King William's War

1689-1691 Leisler's Rebellion

1702-1713 Queen Anne's War

1711-1713 Tuscarora War

1715-1716 Yamasee War

1739-1742 War of Jenkins' Ear

1744-1748 King George's War

1754-1763 French and Indian War

1758-1761 Anglo-Cherokee War

1763-1766 Pontiac's Rebellion

1763-1764 Paxton Boys Uprising

1765-1766 Stamp Act Revolt

1764-1771 War of the Regulation

1770         Boston Massacre

1773         Boston Tea Party

1774         Lord Dunmore's War

1775-1783 American Revolutionary War

1786-1787 Shays' Rebellion

1790-1812 Ohio Valley campaigns

1794         Whiskey Rebellion

1798-1800 Quasi-War

1801-1805 First Barbary War

1812-1814 War of 1812

1815         Second Barbary War

1817-1818 First Seminole War

1832         Black Hawk War

1835-1842 Second Seminole War

1836         Texas War of Independence

1838-1839 Trail of Tears

1838-1839 Aroostook War

1839-1846 Anti-rent War

1842         Dorr Rebellion

1846-1848 Mexican-American War

1864-1868 Navajo wars

1855-1858 Third Seminole War

1857-1858 Utah War

1860-1900 American Indian Wars

1861-1865 American Civil War

1866-1871 The Fenian Raids

1898         Spanish-American War

1899-1902 Philippine Insurrection

1900         Boxer Rebellion

1898-1934 The Banana Wars

1916-1917 Pancho Villa Expedition

1917-1918 World War I

1919-1920 Russian Revolutions of 1917–23

1941-1945 World War II

1950-1955 Korean War

1961-1975 Vietnam War

1982-1984 Lebanese Civil War

1983         Grenada Invasion

1989-1990 Invasion of Panama

1990-1991 First Gulf War

2001-       Global War on Terror

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Military gravestone Left

Military Gravestone Inscription Abbreviations

Military Gravestone
Inscription Abbreviations

Military gravestone Right

Gravestones provided by the U.S. Government to deceased military veterans contain a wide variety of inscriptions that can give a researcher much valuable information about that person’s service to their country.   In many cases it may be difficult to figure out the military terminology utilized to identify the nature of their military experience.  This difficulty is compounded by the many abbreviations used because of the limited amount of space available on the headstone.  More often than not these abbreviations may not be well understood by many family historians.   Below we have provided a brief lexicon of the type of abbreviations used to describe U. S. military service in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

TERM / DEFINITION

1C /1ST CL = 1st class petty officer (US Navy rank)

2C /2ND CL = 2ndclass petty officer (US Navy rank)

3C /3RD CL/  = 3rd class petty officer (US Navy rank)

1812 vet = War of 1812 Veteran

ACW = American Civil War

ADC = Aide-de-Camp

Adm = Admiral

App = apprentice, as in Seaman Apprentice

Armr = Armorer

Art / Arty = Artillery

Batt Bat = battery as in a military regiment

Batt / Bn / Bttn = Battalion

Bglr = bugler

Bgd /Brig = Brigadier

BGen / Brig Gen = Brigadier General

Bosn = Boatswain (enlisted rating U.S. Navy)

Brev /Bvt / Brvt = Brevet

Capt/Cap = Captain

Cav /Calv = Calvary

Campn = campaign

Chp / Chpn =

CivW = Civil War

Cmdt. = Commandant

Co / Comp = Company

Comdr / Comm = Commander

Col = Colonel

Commo / Comm = Commodore

Confed = Confederate

Contl = Continental (Continental Army, American Revolution)

Corp / Corpl / Cpl = Corporal

Cox = Coxswain

CPO = Chief Petty Officer (U.S. Navy)

CSA, CS = Confederate States Army, Confederate States of America

CSN =  Confederate States Navy

CWO = Chief Warrant Officer

CWV = Civil War Veteran

Dr / Drm / Drum = Drummer

Drgns = Dragoons

Eng = Engineer

En / Ens = Ensign (U.S. Navy)

FO = Field Officer

F/O = Flying Officer

FSgt. = Flight Sergent

Farr = Farrier (Army horse shoer)

G.A.R. = Grand Army of the Republic (veteran’s group of Union soldiers)

Gen/Genl/Gen’l = General (military rank)

Gnr = Gunner

GSO = General Staff Officer

HA/ H Arty/ Hvy Art = Heavy Artillery

IND = Independent

Inf / Infty = Infantry

Ka / KIA = killed in action

Kw = killed in war

LA / Lt Art / Lgt Art = Light Artillery (military regiment)

Lds = Landsman (naval rank)

Lt / Lieut =Lieutenant

L1 / 1Lt = First Lieutenant

L2 / 2Lt = Second Lieutenant

LC / LtCol / LCol / Lt Coll = Lieutenant Colonel

Legn = legion

LGen / Lt Gen = Lieutenant General

LI = Light Infantry

LCpl = lance corporal (USMC)

Lt Battry = Light Battery

Lt Cdr / Lt Cmdr / Lt Comm = Lieutenant Commander

Maj / Mj =Major

Maj Gen /Major-Gen / MGen = Major General

Mar = Marines

MIA = Missing in Action

MO = Medical Officer

MP = Military Police

MSgt./mr sgt = Master Sergeant

M Att = Mess Attendant

MOH = Medal of Honor

Mus / Musc / Musn = Musician

N = Navy

NG = National Guard

Noncom = Non-Commissioned Officer

OS = Ordinary Seaman

Of = Officer (rank unknown)

Pat =  patriot (Revolutionary War Service)

Pfc. = Private First Class

PH = Purple Heart

PO = Petty Officer

POW = Prisoner of War

Pvt. = Private

QM / Qtm =Quartermaster

QMC = Quartermaster’s Corps

Qm.Sgt / QMSgt = Quartermaster Sergeant

R / Reg / Regt / Reg’t = Regiment

RA / Rear Adm. = Rear Admiral

Rev /Revol / RevW / Rev War / RW = Revolutionary War

Rngr = Ranger

Sea/ SN = Seaman

S / Sgt / Sergt = Sergeant

Sig = Signal (as in Signal Corps, Signalman)

SP. AM. = Spanish-American War

TA = Territorial Army

TM = Teamster (military)

Tr / Trp = Troop

UCV = United Confederate Veterans

Unk/unkn = unknown

US = United States

USA = United States Army

USAAC – United State Army Air Corps

USAAF = United States Army Air Force

USAC = United States Air Corps

USAF = United States Air Force

USA Inf. = United States Army Infantry

USAR = United States Army Reserve

USARV =  United States Army Vietnam

USC Art = United State Colored Artillery

USC Cav = United States Colored Cavalry

USCG = United States Coast Guard

USCGR = United States Coast Guard Reserve

USC Inf = United States Colored Infantry

USCT = United States Colored Troop(s)

USM = United States Marines

USMA = United States Military Academy

USMC = United States Marine Corps

USMCR = United States Marine Corps Reserve

USN = United States Navy

USNA = United States Naval Academy

USNAC = United States Naval Air Corps

USNG = United States National Guard

USNMC = United States Navy Medical Corps

USNR = United States Naval Reserve

USV / US Vol = United States Volunteers

USWV = United Spanish War Veterans

Vet = veteran

Vol = Volunteers

WAAC = Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps

WAAF = Women’s Auxiliary Air Force

WAC = Women’s Army Corps

WAF = Women in the Air Force

Wag / Wagr = Wagoner

War Ser = war service

WASP = Women’s Air Force Service Pilots

WAVES = Women Appointed for Volunteer Emergency Service (US Navy)

WIA = Wounded in Action

WO = Warrant Officer

WT = Water Tender

WW = World War

WW1 / WW2 = World War One / World War Two

 

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WWW (tan left)

Website Resources

Website
Resources

 

WWW (tan right)

This search engine may

provide you with additional

Google Search (yellow)

information to assist with

your research about this topic.

General Resources

Colonial Wars

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Mexican-American War

American Indian Wars

American Civil War

Spanish - American War

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

Genealogy Ref. Library

Free Military Records

 

 

General Resources

General Resources

·        Access Genealogy - Military Resource Center 

·        Alex Chirnside's Military History Page 

·        Ancestor Search - Military Genealogy and Family Tree Surname Search Engines 

·        http://www.awltovhc.com/image-1029688-10470501Discovering Family Histories - USA - Military Directory 

·        The History Guy: United States Military History 

·        Military History Research Sites 
Military Resources  

·         Ruth Ann's Military Links Page 

·        U.S. Army Home Page 

·        American Merchant Marine at War

·        WorldVitalRecords.com - Military 

·        Naval History and Heritage Command – U.S. Navy

·        Our Military Heritage – Allen County Library

·        FREE U.S. Military Databases

·         African American Warriors 

·         Blacks in the Military 

·         FamilySearch.org - Research Guidance - U.S. Military Records Research Outline 

·         American Women in Uniform, Veterans Too! 

·         Ancestry.com - Clues in Military Photos .

·         Online Military Indexes, War Records & Databases of Soldiers 

·         Selective Service Records 

·         U.S. Dept of Veterans' Affairs - Guide for Submitting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests 

·         Research in Military Records - National Archives

·         Military Personnel Records - National Archives

·         Access to Military Service & Pension Records

·         Southern Campaign Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters

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Colonial Wars

Colonial Wars

·        King Philip's War - Wikipedia

·        FREE U.S. Military Databases – King Philip’s War

·        King George's War - Wikipedia

·          Queen Anne's War - Wikipedia

·          French and Indian War - Wikipedia

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American Revolutionary War

American Revolutionary War

·        Chronology of the American Revolutionary War

·        Guide to the American RevolutionLib. of Congress

·        Global Gazetteer of the American Revolution

·        Rev. War Pension & Bounty Land Apps. 1800-1900 $

·        FREE U.S. Military DatabasesRevolutionary War

·        Sons American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 $

·          Battlefield atlas of the American Revolution

·          American Revolutionary War History Resources

·          D.A.R. Genealogical Research System

·          Revolutionary War (1775-1783) Military Records $

·          S.A.R. Patriot Grave Search

·          S.A.R. Patriot & Graves Index

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War of 1812

War of 1812

·        Library of Congress Guide to the War of 1812

·        War of 1812 in the South - William C. Cook Collection

·        War of 1812 (Allen County Library)

·          American Military History – The War of 1812

·          The War of 1812 Website

·          FREE U.S. Military DatabasesWar of 1812

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Mexican –American War

Mexican-American War

·        Library of Congress Guide to the Mexican War

·       Mexican War Resources

·       FREE U.S. Military DatabasesWar with Mexico

·        The Mexican War

·        The Mexican-American War, Illinois Historic Digitization Proj.

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American Indian Wars

American Indian Wars

·      Indian Wars List and Timeline

·      The American Indian Wars

·        Indian Wars Timeline

·        Indian Wars - Wars of the West timeline

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American Civil War

American Civil War

·      The Civil War Archive Regimental Index - A Listing of all Regiments that Fought During the U.S. Civil War

·      Civil War Richmond

·      Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System – 6.3 million names

·      FREE U.S. Military DatabasesCivil War

·        The Civil War Home Page

·        Civil War photos at the National Archives

·        Civil War digital collection

·        National Archives Confederate Pensions

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Spanish-American War

Spanish-American War

·         Spanish-American War - Library of Congress Guide

·         Spanish-American War Service Summary Cards     (Georgia Archives)

·         Spanish-American War photographic collections

·         Name Index to New York in the Spanish-American War 1898

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World War I

World War I

·      A multimedia history of World War I

·      The World War I Document Archive

·      FREE U.S. Military DatabasesWorld War One

·         World War 1 Atlas

·         US World War I links

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World War II

World War II

·     Directory of Online World War II Indices & Records

·     The Second World War 

·     FREE U.S. Military DatabasesWorld War Two

·          World War II Database

·          U.S. National Archives Photos

·          U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949 $

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Korean War

Korean War

·      Facts and texts on the War

·      The Center for the Study of the Korean War

·      FREE U.S. Military DatabasesKorean War

·        Korean War Documentary

·        US Army Korea Media Center official Korean War online image archive

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Vietnam War

Vietnam War

·      Virtual Vietnam Archive

·      Vietnam war timeline

·      FREE U.S. Military DatabasesVietman War

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Gen. Ref. Library

Our Genealogy 
Reference Library

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Within our Genealogy Reference Library (U.S.A.) page where you will find U.S. military histories from the American Revolution to World War One at the following link.   If you are looking for the history of a specific state or local U.S. military unit take a look in the Genealogy Reference Library U.S.A. Locations pages.   In addition, we have general military reference texts as well as other books that will assist you with your research.

This Link will take you to our

Research Library - button 1 copy

collections of military reference books.  

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Free Records (Blue) lt orange

Free Military Records

Our FREE Military
Records & Databases

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All of the records and databases listed on our Military webpage are FREE and can be accessed and searched online without having to pay for a subscription.   We try not to list any sites that have only a few records for the purpose of getting you to a website that will charge a fee to actually see the record beyond just a name.   

This Link will take you to our

FREE Records - button 2

collections of FREE Records.  

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About this webpage

About This Webpage

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

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-- This webpage was last updated on --

01 June 2014

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