30 May 2011

Browsing the NGSQ Archives for Memorial Day

By Toby Webb

Today the people of the United States honor the memories of those who died in our nation’s wars. It is an appropriate tribute, but it is one that genealogists make every day as we work to keep those names and memories alive. Articles in past issues of the NGS Quarterly, available online to NGS members, have offered many tools to help us identify our military forebears.

Memorial Day (first known as “Decoration Day”) emerged in the late 1860s to acknowledge the fact that citizens around the country already had begun a practice of decorating the graves of Union and Confederate war dead from the Civil War. But there are Revolutionary War veterans to be remembered as well. Some Revolutionary War resources:
·        Kenneth Scott, "Captain Christopher Benson's First Independent Company of New York Rangers 1777-1782," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 73 (June 1985): 132-134.
·        "Revolutionary War Pension Application John (Widow Jane) Armstrong-North Carolina," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 75 (December 1987): 270.
·        "Missing Military Rolls: Revolution and War of 1812," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 87 (September 1999): 184.
·        Marie Varrelman Melchiori, "Descriptive List of Journals, Diaries, and Other Contemporary Record Books in Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application Files," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 89 (June 2001): 136-138.
·        James W. Petty, "Military Pension Laws, 1776-1858, from the Journals of the Continental Congress and the United States Statutes-at-Large," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 90 (June 2002): 151-152.
·        Robert S. Davis, Jr., "When a Revolutionary War Pensioner's Claim Can't Be Found," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 77 (June 1989): 128-132.
·        Carmen J. A Finley, "Identifying the Revolutionary Soldier: James Downing of Lincoln County, Virginia (Kentucky)," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 77 (September 1989): 169-185.
           
The NGSQ’s book reviews often identify other resources for researchers. Several reviews have noted books on the Revolution:
·        Milton Rubincam, " Neagles, Summer Soldiers: A Survey & Index of Revolutionary War Courts-Martial," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 76 (December 1988): 306.
·        Alycon Trubey Pierce, "Fisher and Fisher. Soldiers, Sailors, and Patriots of the Revolutionary War-Vermont," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 81 (June 1993): 146-147.
·        Merrill Hill Mosher, "Babits and Howard. 'Fortitude and Forbearance': The North Carolina Continental Line in the American Revolution 1775-1783," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 93 (June 2005): 151.
           
There may even be important family history in the stories of those who fought for the other side during the Revolution:
·        Clifford Neal Smith, "Deserters, Dischargees, and Prisoners of War from the British Fifteenth Regiment of Foot During the American Revolution," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 70 (March 1982): 15-17.
·        Clifford Neal Smith, "Deserters, Dischargees, and Prisoners of War from the British Tenth Regiment," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 71 (June 1983): 114-120.
·        Clifford Neal Smith, "Deserters, Dischargees, and Prisoners of War from the British Sixteenth Regiment of Foot (Bedfordshire or Buckinghamshire) During the American Revolution," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 74 (December 1986): 279-282.
·        "Some British Deserters in Georgia in 1768," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 72 (March 1984): 49.

American patriots served in the War of 1812 and other pre-Civil War engagements:
·        Kenneth Scott, "U.S. Seamen Imprisoned in England in 1814," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 71 (June 1983): 131-134.
·        Shirley M. De Boer, "Michigan's Early Military Forces: A Roster and History of Troops Activated Prior to the American Civil War," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 91 (September 2003): 232-233.
           
Then came the greatest military struggle on American soil. Many archived articles help us with Civil War research:
·        "The Last Civil War Widow's Pension?," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 84 (December 1996): 306.
·        "An Unindexed Union Civil War Pension File," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 85 (March 1997): 24.
·        Diane Ragan, "Gone But Not Forgotten: Civil War Veterans of Northeastern Pennsylvania," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 91 (September 2003): 231-232.
·        Dawne Slater-Putt, "Northcott. Indiana Civil War Veterans: Transcription of the Death Rolls of the Department of Indiana, Grand Army of the Republic, 1882-1948," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 93 (December 2005): 313-314.
·        Eric G. Grundset, "Civil War Soldiers from Brunswick County, Virginia," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 90 (June 2002): 1540-55.
·        Ruth Ann Abels Hager and Ann Carter Fleming, "Slaves, Soldiers, and Citizens: Special Civil War Recruitment Lists," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 91 (June 2003): 139-143.
·        Craig Roberts Scott, "Naval-Records Research in the National Archives," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 79 (September 1991): 207-217.
·        Claire Prechetel-Kluskens, "Wagonmasters Serving the Union during the Civil War," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 85 (December 1997): 295-311.
·        Bryna C. O'Sullivan, "Dear "Master David": A Letter from an African American in the Confederate Service," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 96 (September 2008): 223-232.
·        "Some West Virginia Veterans' Death Notices," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 72 (March 1984): 33.
·        Vivian Luther-Schafer, "Harris. Civil War Records-"A Useful Tool": A Step-by-Step Guide to the Availability and Acquisition of Civil War Records.," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 79 (September 1991): 223-224.
·        Marie Varrelman Melchiori, " Rosteet and Miguez. Civil War Veterans of Old Imperial Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 84 (December 1996): 316.

Finally, a few articles and reviews lead us to unexpected military records of the later nineteenth century:
·        Gail Ghigna-Hallas, "Schubert and Schubert. On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II: New and Revised Biographies of African Americans in the U.S. Army, 1866-1917," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 93 (March 2005): 65.
·        Donna Rachal Mills, "U.S. Military Marriage in Florida, Cuba, and the Canal Zone, 1894-1912," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 79 (September 1991): 218-220.
·        Jane-Rives Williams, "Sternberg, Sternberg, and May. I Will Uphold the Flag: The Life of Colonel Reuben May, 1815-1902," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 93 (December 2005): 308-309.

Whatever the conflict, brave men and women from our past stepped forward. We honor their memories by retelling their stories.




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