Genealogy: U.S. Civil War 1861-1865—Search the cemetery for information

Genealogy: Search the cemetery for U.S. Civil War 1861-1865 informationBy Barry J. Ewell
Finding graves of your ancestors from the Civil War era for both Union and Confederate soldiers is easier than you might think. The following are few resources.

Department of Veterans Affairs National Gravesite Locator. Search for burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker using the Gravesite Locator.

Headstones Provided for Deceased Union War Veterans circa 1879-1903.  An act of Congress of February 3, 1879, extended the privilege of government-provided gravestones to soldiers buried in private cemeteries.  There are 166,000 cards Continue reading

Genealogy census tip: Search every census schedule

CensusBy Barry J. Ewell
Understand every census has different information and that there are a variety of census schedules.  These schedules include the well-known population schedule but there are also mortality schedules, agricultural schedules, state censuses and more. Search every census schedule for the each individual. For example, If I was researching my grandfather who lived from 1852 to Continue reading

Genealogy census tip: Finding evidence that ancestor served in the U.S. military

WarBy Barry J. Ewell
The following are few tips I have used to define if my ancestor might have served in the military during this period of time.

  • List all the wars that existed during the each ancestor’s life time and what age they were during the war.  As a rule of thumb the age range for soldiers during a war period is 16-60.
  • Look for clues that might be found on gravestones, family papers, obituaries, biographies.
  • Look where the ancestor lived. Does your ancestor live on what is referred to as the frontier (western most land) of the United States in the early 1800′? This might indicate that he received bounty lands.
  • Search indexes for military land patents and other military records. If you don’t find ancestor in one index, try another.  It is not uncommon to have ancestors who were veterans of multiple wars.

Genealogy census tip: Census closest to death can yield many records

headstoneBy Barry J. Ewell
Look for the last census naming ancestor.  You may find your ancestor living with children/grandchildren or visa versa. In the county of the census, search for death related records. Each death-related record may have different types of information/clues to support and expand your research. Examples of death-related records include:

  • Obituaries
  • Cemetery records
  • Wills
  • Deeds
  • Death certificates
  • Insurance
  • Funeral homes

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Genealogy: World War II 1941-1945, Search the cemetery for information

Europe Military CemeterBy Barry J. Ewell
The following are resources I have used to locate cemetery records of soldiers from World War II:

Department of Veterans Affairs National Gravesite Locator. Search for burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker using the Gravesite Locator.  The following are variations of military headstones/markers:

Headstone 5headstone 2Headstone 4Arlington National Cemetery provides information on service members buried there.

ArlingtonThe American Battle Monuments Commission provides information on service members buried in overseas cemeteries.
Europe Military CemeterLearn about researching World War II records in the article, “Genealogy: World War II 1941-1945, Researching and finding military records.”