Civil War Genealogy Resources

By Diane Haddad

The American Civil War began 150 years ago this week. But you already knew that. What you maybe didn’t know is that the National Park Service has a Civil War Sesquicentennial Home Page with a play-by-play of that first Battle of Fort Sumter, as well as contemporary news reports.

As part of our Life in Civil War America sweepstakes, we’ve heard from many of you who’ve taken advantage of newly available Civil War records such as those from and the National Archives (free on through April 14; you also can check out Footnote’s Civil War records free through April 14) to start learning about your Civil War ancestors.

Interested in taking your research further? Here are some resources that may help:

  • The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System: More than 6 million names of soldiers (those who served in more than one regiment have multiple listings) from the Union and Confederacy, as well as African-American sailors. You can learn basic service details, find regimental histories and listings of soldiers by regiment, view battle summaries and see records from Andersonville and Fort McHenry prisons.
  • Civil War Women: Diaries, letters and other primary sources from Duke University
  • Civil War Sesquicentennial Tools: Links to online tools and podcasts (such as Longwood University’s weekly review of key Civil War events taking place exactly 150 years ago) that help you research your family’s Civil War history.
  • Civil War Genealogy Toolkit: Link to state archives’ online Civil War records, Civil War history sites, how-to articles, Civil War history organizations and more.
  • Military Research Guide: Our free guide will show you how to research your Civil War and other military ancestors.

Other Family Tree Magazine Civil War research helps include: