Civil War Quick Tip – Free Genealogy Research!!

Civil War blog reading

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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

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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!

Civil War Quick Tip – Confederate Disability Applications Database

Yellow Hospital, Manassas, Va., July 1862 Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Yellow Hospital, Manassas, Va., July 1862
Credit: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Have you researched the Confederate Disability Applications Database? It’s on the Library of Virginia‘s website. This database contains the applications of Virginia Civil War veterans who sought help purchasing artificial limbs and other disability benefits after the war.

Available between 1867 and 1894 the Virginia General Assembly passed a measure which would help Civil War veterans in medical need. They set up a Board of Commissioners on Artificial Limbs and veterans applied for assistance whether it was for artificial limbs or other disability help. Applicants had to submit quite a bit of documentation to receive aid.

Information included: where they lived, what unit they served with, where they served and how they were injured. Veterans stated what help they were seeking and included their medical history after their injury. They submitted as much information as possible to receive the assistance requested. Very similar to a pension file, this information is available on the database.

You can find this and many more research tips in my book Ancestors In A Nation Divided – available in .pdf, Kindle and paperback. You’ll find the research help you need as you search for your veteran’s part in our country’s history.