New York, Records of the State National Guard (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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New York Records of the State National Guard, 1906-1954 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
New York, United States
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Location of New York
Record Description
Record Type National Guard Service Records
Collection years 1906-1954
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of an index and images of National Guard service cards from the New York State Archives. The images are courtesy of Ancestry.com.

General Information About These Records

The National Guard, the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States and one of the nation's longest-enduring institutions. The National Guard traces its history back to the earliest English colonies in North America. Responsible for their own defense, the colonists drew on English military tradition and organized their able-bodied male citizens into militias.

In 1903, important national defense legislation increased the role of the National Guard (as the militia was now called) as a Reserve force for the U.S. Army.

The records are designed to track and preserve the service of the individual guardsmen and to determine eligibility for post-service benefits. These records are very reliable.

Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The records contain the following details:

  • Name
  • Birth date and place
  • Residence
  • Occupation
  • Race
  • Marital status
  • Citizenship
  • Physical description
  • Education
  • Medical information
  • Enlistment date and place
  • Discharge date, place, and reason
  • Military rank or grade
  • Name, relationship, and address of person to notify in case of emergency

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search you will need to know the following:

  • Full name
  • Approximate dates of service

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in your ancestor’s name on the search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. This information will often lead you to other records. For example:

  • Death dates may lead to death certificates, mortuary, or burial records.
  • Use the birth date or along with the residence or place of birth to locate church, and land records.
  • The person to notify in case of emergency is usually a close relative such as a parent or spouse.

I Found Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Compile the entries for other individuals who have the same surname. This is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been also belonged to the National Guard.
  • 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 having difficulty finding your ancestor, look for variations in the spelling of the name. Military personnel were required to use their first given name and surname. If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for their given name.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

Citing This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

“New York, Records of the State National Guard, 1906-1954.” Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing New York State Archive, Albany, New York.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for New York, Records of the State National Guard, 1906-1954.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.