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United States Index to Service Records, War with Spain - FamilySearch Historical Records

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United States Index to Service Records, War with Spain, 1898
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
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US Flag 1896-1908 (45 stars)
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National Archives and Records Administration Logo
Record Description
Record Type Index to Service Records
Record Group RG 94: Records of the Adjutant General's Office
Collection years 1898
Microfilm Publication M871. General Index to Compiled Service records of Volunteer Soldiers who Served During the War with Spain. 126 rolls.
National Archives Identifier 654543
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This is an index for the year 1898 to the compiled military service records of volunteer soldiers who served during the War with Spain. The service files are located in the National Archives and have not been filmed with the exception of Florida. The index is in alphabetical order.

Interest in the Spanish-American War is increasing. The number of participants was small compared to the number who served in the Civil War and World War II. The smaller numbers are in part due to the short length of the Spanish-American War, which ended before many soldiers had even been transported to the war zone. But for the many Americans whose families came to the United States during the mass immigrations of the 1880s and 1890s, the Spanish-American War records are the first military records they can research.

Pension records were carefully compiled on grounds of injury, illness, or disability (and later on age) and often included:

  • Application forms
  • Branch of service
  • Rank
  • Military organization
  • Proof of marriage
  • Proof of children's births
  • Summary of military service
  • Death certificates

Service records document an individual’s involvement with the military and can be used for proving military service, or as a valuable tool in genealogical research.

Records from the Spanish-American War are generally much more descriptive, complete, and accurate than those from earlier wars. Name spelling became more uniform and literacy more common. These improvements make it easier to locate birth dates, family members, and other important genealogical information.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Index to Service Records, War with Spain, 1898.


What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Service

  • Soldier's name
  • Rank and military unit
  • Date of entry into service
  • Separation by discharge, desertion, or death
  • Film number
  • Digital image numbers
  • Surname range
  • Age
  • Place of birth
  • Residence at time of enlistment

Entries that refer to miscellaneous personal papers have no corresponding compiled service records. The papers themselves follow the jacket envelopes for most units. See the FamilySearch Catalog for complete information on film numbers.

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Image[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The state and county were your ancestor lived
  • The approximate age and birth place of your ancestor
  • The dates of service in the military

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page
Select Surname Range

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Death dates may lead to death certificates, mortuary, or cemetery records
  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been seeking the pension
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • Contact the National Archives and request a copy of the Compiled Military Service Record Requesting Copies of Older Military Service Records.

I Can't Find the Person I"m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
  • Search the indexes and records of regular army enlistments
  • Search in the the General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.

Related Digital Books[edit | edit source]

Related Collections 1st Volunteer Cavalry - "Rough Riders"[edit | edit source]

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

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