California Military Records

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

United States Military Online Genealogy Records provides more links for nationwide military record collections.

Many military records are at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. The United States Military Records Wiki article provides more information on federal military records and search strategies. For California the following sources are especially helpful:

Forts[edit | edit source]

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

War of 1812[edit | edit source]

Gibson, Nancy Brigham California State Society lineage book : National Society, United States Daughters of 1812 ( Culiman, Alabama: Gregath, c 1991) pages 271 FHL Book 979.4 D2

Mexican War (1846-1848)[edit | edit source]

The Mexican War was caused by the annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845. Most volunteer regiments were from southern states. Records of Mexican War veterans might exist in a state where the veteran later resided.

  • Robarts, William Hugh. Mexican War Veterans : A Complete Roster of the Regular and Volunteer Troops in the War Between the United States and Mexico, from 1846-1848… Washington, D.C. : Brentano’s, 1887. FHL book 973 M2rwh Digital version available at Internet Archive.}}

Click on these links to learn more about the Mexican War and about Mexican War pension records.

Civil War (1861-1865)[edit | edit source]

Fort Point, San Francisco, California

See California in the Civil War for information about California Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the California regiments involved in the Civil War.

The regimental pages often include lists of the companies with links to the counties where the companies started. Men in the companies often lived in the counties where the companies were raised. Knowing a county can help when researching more about the soldiers and their families.

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System allows name searching for soldiers. The result set gives the regiments for the soldiers. Then you can check the Wiki regiment pages to determine counties. Often knowing the counties that had men in a regiment will help you determine if a soldier was your ancestor.

Civil War Veterans buried in Orange County is a project compiled by the Orange County California Genealogical Society.

Indian Wars (1780s-1890s)[edit | edit source]

  • Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During Indian Wars and Disturbances, 1815-1858 (Family History Library films 882753-94).
  • Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914 (beginning on Family History Library film 350307).
  • Old War Index to Pension Files, 1815-1926 (Family History Library films 821603-09).
  • Pension Index Files, Indian Wars, 1892-1926 (Family History Library films 821610-21).

Spanish-American War (1898)
[edit | edit source]

The Spanish-American War was largely fought in Cuba and the Philippines. Spanish-American War records might exist in the state from which the soldier served or in a state where the veteran later resided.


The California State Archives has military records from the California Adjutant General's office dating from 1849 to 1945. These include records of California volunteers in the Spanish-American War. FHL film 981554-55

Click on the link to learn more about the Spanish American War.

World War I (1917-1918)[edit | edit source]

World War I was a global war fought on multiple continents with several nations involved. Over four million men and women served from the United States.

Alien Registration



Draft Records

  • 1917-1918 United States. Selective Service System. California. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1509. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1987-1988. View images at FamilySearch film 1530652

Camp Kearny, Linda Vista

' Camp Fremont '

Honor Roll of Californians who served in WWI, 1914-1918

Service Records

Note A brief biography of the individual is usually included on the next image. Also, photos were not indexed and the collection only has photos for surnames beginning with BAL-BON. The complete photo collection is available in the collection below.

YMCA Service Cards

World War II (1941-1945)[edit | edit source]

On April 27, 1942, the Selective Service conducted the fourth of six draft registrations related to WWII. The "World War II Selective Service Draft Cards: Fourth Registration, 1942" is often referred to as the “Old Man’s Registration” or the “Old Man’s Draft" because it included men with a date of birth from April 28, 1877 to February 16, 1897. Since there is overlap in the WWI and WWII Selective Service registration, men born in the years 1877 to 1900 may have registered twice and have both WWII and WWI draft records.

Relocation Records

Additional Information: World War II United States Military Records

Korean War (1950–1953)[edit | edit source]

The Korean War was a conflict between North Korea (and its communist allies) and South Korea (with support of the United Nations, primarily the United States). See the Korean War wiki article for information on records and their availability.

Vietnam War (1964–1972)[edit | edit source]

The Vietnam War was a conflict between North Vietnam (and its communist allies) and South Vietnam (with support of its anti-communist allies, including the United States). See the Vietnam War wiki article for information on records and their availability.

Militia - National Guard[edit | edit source]

Additional Records[edit | edit source]

The California State Archives has military records from the California Adjutant General's office dating from 1849 to 1945. These include papers of the California Militia from 1850 to 1916, registers of California Volunteers in the Civil and Spanish-American Wars, records of California National Guard Units, and enlistment records from World War I and World War II. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of some of these records from 1858 to 1923 (FHL various film numbers) (35 rolls). Records from World War I that include name, biographical, geographical, and newspaper card files are on the last 17 rolls of this set.

Veterans Home

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Encyclopedia of Indian Wars Western Battles and Skirmishes 1850-1890. by Gregory F. Michno. Mountain Press publishing Co., Missoula, Montana C. 2003 ISBN 0-87842-468-7