United States, Records of Headstones of Deceased Union Veterans (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Collection Time Period
The gravestones were provided between the years 1879 and 1903, although the soldiers generally died between 1861 and 1903.
This collection consists of 3x4 inch cards, which are headstone (gravestone) contracts provided for deceased Union veterans of the Civil War. The cards are on 22 rolls of microfilm covering over 166,000 records and are arranged alphabetically by surname. There are nine cards per image. Some of the names on the cards may be difficult to read.
Most burials occurred in private cemeteries, though some may have occurred in National Soldier Home cemeteries.
The cards contain the following information:
- Branch of service
- Death date
- Gravestone supplier
- Contract date
How to Use the Record
To begin your search you will need to know the soldier's name. It is also helpful to know:
- The approximate burial or death date
- The place of burial
Once you have located your ancestor’s burial record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Burial records are often brief so it can be easy confuse individuals. Compare what 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 burial record 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. For example:
- Use the date along with the name to find the family in census records, church, and land records.
- The name of the gravestone provider or place of burial could lead you to funeral and cemetery records, which often include the names and residences of other family members.
- The branch of service and regiment can lead you to other military records.
- Continue to search the 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.
- 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, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby cemeteries.
Gravestones were provided to Union soldiers who died between 1861 and 1903. Some cards may include War of 1812 veterans. The gravestones were provided between 1879-1903 by the United States government.
Why this Record Was Created
The records were created as a permanent record of servicemen who received gravestones.
The information is generally accurate.
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
- United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
- Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023
Sources of Information for This Collection
United States. Cemetery Branch in the Office of the Quartermaster General. Records of Headstones Provided Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, ca 1879-1903. NARA publication M1845. Federal Archives and Records Center. Washington D.C.
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