11 May 2011

FamilySearch Makes Many Civil War Records Available

Civil War Buffs and Volunteers Enlist in Campaign to Publish Millions of Historic Records Online

SALT LAKE CITY—As the United States marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, people who had ancestors involved in the conflict can access millions of historical records recently published on the familysearch.org website. And millions more records are coming, as Civil War volunteers enlist in an epoch online campaign over the next five years to provide access to the highly desirable historic documents.

FamilySearch announced the release today of hundreds of millions of online records at the National Genealogical Society conference in Charleston, South Carolina. The collections include service records for both the Confederate and Union armies, pension records, and more. Some of these records have been available for some time but are now being added to familysearch.org/civilwar as part of this project.

Here is just a sampling of what is available:
·        Arizona, Service Records of Confederate Soldiers of the Civil War, 1861-1863
·        Arkansas Confederate Pensions, 1901-1929
·        Civil War Pension Index
·        Louisiana Confederate Pensions 1898-1950
·        Missouri Confederate Pension Applications and Soldiers’ Home Admission Applications
·        South Carolina Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers (NARA M267)
·        South Carolina Probate 1671-1977
·        South Carolina Probate Records, Files, and Loose Papers, 1732-1964
·        United States, 1890 Census of Union Veterans and Widows
·        United States, Index to General Correspondence of the Pension Office, 1889-1904
·        United States, Union Provost Marshall Files of Papers Relating to Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866
·        United States, Union Provost Marshall's File of Papers Relating to Individual Civilians, 1861-1866
·        U.S. Civil War Soldiers Index 1855-1865
·        U.S. Navy Widows’ Certificates, 1861-1910 (NARA M1279)
·        U.S., Registers of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914U.S.,
·        Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933
·        Vermont Enrolled Militia, 1861-1867

“These records are significant because nearly every family in the United States at that time was impacted either directly or indirectly by the war,” FamilySearch project manager Ken Nelson said.

“Each soldier has a story to tell based on what his unique experience was during the war. Each family has their own story to tell. This is the paper trail that tells the stories about that period in our nation’s history,” Nelson said.

Many of the records are specific to the war itself, such as enlistment or pension records. These documents can provide key family data, including age, place of birth, or the name of a spouse. Other collections, such as census records, tell the story of ordinary civilians who lived during that turbulent time. Even a local or state death record far away from the battlefront may contain death information on a soldier that was submitted by a family member back home…

Read the rest of the press release.

Editor’s Note: Besides providing access to Civil War records, the site provides access to: Faces of the Civil War, FamilySearch Wiki and Research Courses (e.g. Civil War Genealogical Research, Finding the Slave Generation, and more)

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