Nine Steps to Civil War Ancestors

Nine Steps to Civil War Ancestors

The July 2007 Family Tree Magazine makes researching Civil War soldiers doable for anyone, with nine steps to uncovering genealogical records on Union and Confederate ancestors. Here's a quick overview of the steps:1. Search the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. 2. Order your ancestor's Compiled Military Service Records from...

The July 2007 Family Tree Magazine makes researching Civil War soldiers doable for anyone, with nine steps to uncovering genealogical records on Union and Confederate ancestors. Here’s a quick overview of the steps:

1. Search the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System.

2. Order your ancestor’s Compiled Military Service Records from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

3. Seek the soldier’s pension file, at NARA for Union soldiers and state archives for Confederate soldiers.

4. Look for NARA‘s records of the first US military draft, enacted in 1863.

5. Consult your ancestral state censuses and the 1890 US census schedule of Union veterans and widows (extant for states alphabetically from Kentucky through Wyoming).

6. Research records of veterans organizations such as the Grand Army of the Republic (post records are usually at state historical societies and archives) and United Confederate Veterans (on Family History Library microfilm).

7. Find cemetery records using sources such as the Department of Veterans Affiars National Gravesite Locator.

8. Get the back story on your ancestor’s regiment—the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System can get you started here, too, with its regimental histories.

9. Look for digital maps and images on Web sites such as the Library of Congress’ American Memory collection.

You can find thorough how-tos and additional resources for each of these steps in the July 2007 Family Tree Magazine, available now on newsstands and at FamilyTreeMagazine.com.

Related Products

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

ALL COMMENTS

  1. There are a couple of additional resources at the state level. Service records can also be found at the state archives but they are not as detailed as the ones from the National Archives and Records Administration but they are much less expensive to copy. Many of the states in the North published reports from the Adjutant General that provide a roster of the soldiers from that state. Also other states both North and South published listings of their soldiers.

  2. Thanks to both of you for mentioning these resources! Both (and more) are covered in the full Civil War research article in the print Family Tree Magazine July 2007 issue.