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Fort Vancouver, Washington reconstruction.jpg


The U.S. Military Records Wiki article provides more information on federal military records and search strategies.

Many of the federal military records you'll want to use are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. The United States Wiki article provides more information regarding the federal records. For Washington, the following sources are also very helpful:



Encyclopedia of Indian Wars Western Battles and Skirmishes, 1850-1890. By Gregory F. Michno. Mountain Press Publishing Co., Missoula, Mt. C 2003 ISBN 0-87842-468-7

Civil War (1861 to 1865)

Fort Vancouver, Clark County, Washington (reconstructed) 1849 to 1866
See Washington in the Civil War for information about Washington Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the Washington regiments involved in the Civil War.

The regimental pages often include lists of the companies with links to the counties where the companies started. Men in the companies often lived in the counties where the companies were raised. Knowing a county can help when researching more about the soldiers and their families.

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System allows name searching for soldiers. The result set gives the regiments for the soldiers. Then you can check the Wiki regiment pages to determine counties. Often knowing the counties that had men in a regiment will help you determine if a soldier was your ancestor.

Indian Wars (1780s-1890s)

  • Muster rolls are available at the Washington State Archives. The National Archives and the Family History Library have the enlistment registers of soldiers who served in the regular army from 1798 to 1914. Many of these soldiers served in the western states, including Washington, during the Indian Wars. The enlistment registers provide the soldier's rank, unit, commanders, physical description, occupation, and birth place. The records are arranged by year and by the first letter of the surname.
  • The Family History Library and the National Archives have an index to soldiers who applied for pensions as a result of service in the Indian Wars from 1817 to 1898. The actual pension records are only available at the National Archives.

World War I (1917-1918)

World War II (1941-1945)

Additional Military Records

  • Histories and rosters of soldiers of the Washington Militia and National Guard who served in the Indian Wars of the 1850s to the post-World War II era are in:
  • Field, Virgil F. Washington National Guard Pamphlet: The Official History of the Washington National Guard, Seven Volumes in three. (Tacoma, Washington: Office of the Adjutant General, 1961.) FHL film 1321447, items 1–3; book 979.7 M25w
  • Records of residents of the State Soldiers Home and State Veterans Home up to the mid-1930s.
  • Applications and supporting papers submitted by Washington veterans of World Wars I and II for a state bonus. These often include information about the soldier's residence, occupation, relatives, age, place of birth, and enlistment.
  • National Guard Statements of Service cards for guardsmen who participated in World Wars I and II. These cards list the name of the serviceman, last residence, date and place of enlistment, date and place of birth, years of service, military organization attachment, rank, and engagements.

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

Web Sites


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