The United States has a long history of military conflict and as such, there are a large number of records available from the various branches of the armed forces. These records can be useful for tracing family history, as well as for researching an ancestor’s military service.
Military Records in the United States are a vast and rich source of information for genealogical research. There are many types of military records, including those created by the United States federal government, as well as state and local governments.
Some of the most common military records in the United States are:
- Discharge papers are perhaps the most important type of military record, as they can provide valuable information about an ancestor’s service. These papers were typically issued to soldiers upon their discharge from the military and can contain important information such as the reason for discharge, length of service, and date and place of enlistment.
- Pension records were typically created for soldiers who were wounded or disabled during their service and can provide valuable information about an ancestor’s military service. These records were created to document a veteran’s service in the military and can provide important information about an ancestor’s military service. Pension records can also sometimes include information about the veteran’s spouse and children.
- Enlistment papers are another type of military record that can provide valuable information about an ancestor’s military service. These papers were typically issued to soldiers upon their enlistment in the military and can contain important information such as the soldier’s name, age, place of birth, and physical description.
- Service records are maintained by the United States government for all individuals who have served in the military. These records can be useful for a variety of purposes, such as verifying military service for employment or benefits purposes, researching family history, or obtaining information about an individual’s service record. Service records typically contain detailed information about an ancestor’s military service, including their rank, unit, and dates of service.
- Cemetery records are another type of military record that can be extremely useful for genealogical research. Cemetery records can provide valuable information about an ancestor’s death, as well as their military service. They can provide important information about an ancestor’s military service, as well as shed light on their life outside of the military.
Individuals can request copies of their military records, or the records of deceased relatives who served in the military. In some cases, restrictions may apply to certain types of records, and information may be redacted from the released records.
What Information is Included in Military Records?
The type of information included in military records can vary depending on the source, but they often include basic biographical information, as well as details about an individual’s military service. This can include information about the rank, unit, dates of service, and any awards or medals that were received. In some cases, medical records, and information about an ancestor’s spouse or children may also be included.
How to Find Military Records?
There are a few different ways to go about finding military records. One option is to search online databases, many of which are maintained by the government. Another option is to visit a physical archive, such as the National Archives or a state archive.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is a good place to start, as they hold a large number of military records from various conflicts. State archives may also have some military records, especially if the ancestor served in that state’s militia. Local historical societies or libraries may have resources available. Finally, it is also possible to request records from the relevant military branch.
If you are looking for military records from a specific conflict, such as the Revolutionary War or Civil War, several online resources can be helpful. The NARA website has a section dedicated to each major conflict, with information on how to access records related to that conflict. Several private websites offer access to military records, though it is important to do your research to make sure these sites are reputable before using them.
Why Are Military Records Important?
Military records can be an important source of information for both family history researchers and those interested in the history of the United States. They can provide insights into an ancestor’s life, as well as offer a glimpse into the past. These records can also help understand the role that an ancestor played in various conflicts. With a little bit of research, you should be able to find the military records of your ancestors and learn more about their lives.