We’ve all heard the term “Genealogist’s toolbox” or “Genealogist’s toolkit” in online posts and at workshops. Genealogists and family historians have come to know a “toolbox” as the resources available to them for their research. Examples from a genealogist’s toolkit can range from links to websites and databases, to books and repositories. Some may even include software and apps but usually all the tools are found online.
Last week we discussed Websites for Civil War research and learning. This week let’s dig a little deeper in my Civil War toolbox and see what’s there!
More Websites for Learning
The Civil War Homepage http://www.civil-war.net/ There’s so much Civil War information here it’ll make your head spin. I especially like the Official Records battle reports in the upper right corner. There’s only a few listed but I like reading through the general’s reports without wading through entire volumes of the Official Records. You can also scan their photo section, maps, letters and diaries and on and on.
Civil War Archive http://www.civilwararchive.com/ Another good site to for researching the history of Union and Confederate Regiments, there are soldier’s letters and diaries and battle reports. Again knowing what activities are going on around your ancestor helps in understanding their Civil War service.
Civil War Soldier Search http://www.civilwarsoldiersearch.com/
Lots of information packed in this website. Tips on researching Compiled Military Service Records, Pension Records, 1890 Special Census, photographs and so on.
Resources When Searching For Pension Records
National Archives Records Administration (NARA) http://www.archives.gov Obviously the place to go to when ordering a Union soldier’s pension record but there’s lots of helpful info and explanations.
Also when you’re on the NARA site take a look at their Prologue Magazine
http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/ Many, many helpful articles there.
NARA State Archives list http://www.archives.gov/research/alic/reference/state-archives.html Individual state links for finding your Confederate soldier’s pension information.
Fold3 – Online Military Records http://www.fold3.com/ $$ Constantly adding records. I found a Union soldier’s pension file, all 64 pages of it here. All pension files are not yet available on the site but they do claim 436+ million U.S. military records.
Council of State Archivists http://www.statearchivists.org/states.htm Another list of southern state information when searching for your Confederate Civil War ancestor’s pensions.
A Soldier’s Post War Life
Grand Army of the Republic
Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/rr/main/gar/ Complete list of GAR posts.
Sons of Union Veterans http://www.garrecords.org/ They are working to document the location of all GAR post’s records which include applications, minutes, etc.
Grand Army of the Republic Library and Museum http://garmuslib.org/
United Confederate Veterans
Sons of Confederate Veterans http://sonsofconfederateveterans.blogspot.com/2011/01/records-of-united-confederate-veterans.html A list of the locations of the United Confederate Veterans records.
Ancestors In A Nation Divided by Cindy Freed (me!)
Available in paperback
Now let me do a small commercial here. My book will help you through the steps of researching your Civil War ancestor. Whether you’re starting from the beginning and only have a name – to an in-depth search of your veteran’s military and post-war life. This book will guide you step-by-step through the process. It’ll be a big help. I’m sure of it!
These next three sites have quite an array of digital Civil War titles free and available to read. I particularly like to research County Histories on these sites. Easy to read from home.
Google Books http://books.google.com/
World Cat https://www.worldcat.org/
Internet Archive https://archive.org/details/texts
Civil War Newspapers
Beside checking on the newspapers published in the locale your ancestor lived during the Civil War here’s a list of other era newspapers. This kind of reading certainly helps the researcher get a better grasp of Civil War life and thinking.
Virginia Tech American Civil War newspapers
Penn State – Pennsylvania Civil War era Newspaper Collection
Son of the South – Harper’s Weekly the newspaper during the Civil War
http://sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/the-civil-war.htm Reading Harper’s Weekly will give you a great overview of the war as it was written at the time.
Civil War Newspapers is the name of this site. http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/newspaper_titles.htm
Loads and loads of links for mostly southern titles.
There you have it. A peek into my Civil War toolbox. I have many more links I use but these are at the top of my list. As I said in the beginning I hope you find a site or two you have not searched before or this list is a reminder to least check back and have a second look at some you’ve previously explored.
As always thanks for reading and Good Luck in your research!
** Previously published in the September 2014 issue of “Going In-Depth” magazine**