United States, Headstone Applications for U.S. Military Veterans (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: United States, Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941 .
Collection Time Period
The records are for applications processed during the years 1925 to 1941.
This collection consists of applications for headstones (over 290,000) received and processed by the Cemeterial/Memorial Division (NARA publication M1916). The records are part of the Record Group 92 Records of the Quartermaster General. Most of the applications are for the Civil War and later, but some may apply to earlier wars. Approximately 10% of the forms will have two images. The applications are arranged in alphabetical order by surname, then first name.
Applications include all or part of the following:
- Date of death
- Name of cemetery with city and state of location
- Name of person making application and address
How to Use the Record
When you have located your ancestor’s headstone application, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Compare what is information is given with what you already know about your ancestor to make sure it is the correct person.
Next, look at the pieces of information given in the headstone application for new information. Add any new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.
- Use any information you already know about your ancestor, such as name, rank, company, regiment, etc., to determine previously unknown information such as date of death and cemetery.
- Use information about religion, found on later versions of the form, to locate church and land records.
- The name of the cemetery could lead you to funeral and cemetery records, which often include the names and residences of other family members.
- Continue to search cemetery records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have been buried in the same cemetery or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- Compile the entries for every person with the same surname. This is especially helpful for rural areas or unusual surnames.
- When looking for a person with 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, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby cemeteries.
Shortly after the Civil War, the Office of the Quartermaster General established a Cemetery Branch. This new branch was responsible for establishing, maintaining, and improving national military cemeteries.
On March 3, 1873, Congress granted burial rights in national military cemeteries to all honorably discharged veterans of the Civil War on March 3, 1873, then extended the privilege of
government-provided gravestones to soldiers buried in private cemeteries on February 3, 1879.
For more information, visit the report "Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941." Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans.
Why the Record Was Created
In the early frontier years, garrison commanders were expected to bury their dead. During the Civil War, however, the numbers of the dead became too much for them to handle. On September 11, 1861, the War Department began to take command of the responsibility of granting deceased soldiers the priviledge of a marked grave.
These records are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. For example, soldiers often falsified their ages in order to be admitted into the army.
- Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans
- History of Government Furnished Headstones and Markers
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Example of a Source Citation for a Record Found in This Collection
"United States, Applications for Headstones for Military Veterans, 1925-1941" images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 9 September 2011). entry for William Ferrell, died April 3, 1841; citing Military Records, Ferrill, William-Flesher, Max, image 24; United States Quartermaster General, Federal Archives and Records Center, Washinfgton D.C., United States.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
United States. Quartermaster General. Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941. Record Group 92, NARA publication M1916. United States. Federal Archives and Records Center. Washington D.C.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.