Branching Out: Veterans Benefits

By Diane Haddad Premium

Think your soldier ancestor was buried in a veterans cemetery? Now you can find out online. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has launched the Nationwide Gravesite Locator <>, a database of more than 3 million burial records from its 120 national cemeteries.

The database contains registers of interred veterans and their dependents dating to the establishment of the first national cemeteries during the Civil War. It also lists burial records since 1999 from some state veterans cemeteries and from Arlington National Cemetery (which is operated by the US Army, rather than the VA). The VA updates the Web site nightly with the previous day’s burials.

The basic search is by first and/or last name. You also can enter a first and last initial, or the last name plus a partial first name. The advanced search adds options for a middle name, birth and death dates, and cemetery name.

Results show the interred person’s name, branch of service (if available), rank, service dates, birth and death dates and burial date, plus the cemetery’s contact information and the grave’s location.

Records for Fort Rosecrans, Long Island, Los Angeles, and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific are incomplete, so some burials may not be listed in the VA’s database.
From the October 2004 Family Tree Magazine