United States Military Records

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US Military Records
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How do I research United States Military Records?
Beginning Research
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Washington Crossing the Delaware

Military records are from times of war and times of peace. They identify individuals who served in the armed forces or who were eligible for service. Military records can help you learn more about your ancestors who served their country. These Wiki pages teach terminology and describe the contents, uses, and availability of major sets of records created mostly by the federal government. You can use them to learn about federal and nationwide sources. The Wiki pages discuss only sources that identify personal information about individuals in the armed forces and their units. They do not discuss historical sources about military institutions, weapons, battles, or tactics. The Wiki pages for the separate states have more information about state military records.

American Wars and Battles[edit | edit source]

Beginners' Corner[edit | edit source]

1. What are United States military records?
2. What time periods do they cover?
3. What can I find in them?
4. How do I access them?
5. Search strategies

For a more complete beginning introduction, see U.S. Military Records Class Handout.

Getting started with United States Military Records research[edit | edit source]

If you are just beginning research, you may need some introductory information before using this set of Wiki pages. You may want to see the Wiki article Guide to Research

The Basic Search Strategies page of this set suggests steps you should take to find your ancestors in military records. This section is especially valuable if you are just beginning your research. The Record Finder can help you choose types of records to search. The Family History Library's collection is described on that page, and there is also a page explaining how to use the FamilySearch Catalog to find specific records.

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Mexican War

Civil War

World War I

World War II

Other Military Record Collections

Branch of Service

Use military records to:[edit | edit source]

Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

National Archives and Records Administration[edit | edit source]

Record Groups with Digitized Records[edit | edit source]

The Record Group Explorer and Record Group Explorer Data webpages will identify record groups with digital records in the National Archives Catalog.

Selected Record Groups with Digitized Records The following links identify by Record Group with some digitized content.

FamilySearch Wiki - Collection Coverage Tables

National Personnel Records Center (National Archives at St. Louis)[edit | edit source]

American Legion Library and Museum (20th Century Wars and Conflicts)[edit | edit source]

Soldier For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

Research Tools[edit | edit source]

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

  • NARA Collections on Ancestry.com - search for NARA collections by NARA title, NARA series number (ex. M313) or Ancestry.com title. 
  • National Archives Military Records - National Archives page explaining some of their records available for the different wars. 
  • Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. Free National Park Service site with a nationwide index to Union and Confederate servicemen, including U.S. Colored Troops (USCT). 
  • Ancestry.com ($) A subscription site with records from most major American wars, including DAR Rolls of Honor, the Civil War Collection, and World War I Draft Registrations. Also includes selected Loyalist and Confederate sources. 
  • Fold3.com ($) (formerly Footnote) Subscription site to digitized and indexed National Archives documents including Civil War Service Records, Civil War Widows Pensions,  Mormon Battalion Pension Files, Pension Index-Civil War to 1900, Revolutionary War Pensions, Southern Claims Commission, WWI and WWII records. 
  • HeritageQuestOnline. Search selected records from the Revolutionary War era pension and bounty-land warrant application files. Only at libraries.
  • Register of Revolutionary War Records Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, (Family History Library), (Salt Lake City: FHL, 2006) Shows National Archives and other sources available through the Family History Library. 
  • Veterans History Project (Library of Congress) 
  • National Veterans History Archival Institute 
  • National Archives 
  • Pritzker Military Museum and Library Their collection includes over 45,000 books includes military histories, unit histories, military rosters, cruise books (similar to high school yearbooks), photographs, guides to uniforms, equipment, insignia, and ships for many of the world's militaries.
  • New Horizons Genealogy 
  • Cyndi's List U.S. Military Links 
  • Mary's Genealogy Treasures 
  • For Further Reading 
  • You can get copies of your own military records and those of your ancestors by going to this website.
  • Many resources are available online at the NARA/ADD website. It covers everything from the Revolutionary War to very recently.

Wiki articles describing online Military collections are found at:

See also Military Records in the FamilySearch Learning Center.

State Military Records[edit | edit source]

  • Including Militia and National Guard

National Guard Bureau, Record Group 168[edit | edit source]

Guidebooks[edit | edit source]

National Archives

Reference Sources[edit | edit source]