About 100 kilometers northwest of Madrid, Spain you can find the beautiful city of Segovia. Its stately Roman aqueduct is an incredible feat of ancient engineering that has withstood the test of time. It is believed to have been built sometime between the second half of the first century and the early years of the second century AD. Nearby on the edge of a hill sits the famous Real Alcázar de Segovia, the home of Spain’s General Military Archive. Like the aqueduct which brought the flow of life-giving water, this archive holds some valuable records which can bring life and vigor to the stories of your Hispanic ancestors.
Many Spanish men served in the military, both in their native land and in the New World. The records of these soldiers can be a rich treasure chest of genealogical information. They can also add vital context to the life story of your ancestors, placing them in the historical timeline of their nation and the world. The details found in some of these files are unforgettable.
While on a recent trip to Spain, I spent a day in the archive in Segovia reading the personal files of several soldiers. Among these was the story of a man taken prisoner and carried off to France during the Guerra de la Independencia Española, or the Spanish War of Independence, also known as the Peninsular War. There was another file which told the story of a father requesting a position for his son in a military school. Some files contained hints of romance as they contained the petitions of soldiers requesting permission to marry. All of these documents contain genealogical information that can help you identify vital events in the life of your ancestor.
It seems appropriate that these wonderful records are kept in a beautiful old castle – a symbol of strength and protection for these valuable documents which open a treasure chest of genealogical information and historical context for the lives of our ancestors. To read more about military records please see the following Wiki article: Spain Military Records