Civil War Quick Tip: Take a look at the FamilySearch Memorial Day post

Memorial Day CrossesI hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S. and that you got the chance to honor our fallen soldiers either in a moment of silent tribute or by visiting a cemetery.

Memorial Day is a holiday that has its roots in the Civil War. It was originally known as “Decoration Day” and folks both north and south set aside a specific spring day to pay tribute to their fallen veterans by decorating their graves.

FamilySearch.org did a neat blog post on May 22nd. They asked family historians to share stories of their favorite Civil War ancestor. I was honored to be among the four and wrote a short piece about my own Civil War ancestor. You can find that post here.

Along with some really moving stories about Civil War soldiers, FamilySearch gives several suggestions for Civil War research in their vast databases. You’re sure to find a tip, a record set, or a new search idea that will help you find more on your Civil War ancestors.

So please take a look at the FamilySearch post, “Family Historians Share Stories of Their Favorite Civil War Ancestors” and maybe leave a comment about your favorite or most interesting Civil War ancestor either on their blog or right here in my comments. I’d love to read about your own favorite or interesting Civil War ancestor.

Civil War Quick Tip – Free Genealogy Research!!

Civil War blog reading

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Don’t forget that usually around patriotic holidays most subscription-based genealogy websites offer a few days on their site for free. It is of course their way of showing you all they have to offer in the hope you’ll find lots of value and subscribe. Fold3, the database for military records has done this in the past.

Let me stress, I don’t have inside info but with Memorial Day weekend less than two weeks away Fold3 may offer a free weekend for you to research their records.

If you don’t have a Fold3 subscription you might want to plan on taking advantage of a free offer if it does happen. Start a research log for the veteran you’re researching. List what you already know, regiment, company, enlistment dates, etc. Then state your goal(s), the questions about his service you are attempting to answer.

With this kind of prep work done you’ll be able to take some time out of your busy holiday weekend and make the most of the records on the site.

If a free research weekend isn’t offered or you just don’t have the spare time during the holiday you’ll still have your research log and goals ready to go either for the next free research weekend or you can try your local library. Many libraries have a subscription to Ancestry, Fold 3 and so on. It’s available to those members with a library card so you may want to check that out as well.

Good luck researching and if you find some good stuff leave me a comment. I’d love to hear what you found!

P.S. Happy Memorial Day!

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Ancestors In A Nation DividedIf you’re interested in focusing your research on your Civil War ancestor check out Ancestors In A Nation Divided – available in Kindle and also in paperback. Only $15.77 on Amazon. Great help as you seek your veteran’s place in our country’s history.

 

Also I’d love for you to sign up for my monthly Civil War Research Tips – Finding More on Your Civil War Ancestor here. I’ll share pointers and info to help in researching your Civil War ancestor. Please take a moment to sign up and thanks so much!

Civil War Quick Tip: What did he say? Deciphering Civil War era lingo

Vintage fountain pen

Photo Credit: Stock.xchng by hisks

Have you ever read a letter written by a Civil War soldier to family back home and wondered, “What’s he saying?” or read an officer’s report and thought, “What the heck is a vedette?” I have! So what do you do?

Check the Definitions of Civil War Terms found here.

Not only will you learn what “Cotton-clads” were but you can wow your friends with “Mother” Bickerdyke’s panada. So check out Definitions of Civil War terms and learn Civil War terms that you can toss out in a conversation and amaze your peeps!
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Ancestors in a Nation Divided by Cindy Freed

Ancestors in a Nation Divided by Cindy Freed

If you’re interested in focusing your research on your Civil War ancestor check out Ancestors In A Nation Divided – available in Kindle and also in paperback. Only $15.93 on Amazon. Great help as you seek your veteran’s place in our country’s history.

Also I’d love for you to sign up for my monthly Civil War Research Tips – Finding More on Your Civil War Ancestor here. I’ll share pointers and info to help in researching your Civil War ancestor. Please take a moment to sign up and thanks so much!

Civil War Quick Tip: Check out the manuscript collection at libraries and universities

Newspapers

Photo Credit: datarec
http://www.freeimages.com/

Have you taken a look at local library and university archival collections? These institutions have manuscript collections which may include Civil War era newspapers, diaries and donated family papers.

Check the facilities in the area where your ancestor enlisted or the regiment was raised. Many soldiers wrote home to the local newspaper recounting events their regiment encountered and their letters were published. Diaries and family papers were donated to universities generations later when the family felt they were of historical value and should be preserved and available for anyone to read.

Most newspapers are accessed at the facility on microfilm but many diaries and donated family papers are digitized and readily available to read online.

If you’re like me, my Civil War ancestor didnt keep a journal. Nor are there letters between family members and my Civil War veteran that were passed down through the generations. But other members of regiments did keep journals and write letters that survived through the years. If you find documents written by men in his regiment it’s like reading your own Civil War ancestor’s words. Reading those letters, diaries and newspaper accounts will give you an understanding of all that your Civil War ancestor saw, felt and experienced. So be sure to check out the manuscript collection at libraries and universities.

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If you’re interested in focusing your research on your Civil War ancestor check out Ancestors In A Nation Divided – available in Kindle and also in paperback. Only $15.93 on Amazon. Great help as you seek your veteran’s place in our country’s history.

Also I’d love for you to sign up for my monthly tipsCivil War Research Tips – Finding More on Your Civil War Ancestor here. I’ll share pointers and info to help in researching your Civil War ancestor. Please take a moment to sign up and thanks so much!

Today’s Civil War Quick Tip: Read the Regimental History

Photo courtsey of stock.xchng.com

Photo courtsey of stock.xchng.com

I’ll bet one of the first bits of information you found about your Civil War ancestor is the regiment he served with. Take the time to read the history of your ancestor’s regiment. Make a special point of focusing on the regiment’s actions during his enlistment time. You can find a regimental history in the library, or check the numerous online regimental histories available.

By reading about the regiment’s actions you’ll learn a lot about your ancestors life during his military service. Not only will you become more familiar with your ancestor’s Civil War experience, battles fought, etc., you’ll have a much better sense of what resources you’ll want to pursue as you continue your research.

One place to look for a regimental history is at the Civil War Archive. Their list of histories are linked to Google books where you’ll be able to download the history in a .pdf format to your computer. This will make it easy to read and refer back to.

The National Parks Service has a regimental search page too at http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-regiments.htm

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If you’re interested in focusing your research on your Civil War ancestor check out Ancestors In A Nation Divided – available in Kindle and also in paperback. Great help as you seek your veteran’s place in our country’s history.

Also I’d love for you to sign up for my monthly tipsCivil War Research Tips – Finding More on Your Civil War Ancestor here. I’ll share pointers and info to help in researching your Civil War ancestor. Please take a moment to sign up and thanks so much!