US Military Old Soldiers Home Records

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United States  >  Military Records  >  Types of Military Records  >  Old Soldiers Home Records

Kentucky Confederate Home.jpg

History of Old Soldiers and Sailors Homes

In 1811 Congress approved a national home for disabled Navy veterans, but construction did not start until 1827. The Naval Home in the Philadelphia Naval Yard was first occupied in 1834. Homes for the Army were also proposed in 1827, but not approved until 1851 after the Mexican War, and again in 1865 after the Civil War.[1] Veterans were eligible for admittance if they were honorably discharged; had served in the regular, volunteer, or militia forces mustered into federal service; were disabled and without support; and were unable to earn a living. By the late 1920s the system had expanded to include 17 federal veterans homes. Most national homes were officially known as a branch National Military Home, and informally called an Old Soldiers Home. In 1930 the national homes were combined with other agencies to form part of the Veterans Administration, now the Department of Veteran Affairs. In many cases veterans homes were converted to veterans hospitals after World War II.

Most old soldier homes were run by individual states. 43 states operated 54 homes between 1865 and 1933 for military veterans, or their widows, or orphans. Fourteen of those states also had a federal veterans home open at the same time as their state veterans home. Ten states had two or more state veterans homes in operation at the same time (two of which states also had a federal home).

U.S. Sanitary Commission homes, lodges, and rest. During the Civil War the U.S. Sanitary Commission provided Union servicemen "Temporary aid and protection,—food, lodging, care, etc.,—for soldiers in transitn[sic], chiefly the discharged, disabled, and furloughed." By 1865 the Commission operated 18 "soldiers' homes," 11 "lodges," and one "rest" in 15 states north and south (for a list see Commission bulletin, 3:1279). Most of their homes were war-time facilities and were closed at war's end. They are not included in the following list.

For more detailed histories, especially of National Military Homes, see:

Record Content

Soldier home registers are typically divided into three main sections: (1) military, (2) domestic, and (3) home, along with some general remarks. The military section includes information such as enlistment, rank, company, regiment, and discharge. The domestic section includes the veteran’s birthplace, age, height, religion, occupation, residence, marital status, and name and address of nearest relative. The home section includes the veteran’s rate of pension, date of admission to the home, discharge, death date, and burial place.

Some reports published by the Board of Managers for the National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers contain alphabetical rosters of soldiers. The rosters provide name, rank, company, organization, length of service, war, pension rate, birthplace, admission date, age when admitted, and status (including death date).

Almost all soldiers' homes had their own cemetery, or used a nearby cemetery as the final resting place for their residents. These cemeteries are easy to identify with their veterans' home. In the case of national homes, most of the associated cemeteries have become part of the National Cemetery system run by the Veterans Administration, and have good Internet indexes. 

Finding the Records

The following table lists the location and names of old soldier homes, Family History Library (FHL) records, Internet information, and known manuscript (Ms) collections for the homes. For additional records ask at nearby museums, if any. Some old soldier home records may have ended up at their respective state archives.

Template:US Military Locating Soldier Home Records

State, Locale
Records at FHL
NE Burkett (Grand Island) Nebraska Soldiers and Sailors Home 1888-now[2] cemetery v. 2 cemetaryimage, images, website  
NE Milford Soldiers' and Sailors' Home 1895-1939[3] Not at FHL history, history  
NH Tilton New Hampshire Soldiers’ Home 1890-now[4] Not at FHL website, image  
NJ Kearny Home for Disabled Soldiers 1888-1932[5] Not at FHL history, history, history, book  
NJ Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home 1932-now[6] Not at FHL history  
NJ Newark Home for Disabled Soldiers 1866-1888[7] Not at FHL history, book  
NJ Vineland NJ Memorial Home for Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and their Wives 1899-now[8] Not at FHL history, cemetery, book  
NY Bath Bath Branch National Military Home a.k.a. New York State Soldiers and Sailors Home 1878-1934[9] registers, history index, burials, NPS site, history, cemetery [10]
NY Oxford State Woman’s Relief Corps Home a.k.a. State Veterans' Home 1897-now[11] Not at FHL burials, history, website  
NC Fayetteville Confederate Woman's Home 1915-40s[12] Not at FHL cemetery, history, history  
NC Raleigh North Carolina Soldiers’ Home a.k.a. Confederate Soldiers' Home 1890-1938[13] Not at FHL history, history, history, image, cemetery, burials [14]
ND Lisbon Soldiers’ Home 1893-now[15] Not at FHL history, burials, website  
OH Dayton Central Branch National Military Home 1867-now[9] registers, records, inmates, probate docket index, burials, history, images, burials, guide, NPS site, lesson, museum [10]
OH Sandusky Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home a.k.a. Ohio Veterans Home 1888-now[16] admissions, deaths, case histories, and discharges history, image, image, images, burials, cemetery  
OK Ardmore Oklahoma Confederate Home a.k.a. Oklahoma Veterans Center 1911-1942[17] cemetery, veteran burials cemetery, burials, website [18] [19]
OK Oklahoma City Oklahoma Union Soldiers’ Home 1918-1937[20] index pensions, burials, cemetery [21]
OR Roseburg Oregon State Soldiers' Home a.k.a. Roseburg Branch National Military Home 1893-1933[22] registers, applications, index index, photo, cemetery, burials, burials register indexindex [23]
PA Erie Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home 1886-now[24] records burials, image, image, image, website  
PA Philadelphia United States Naval Home 1834-1976[25] Not at FHL burials, burials, burials, history, history, cemetery  
RI Bristol Rhode Island Soldiers’ Home 1891-now[26] Not at FHL history, history, website  

The Family History Library has microfilms of the following:

  • Registers of Veterans at National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866–1937. (On 282 FHL films starting with 1546167.) The registers are indexed individually by the name of the veteran for each home. Upon admission each veteran was given a number. The registers are arranged numerically by these numbers. To find specific microfilm numbers, look in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:

State Homes

Many states also maintained soldier homes as well. The Family History Library also has records for some state homes, including:

External References

Sources and Notes

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Philadelphia Naval Asylum," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed 23 November 2009), and Wikipedia contributors, "National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 23 November 2009).
  2. "Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, Grand Island, Neb.- Historical Notes" in Nebraska Memories at (accessed 8 January 2010).
  3. Nebraska State Historical Society, "Historical Milford" at (accessed 9 January 2020).
  4. Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Department of New Hampshire, "Veterans Helping Veterans Group at NH Home" at (accessed 9 January 2010).
  5. Kearny High School "Home for Disabled Soldiers" in Kearny Photos: Landmarks [Internet site] at (accessed 5 December 2009), and Deborah Fitts, "Kearny Veterans Home Statue Will Be Replaced" in Civil War News [Internet site] at (accessed 5 December 2009).
  6. Deborah Fitts, "Kearny Veterans Home Statue Will Be Replaced" in Civil War News [Internet site] at (accessed 5 December 2009).
  7. Frank John Urquhart, History of the City of Newark, New Jersey (New York: Lewis Historical Publ., 1913; digitized by Google Book, 2006), 2:719.
  8. State of New Jersey, Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs, "New Jersey Veterans Memorial Homes" at (accessed 5 December 2009).
  9. 9.0 9.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named NatH
  10. 10.0 10.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Plante
  11. New York State Legislature, Documents of the Senate of the State of New York – One Hundred and Fortieth Session (Albany, N.Y.: J.B. Lyon Co., 1917; Digitized by Google Books), 133 (accessed 12 January 2010).
  12. "18. Confederate Women’s Home Historical Marker" in Fayetteville, N.C. Military Sites Tour Map at (accessed 13 January 2010). The ending date is estimated from an article discussing the use of the Home's chapel by others in 1945: Haymount United Methodist Church, "Church History" at (accessed 13 January 2010).
  13. North Carolina Archives, State Auditors Papers, Au-Com, "Wake County, NC - Raleigh's Old Soldiers' Home, 1890-1938" at (accessed 13 January 2010).
  14. Rosenburg, 216-17, says the North Carolina Div. of Archives and History, Raleigh, has Board of Incorporators minutes, building and maintenance expenses, drug and whiskey account, hospital record of patients, hospital register, inmate expenses, inmate record, inmate register, inmate roll book, ledger accounts paid, record of clothing issued, Superintendent's inmate behavior log, visitors' register, and warrants and weekly payroll.
  15. North Dakota Veterans Home, "History of the North Dakota Veterans Home" at (accessed 5 December 2009).
  16. "Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home" in Ohio History Central: An Online encyclopedia of Ohio History at (accessed 18 January 2010).
  17. "Oklahoma Veterans Center, Ardmore, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Confederate Home, 1911-1942)" in at (accessed 15 December 2009).
  18. "Oklahoma Confederate Home Material" is available at the Confederate Research Center, Harold B. Simpson Hill College History Complex, Hillsboro, Texas, as cited in "Confederate Research Center" at (accessed 15 December 2009).
  19. "Military Records" in Oklahoma - Sources at (accessed 21 January 2010), says "The Oklahoma Historical Society has the records, although incomplete, of the Confederate Home located in Ardmore, Oklahoma."
  20. Doug Loudenback, "The Union Soldier's Home" in Doug Dawgz Blog at (accessed 15 December 2009), citing The Oklahoman's [newspaper?] archives.
  21. Robert L. Williams, "The Oklahoma Historical Society" in Chronicles of Oklahoma at (accessed 15 December 2009), 61, says the Oklahoma Historical Society has "8,774 pages relating to the Union soldiers and their organizations from the old Union Soldiers' Home and also valuable Confederate records."
  22. United States, Dept. of Veterans Affairs, "Cemeteries - Roseburg National Cemetery" at (accessed 15 December 2009).
  23. Oregon State Archives "State Agency Record Series Descriptions - N-R Oregon Soldiers Home . . . at (accessed 26 January 2010).
  24. Pennsylvania Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs, "Pennsylvania Soldiers' and Sailors' Home" at (accessed 15 December 2009).
  25. "US History Encyclopedia: Soldiers' Home" in at (accessed 4 January 2010), and Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL), "Views of the U.S. Naval Asylum and Hospital, Philadelphia" in Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries at (accessed 4 January 2010).
  26. Rhode Island. Dept. of State, "Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home" in Manual, with rules and orders, for the use of the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island, 1912 (Providence, R.I.: E.L. Freeman, 1912; Digitized by Google Books), 278 at'+Home&source=bl&ots=JH6He0Zofu&sig=UqZ_E4tDsHPzLanYBHUg7TZ9P4U&hl=en&ei=utNUS-jwHoiWtgefs4yoCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CBQQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Rhode%20Island%20Soldiers'%20Home&f=false (accessed 18 January 2010).