Veterans’ Day is always a good time to reflect on our ancestors’ military service in all the wars since the American Revolution, as well as peace time service. Some valuable information can be found in military service records and especially in pensions if an ancestor or his widow obtained one.
For those living ancestors we should use this time to interview them about their time in service, make a good clear record. I suggest a written or typed memorandum, as well as an audio recording, sharing copies of each with more than one other family member or local historical society or archives. The Atlanta History Center has a Veterans History Project with many oral histories online, see atlantahistorycenter.com.
The American Revolutionary War pensions are a great source for service history as well as genealogy. Those narratives from the Southern Campaign are on revwarapps.org. War of 1812 pensions are being digitized by the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and are 76% complete. They can be found, for free for now, on fold3.com. Fold3.com is a great source for military records and pensions for all U. S. wars and service, but one has to join for full access.
Other wars have service records and pensions at the National Archives with indexes to the pensioners in a series of books by Virgil D. White, found at the Georgia Archives and other libraries. Don’t forget the Indian Wars and other overlooked conflicts. A man or his widow could qualify for a small amount of service time in some of these conflicts.
World War I and World War II draft cards, whether one served or not, are at Ancestry.com and other sites and are worth having in your genealogy files. It’s important to chart out an ancestor’s life, the conflicts that arose during such, and what military records might have been created.
Irish research book now in hardback
John Grenham’s “Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, 5th Edition,” published earlier this year in softcover by the Genealogical Publishing Company of Baltimore, has been reprinted in hardback. This will make a much more durable reference book and an excellent Christmas gift for the family genealogist working on Irish research.
Grenham has been for decades one of the leading Irish genealogists and this volume is an updated culmination of previous editions and advice. The hardback edition is $38.50 plus postage from genealogical.com or call 800-296- 6687.
French website in English holds great resources
Filae.com is a French website with an English version at en.filae.com that contains over 150 million digitized records, and is worth checking out.
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Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P. O. Box 901, Decatur, GA 30031 or gagensociety.org.