United States, Headstone Applications for U.S. Military Veterans (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Applications for Headstones U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1949 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
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Flag of the United States of America
NARA seal300.jpg
Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Headstone Applications
Record Group RG 92: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General
Collection years 1925-1949
Microfilm Publication M1916. Applications for Headstones U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941. 134 rolls rolls.
  M2113. Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1941-1949. 278 rolls.
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration



What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of images of over 621,000 applications for headstones received by the Cemeterial Division of the Quartermaster General from two National Archive microfilm publications. The first publication, over 290,000 applications, covers 1925 to 1941 and is M1916. Most are for veterans of the Civil War or later. A few may cover earlier wars. The second publication, over 331,000 applications, covers 1941-1949 and is M2113. These records are part of Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Record Group (RG) 92.

Collection Content

Applications include all or part of the following:

  • Name of soldier, sailor or marine
  • Rank, company, regiment, state organization or vessel
  • Date of death
  • Emblem requested (Christian, Hebrew, None)
  • Name of cemetery with city and state of its location
  • Name and address of person making application
  • Name and address to whom headstone is being shipped

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know

  • The full name of the soldier
  • Some other identifying information such as the death date or cemetery

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name:
Fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. 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.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

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 headstone application, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Compare what is 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 headstone application 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 any information you already know about your ancestor, such as name, rank, company, regiment, etc., to determine previously unknown information such as date of death and cemetery.
  • Use information about religion, found on later versions of the form, to locate church and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • The name of the cemetery could lead you to funeral and cemetery records, which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • Continue to search cemetery 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.
  • Compile the entries for every person with the same surname. This is especially helpful for rural areas or unusual surnames.
  • When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • These records are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. For example, soldiers often falsified their ages in order to be admitted into the army.

What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for 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.
  • 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.

Additional Information About These Records

In the early frontier years, garrison commanders were expected to bury their dead. During the Civil War, however, the numbers of the dead became too much for them to handle. On September 11, 1861, the War Department began to take command of the responsibility of granting deceased soldiers the privilege of a marked grave.

Most of the applications are for the Civil War and later, but some may apply to earlier wars. Approximately 10% of the forms will have two images. The applications are arranged in alphabetical order by surname, then first name. The Office of the Quartermaster General established a Cemetery Branch. This new branch was responsible for establishing, maintaining, and improving national military cemeteries.

On March 3, 1873, Congress granted burial rights in national military cemeteries to all honorably discharged veterans of the Civil War on March 3, 1873, then extended the privilege of government-provided gravestones to soldiers buried in private cemeteries on February 3, 1879.

For more information, visit the report "Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941." Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

How You Can Contribute

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.


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"United States Headstone Applications for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1949." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1916. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

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 United States, Applications for Headstones for Military Veterans, 1925-1949.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States Headstone Applications for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1949.