US Military Cemetery Records

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United States
Military Records
Cemetery Records

Cemetery Records

Soldiers and veterans were often buried in private, public, church, national, and military post cemeteries. Others were buried on the battlefield or in prison or hospital cemeteries. The first national military cemeteries were created in 1862 during the Civil War.

  • Claire Prechtel-Kluskens.Headstone Records for US Military Veterans. Part I:Headstone Design NGS Magazine 39 #1 (January-March 2013): 30- 33. FHL 973 D25ngs
  • Claire Prechtel-Kluskens.Headstone Records for US Military Veterans. Part II: Records for Headstones Requested from 1879 to 1925." NGS Magazine 39 #2 (April-June 2013): 32-35. FHL 973 D25ngs
  • Clair Prechtel-Kluskens. Records of Burial Flags for Veterans." NGS Magazine 42 #4 (October-December 2016): 39-42. FHL 973 D25ngs

National Cemetery System

The National Cemetery System has a card index that identifies nearly all soldiers who were buried in national cemeteries and other cemeteries under federal jurisdiction from 1861 to the present. The address is:

National Cemetery System
Department of Veteran Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20422

This web site has administration news; national veterans cemetery addresses; information about burial, headstones, state veterans cemetery grant programs, and links to other sites for locating veterans; and military records.

A Nationwide Gravesite Locator is now available online from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It has burial records of veterans and their family members from VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, and other veterans cemeteries around the country. The site also provides links to maps of the cemeteries.

National Archives

The National Archives also has applications for headstones for soldiers and veterans buried in private cemeteries between 1879–1964.

State Records

Some states and counties have grave registration records that identify the graves of soldiers buried in local cemeteries. You can usually find these by contacting the state archives or state library or historical society. The Family History Library has statewide veteran grave registrations for the following states:

The state military pages may also have more information for cemetery records for their respective states.

Overseas Cemeteries

American Battle Monuments Commission

The American Battle Monuments Commission was created in 1923 to maintain memorials in the U.S. and 24 foreign countries where American forces have served. They have the names of 124,913 World War I and World War II war dead and the names of 94,093 soldiers listed as missing in action or buried at sea from four wars: World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War.

The American Battle Monuments Commission Internet site includes information about the purpose, composition, and history of the commission; details about each overseas cemetery; and the names of persons buried at many of their cemeteries. A name index of the interred listed separately for each of the four wars provides:

  • Name
  • Rank
  • Service
  • Date of Birth
  • Date of Death

By selecting the name, you will be provided with a page on the decedent, showing the cemetery and location of grave and additional information.

See the cemetery pages for each war for more information this and other military cemetery records.

ABMC Publications

The following publications can help you find overseas cemeteries:

  • American Memorials and Overseas Military Cemeteries. Washington, D.C.: American Battle Monuments Commission, 1970. (FHL book 973 Al no. 58; FHL film 928257.) Contains descriptions of cemeteries in Europe where Americans are buried who died in World Wars I and II.
  • Nishiura, Elizabeth, ed. American Battle Monuments: A Guide to Military Cemeteries and Monuments Maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission. Detroit: Omnigraphics, Inc., 1989. (FHL book 973 V3am.) Lists the public services offered by the commission plus a directory to their offices. It serves as a guide to cemeteries and memorials for the World Wars.

For further information contact:

American Battle Monuments Commission
Casimir Pulaski Building
20 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20314-0300
Telephone: 202-272-0533; 202-272-0532

Cemetery Records by Conflict


The following book provides descriptions of national cemeteries, state veterans’ cemeteries, soldiers’ lots, and abandoned military cemeteries:

Family History Library

To find microfilm numbers of cemetery records in the FamilySearch Catalog, look in the Place Search  under:

|Cemetery Records]]