West Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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West Virginia Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|West Virginia, United States|
|Flag of the United States of America|
|Seal of the National Archives|
|Record Type||Compiled Service Records|
|Record Group||RG 94: Records of the Adjutant General's Office|
|Microfilm Publication||M508. Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of West Virginia.|
|National Archives Identifier||300398 423|
|National Archives and Records Administration|
- 1 What Is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can This Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What do I do Next?
- 6 Known Issues With This Collection
- 7 Citing This Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What Is in the Collection?
The collection consists of Union service records of soldiers who served in organizations from West Virginia for the years 1861 to 1865. The records include abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in the following original records:
- Name, rank, company and regiment in which served.
- Muster rolls showing when soldier was mustered-in, discharged
- Appointment books
- Hospital registers
- Union prison registers and rolls
- Parole rolls
- Inspection reports
For each military unit the service records are arranged alphabetically by the soldier's surname. The Military Unit field may also display the surname range (A-G) as found on the microfilm. This collection is a part of RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780s - 1917, and is National Archive Microfilm Publication M508. Index courtesy of www.fold3.com (previously Footnote.com).
Service records were kept for each soldier. Those records, or their abstracts, were compiled into individual files. Each envelope/jacket contains information and cross references to original records relating to the soldier.
The records are in individual files which usually include the following:
- A jacket-envelope for each soldier, labeled with his name, his rank, and the unit in which he served
- A card (or cards) with abstracts of entries from original muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, parole rolls, and inspection reports
- The originals of any papers relating only to the particular soldier
What Can This Collection Tell Me?
The index to these records contains the following:
- Jacket name
- Soldier’s full name
- Age (often estimated)
- Military unit served in
- Type of records in file
- NARA publication number, title, and roll number
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
- The name of the soldier
- Identifying information such as age
Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.
What do I do Next?
When you have located your ancestor’s service record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.
I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?
- Use the estimated age to calculate a birth date.
- Use the age and location of the military unit to find the soldier’s family in census, church, and land records.
- Continue to search the index and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have served in the same unit or a nearby unit.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for variant spellings of the surnames.
I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For, What Now?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
- 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 with the same family number.
Known Issues With This Collection
| Problems with this collection?|
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
Citing This Collection
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
- "West Virginia Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. From "Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of West Virginia." Database. Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d. Citing NARA microfilm publication M508. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1964.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
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