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The United States Military Records lists important sources for finding information about Military Records.
Forts were authorized by the federal government, built to house and maintain the military who were to assist in maintaining peace by enforcing treaties and providing protection to settlers.
Many military records are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. United States Military Records provides more information on federal military records and search strategies.
Archives in Wisconsin with exceptional holdings include: The Office of the Adjutant General has records pertaining to the National Guard in Wisconsin, primarily for the 1900s:
Office of the Adjutant General
115 East State Capitol
Madison, WI 53702
Wisconsin Historical Society. The Archives Division has copies of draft records, muster rolls, state militia rosters, pension claims, and other materials.
The Department of Veteran Affairs. This department has restricted records for World War I and later wars. It also has a file of grave registrations.
Department of Veteran Affairs
301 W. Mifflin
Madison, WI 53703
Telephone: 1-800-947-8387 or
The following sources are also very helpful:
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
- White, Virgil D. Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files. 4 vols. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing Co., 1990–1992. (Family History Library book 973 M28g.) Volume four is an every-name index to volumes one to three. These volumes contain detailed abstracts with names, dates, and places mentioned in the Revolutionary War Pension files.
- Revolutionary War Veterans, 1775–1784, Buried in Wisconsin. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975. This is a microfilm of a typescript. (Family History Library film 940199 item 9.) This lists 43 Revolutionary War soldiers and the states from which they came to Wisconsin.
See United States Military Records for several excellent DAR and SAR indexes, available at the Family History Library, to cemetery records of Revolutionary War soldiers.
War of 1812 (1812-1815)
- White, Virgil D. Index to War of 1812 Pension Files. 2 vols. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing Co., 1992. (Family History Library book 973 M22i 1992) (Worldcat)
- War of 1812 Pensioners in Wisconsin, 1883 (includes veterans and widows). Abstracted from the U.S. Pension Bureau's List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883, volume IV.
Indian Wars (1780s-1890s)
Winnebago War (1827)
- Wisconsin soldiers who served in the Winnebago War (Wisconsin Historical Society) - Transcription of Wisconsin Muster Rolls from the Winnebago War. Lists Prairie du Chien and Green Bay militia units along with Menominee, Stockbridge and Oneida Indians that served.
Black Hawk War (1832)
- Wisconsin soldiers who served in the Black Hawk War (Wisconsin Historical Society) - Transcription of Wisconsin Muster Rolls from the Black Hawk War. Lists soldiers in the 18 companies of "Iowa" militia (i.e., Iowa Co, Michigan Territory), plus the Menominee and Potawatomie warriors and one militia company raised at Green Bay.
Mexican War (1846-1848)
You may wish to search records of soldiers and widows of the Mexican War, 1846–1848. For example, the following index is available:
- White, Virgil D. Index to Mexican War Pension Files. Waynesboro, Tennessee: The National Historical Publishing Co., 1989. (Family History Library book 973 M22mw.)
Civil War (1861 to 1865)
See Wisconsin in the Civil War for information about Wisconsin Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the Wisconsin 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)
A published roster of soldiers who died during the war, arranged by branch of service and by county, is John Goodby Gregory, ed., Wisconsin's Gold Star List: Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Nurses from the Badger State. . . . (Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1925; Family History Library film 1000801; film 924401 item 2; fiche 6051352).
World War I draft registration cards for men ages 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 Wisconsin, see:
- United States. Selective Service System. Wisconsin, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1987–1988. (On Family History Library films beginning with film 1685061.)
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. A map showing the boundaries of individual draft boards is available for most large cities. Finding an ancestor's street address in a city directory will help you in using the draft board map. For a copy of the map for Milwaukee, see:
- United States. Selective Service System. List of World War One Draft Board Maps. Washington, D.C.: National Archives. (Family History Library film 1498803.)
World War II (1941-1945)
Wisconsin Research Outline. 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 as time permits.
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