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Captain or Colonel? Find Out!

Image of Military Uniforms from the Years

Do you have ancestors who served in the military at some point in history? If so, you may be able to find their service records, draft cards, and more online! These documents can help illumine information about their service, while bringing them to life with details about their physical appearance. Sometimes, you may be unsure if/when an ancestor served; however, you can make an educated guess based upon their age (18-40) at certain points in history. FamilySearch has a great list of suggested wars that may align with your ancestor as well as some research tips for general searching. It never hurts to try and find military records, as they can be a treasure trove of excellent information!

Image of a Military RecordOn this Memorial Day weekend, you can honor your ancestors’ legacies and service by trying to learn more about them. You may want to start by identifying what you hope to learn and see if anyone in the family has information and/or photos. Then, you may want to explore the types of records available and where to find them. Of course, the National Archives (NARA) is a great place to look, particularly if you already know their branch of service. When you find something, you can order copies online, as most their records are currently not available online. For more information about researching at NARA, you may want to check out their genealogy page.

Are you having difficulty finding records online? Do you want to dive even further? Then, try exploring Fold3, available through the library! This invaluable database “provides convenient access to military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of [those] who served.” This database’s “name comes from a traditional flag folding ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans who served….” Fold3 has an amazing collection of diverse records that you can view directly online! You can even narrow your search results by country, conflict, branch, and record type. Check out the Fold3 Help Center to learn more.

Image of Military Record Types

If you end up finding information about an ancestor’s service, you may want to consider applying for a memorial marker from the National Cemetery Administration. If they do not already have one, this can be a great way to share your research discoveries with others, while also honoring them.

Finally, do not forget about the NEW Genealogy eBook Collection available through the library, OR the print books available in our genealogy collection. Both have many resources with/about military records.

May your memorial journey be meaningful!

Image of Military Cemetery Markers

Categories: Genealogy

Tags: Genealogy

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