Did Veteran’s Day get you thinking about your ancestor’s military service and how you can learn more about it?
One research option is the subscription genealogy website Fold3.com, which has records on conflicts from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Indian Wars, Civil War, Spanish-American War, world wars I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. (Although the site switched its focus to military records a few years back, it also has some nonmilitary records, such as city directories, American Indian censuses, naturalizations and more.)
When we started working on a webinar about researching on Fold3.com, I went looking for family members’ records there. Here’s a page from the compiled military service record (CMSR) for my third-great-granduncle Frank Thoss (brother of my third-great-grandfather Louis Thoss), a private in Co. A, 53rd Regiment, Kentucky Infantry.
Frank’s widow filed for a pension in 1886, according to this pension index card, so I can send for a copy of the application from the National Archives (select widows’ pensions are digitized on Fold3).
You can search Fold3 for your ancestors’ names, and view records with a subscription (some libraries and FamilySearch Centers let patrons use Fold3 on their computers, so check out that option).
Get help finding your ancestors’ records on Fold3 in our Making the Most of Fold3.com webinar, on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 7pm ET (6pm CT/5pm MT/4pm PT). Presenter David A. Fryxell will show you
- the site’s collections, including lesser-known records that might have information on your family
- how to navigate the site
- the best strategies for searching it (the search works differently from other genealogy sites you might be used to)
- when you should browse instead, and how to do it
- how you can find records on ancestors who never actually served in the military
All webinar registrants will receive a PDF handout of the presentation slides, plus access to watch the recording again as often as you want.