New U.S. WWI Military Records for Genealogy
Topping the list of new and updated genealogy records this week are United States military records. Ancestry.com has a new collection of U.S. Navy Muster Rolls and an updated collection of historical postcards. Enjoy a special interview with military expert Michael Strauss on how he solved an old postcard mystery! Also new this week are WWI U.S. records at FamilySearch for Michigan and Utah, which you can access for free online.
Featured: U.S. Navy Muster Rolls
Ancestry.com has a new collection of U.S. Navy Muster Rolls, 1949-1963. From the description:
Ancestry.com also recently updated their collection of U.S. Historical Postcards, 1893-1960. You might be wondering how historical postcards would be valuable to your genealogy research. The collection description sheds some light on what you can use this database for:
“This database contains over 115,000 historical postcards with photos of places in the United States. Each postcard caption has been indexed and may be searched by keyword or location. The database also includes the city, county, state, and postcard era (estimated year range) for most postcards.
This database is primarily useful for obtaining a photograph or picture of a specific place in time. If you do not already have pictures of the places your ancestors lived, historical postcards are a good alternative to personal photos.”
In the video below: A captivating story unfolds of old postcards from WWI that are snatched from oblivion by Michael Strauss, who is the Genealogy Gems Podcast Military Minutes man. Michael shares the story of how he found the historic postcards on eBay, and the research process he followed to identify their author. These are strategies that you can use in many areas of your family history research!
You can explore even more new WWI records for genealogy thanks to FamilySearch’s newest additions to their free records.
- Michigan, Census of World War I Veterans with Card Index, 1917-1919
- Utah, World War I County Draft Board Registers, Name Index, 1917-1918
- Utah, World War I Service Questionnaires, 1914-1918
These records may help you find out more about your ancestors who served in the military during WWI. Depending on the collection and record, you might find:
- name of Veteran;
- serial number;
- place and date of birth;
- occupation before and after the war;
- marriage date;
- wife’s name,
- birthplace and date;
- names of children and their birth dates;
- parents’ names and addresses;
- first camp entered and date;
- rank, company, and regiment;
- transfers and promotions;
- battles engaged in;
- discharged date and reason, and additional information.
If you don’t find the person you’re looking for, FamilySearch has these helpful suggestions for next steps:
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Look for an index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
- Search the records of nearby localities (or military units, counties, parishes, etc.).
More Military Records with Michael Strauss
Michael Strauss is our resident Military Minutes man for The Genealogy Gems Podcast. He first debuted on the show on episode #207, where he talked about draft registrations. Click here to listen to the episode and download an exclusive free 4-page handout! For more expert military research tips and insight, browse Michael’s many articles on our website by clicking here.
About the Author: Lacey Cooke has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. Now, as the full-time manager of Genealogy Gems, she creates the free weekly newsletter, writes blogs, coordinates live events, and collaborates on new product development. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. She is the proud dog mom of Renly the corgi.
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