Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

The collection consists of Union service records of soldiers who served in organizations from Virginia for the years 1861 to 1865. The records include abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in the following original records:

  • Muster rolls
  • Returns
  • Rosters
  • Payrolls
  • Appointment books
  • Hospital registers
  • Union prison registers and rolls
  • Parole rolls
  • Inspection reports

For each military unit the service records are arranged alphabetically by the soldier's surname. The Military Unit field may also display the surname range (A-G) as found on the microfilm. This collection is a part of RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780s - 1917, and is National Archive Microfilm Publication M398. Index courtesy of www.fold3.com (previously Footnote.com).

Service records were kept for each soldier. Those records, or their abstracts, were compiled into individual files. Each envelope/jacket contains information and cross references to original records relating to the soldier. 

Record Content

The records are in individual files which usually include the following:

  • A jacket-envelope for each soldier, labeled with his name, rank, and the unit in which he served
  • A card (or cards) with abstracts of entries from original muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, parole rolls, and inspection reports
  • The originals of any papers relating only to the particular soldier

Facts found in this collection may include:

  • Jacket name
  • Soldier’s full name
  • Year
  • Age (often estimated)
  • Military unit served in
  • Type of records in file
  • NARA publication number, title, and roll number

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know

  • The name of the soldier
  • Identifying information such as age

Search the Collection

To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s service record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • Use the estimated age to calculate a birth date.
  • Use the age and location of the military unit to find the soldier’s family in census, church, and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Continue to search the index and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have served in the same unit or a nearby unit.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for variant spellings of the surnames.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals with the same family number.
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Don't overlook FHL Place United States, Virginia items or FHL Keyword Virginia items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Virginia Archives and Libraries.

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Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865" Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing "Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia." Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 3 September 2014, at 21:45.
  • This page has been accessed 1,669 times.