Military Records Tips for Beginners

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>Portal:United States Military Records

Portal:United States Military Records

Tip 1. When would my ancestor have been recorded in a federal military record?

Your ancestor will probably appear in a federal military record if he:

  • Served in a state volunteer unit that was mustered into federal service during wartime.  Most men who served in wars before 1900 enlisted in state volunteer units.
  • Enlisted in the regular U.S. military forces during wartime or peacetime.
  • Served in a local militia or national guard unit that was mustered for federal service during an emergency.
  • Enrolled for the drafts for the Civil War, World War I, ora subsequent war and later enlisted or was drafted.

Tip 2. What kinds of information do I need to effectively use military records?

Do a Place Search in the state and /or county that your ancestor was from and choose “military records” under topics in the Family History Library Catalog at