West Virginia Military RecordsEdit This Page
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The United States Military Records Wiki article provides more information on federal military records and search strategies.
Many military records are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. The United States Wiki article provides more information about federal records. For information on records from the colonial period to 1863, see the Virginia Wiki article.
The Archives and History Library has the original adjutant general's records for the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Indian Wars, Civil War (Union and Confederate), and Spanish-American War. These include muster and descriptive rolls, enlistment records, and correspondence.
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
Two particularly helpful sources for West Virginia ancestors who participated in the Revolutionary War are:
Johnston, Ross B. West Virginians in the American Revolution. 1959. Reprint. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1977. (Family History Library book 975.4 M2j; the 1959 edition is on fiche 6087736). This includes sketches of over 1,300 soldiers who lived in West Virginia at some time in their life.
Reddy, Anne Waller. West Virginia Revolutionary Ancestors Whose Services were Non-military. 1930. Reprint. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1963. (Family History Library book 975.4 N2r; film 1321057 item 6.) This book lists persons in the Revolutionary Public Claims records who gave aid and support, “provisions and other necessaries”, to the revolutionary forces. Most of these patriots do not appear in other Revolutionary War sources.
Civil War (1861-1865)
See West Virginia in the Civil War for information about West Virginia Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the West Virginia 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.
World War I (1917-1918)
World War I draft registration cards for men age 18 to 45 may list address, birth date, birthplace, race, nationality, citizenship, and next of kin. Not all registrants served in the war. For registration cards for West Virginia, see:
United States. Selective Service System. West Virginia, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1509. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1987-1988. (On Family History Library films beginning with film 1992327.)
To find an individual's draft card, it helps to know his name and residence at the time of registration. The cards are arranged alphabetically by county, within the county by draft board, and then alphabetically by surname within each draft board. Most counties had only one board; large cities had several.
These are online at a subscription website:
Additional Military Records
Various rosters of soldiers for the French and Indian War, Indian Wars, Lord Dunmore's War, Revolutionary War, Whiskey Insurrection of 1794, War of 1812, Mexican War, and the Civil War, are in Virgil A. Lewis, The Soldiery of West Virginia. 1911, Reprint (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1978; Family History Library book 975.4 M2L). A separate index has been published. This book has also been reprinted (and updated through the Vietnam War) as Volume 9 of The West Virginia Historical Encyclopedia: Supplemental Series (see West Virginia History).
West Virginia Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.
- NOTE: All of the information from the original research outline has been imported into this Wiki site and is being updated here, as time permits.