Civil War Quick Tip: Compiled Military Service Records

Hey Friends! Today’s Civil War Quick Tip was recorded on Periscope and I’ve uploaded it here in case you missed it. The addresses I refer to in the video can be found below.

 

 

Complied Military Service Records – Record Group 94 at the National Archives

Civil War CMSR records for both Union and Confederate veterans
are filed by state, then by regiment, then alphabetically by soldier’s name.

1. Records within jacket – Records in the jacket are abstracts made from the original muster rolls, returns, pay vouchers, orders, etc. about that particular soldier.

Complied Military Service Record – (form NATF 86) can be ordered online from NARA for $30 or you can download the form and mail it in. You have the choice of receiving hard copies or a cd/dvd of the file.

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/pre-ww-1-records.html

**scroll to center of page**

2. Records outside the jacket – There are cards and personal papers that were never filed in a soldiers CMSR jacket.

Confederate cards can be found on microfilm M347 Unfiled Papers and Slips Belonging in Confederate Compiled Service Records at National Archives Building, NARA regional sites, libraries with large genealogy departments, Fold3.

Union unfiled cards are usually found at the end of a regiment’s section or maybe filed after every couple regiments in the CMSR. Submit a request to NARA for copies of these records. Write to the:

Old Military and Civil Records Branch, National Archives and Records Administration

700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20408

or send an e-mail to:

archives1reference@nara.gov

Provide the soldier’s name, company, and regiment and specify the Civil War and that you’re looking for “unfiled cards and personal papers” that are outside the CMSR jacket.

 

Good Luck! Let me know if this helped you in your research or send me questions at: cindy[at]genealogycircle[dot]com I’d love to hear from you!

 

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!