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.