US Military Old Soldiers Home Records
History of Old Soldiers Homes
In 1811 Congress approved a national home for disabled Navy veterans, but construction did not start until 1827. The Naval Home in the Philadelphia Naval Yard was first occupied in 1834. Homes for the Army were also proposed in 1827, but not approved until 1851 after the Mexican War, and again in 1865 after the Civil War. Veterans were eligible for admittance if they were honorably discharged; had served in the regular, volunteer, or militia forces mustered into federal service; were disabled and without support; and were unable to earn a living. By the late 1920s the system had expanded to include 15 federal veterans homes. Most national homes were officially known as a branch National Military Home, and informally called an Old Soldiers Home. In 1930 the national homes were combined with other agencies to form the Veterans Administration, now the Department of Veteran Affairs. In many cases veterans homes were converted to veterans hospitals after World War II.
In addition, 38 states established at least 43 similar state-run homes between 1865 and 1941 for military veterans, or their widows, or orphans.
For more detailed histories, especially of National Military Homes, see:
- the Wikipedia article National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.
- Trevor K. Plante, "The National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers," Prologue: Journal of the National Archives, Spring 2004, vol. 36, No. 1. [FHL Book 973 B2p].
Soldier home registers are typically divided into three main sections: (1) military, (2) domestic, and (3) home, along with some general remarks. The military section includes information such as enlistment, rank, company, regiment, and discharge. The domestic section includes the veteran’s birthplace, age, height, religion, occupation, residence, marital status, and name and address of nearest relative. The home section includes the veteran’s rate of pension, date of admission to the home, discharge, death date, and burial place.
Some reports published by the Board of Managers for the National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers contain alphabetical rosters of soldiers. The rosters provide name, rank, company, organization, length of service, war, pension rate, birthplace, admission date, age when admitted, and status (including death date).
Finding the Records
The following table lists the location of known old soldier homes and Internet information about them. For additional records ask at nearby museums, if any. Some old soldier home records may have ended up at their respective state archives.
|Locating Old Soldiers Home Records|
|AL Mountain Creek||Alabama Confederate Soldiers Home = Jefferson Manly Falkner Sold. Hm||1902-1939||cemetery, pensions||history, database|
|AL Tuskegee||Tuskegee Home||1933- ||Not at FHL||mention|
|AR Sweet Home by Little Rock||Arkansas Confederate Home||1890-1963||inmates, list||registers, pensions, history|
|CA Sawtelle by Santa Monica||Pacific Branch Nat'l Military Home||1888-1927||register, graves||nat'l cemetery, case files|
|CA Yountville, Napa||Veterans Home||1884-now||burials, burials, mortuary||website, history, cemetery|
|CO Homelake (Monte Vista)||CO State Soldiers & Sailors Home||1890-now||Not at FHL||museum, preservation|
|CT Darien, after 1940 Rocky Hill||Fitch's Home for Soldiers and Their Orphans||1864-1940||cemetery||history, database, cemetery|
|FL St. Petersburg||St. Petersburg Home (Bay Pines)||1930-now||Not at FHL||cemetery|
|GA Atlanta||Confederate Soldiers Home||1901-1941||Not at FHL||image|
|ID Boise||Idaho State Soldiers Home||1895-1966||cemetery, cemetery||website,cemetery, history, database|
|IL Danville||Danville Branch Nat'l Military Home||1898–1934 FHL film 1548682 (23 reels)|
|IL Quincy||Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Home||1887||Not at FHL||Index 1887-1916|
|IL Wilmington||Soldiers Widows Home||Not at FHL|
|IN Lafayette||Indiana State Soldiers’ Home||Not at FHL|
|IN Marion||Marion Branch Nat'l Military Home||1890–1931 FHL film 1571582 (14 reels)|
|IA Marshalltown||Iowa Veterans’ Home||1887||Not at FHL|
|KS Dodge City||Kansas State Soldiers’ Home||Not at FHL|
|KS Leavenworth||Western Branch Nat'l Military Home||1885||
Residents, officers and civilians 1915–1916 FHL book 978.138/L1 M2gd;
Death Register 1886–1903 FHL book 978.138/L1 J4g
|KY Pewee Valley||KY Confederate Home||1902-1934||1902 list||images|
|LA New Orleans||Soldiers’ Home of Louisiana||Not at FHL|
|ME Togus||Eastern Branch Nat'l Military Home||1866–1934 FHL film 1549002 (18 reels)|
|MD Pikesville (Sudbrook)||MD Line Confederate Soldiers’ Home||Not at FHL|
|MA Chelsea||Soldiers’ Home||Not at FHL|
|MI Grand Rapids||Michigan Soldiers’ Home||Not at FHL|
|MN Beauvoir||Minnesota Soldiers’ Home||1888||Not at FHL|
|MS Biloxi||Biloxi Home||1930|
|MS Gulfport||United States Naval Home||1976- ||Not at FHL|
|MO Higginsville||Missouri Confederate Home||Not at FHL|
|MO St. James||State Federal Soldiers' Home||||Not at FHL|
|MT Columbia Falls||Montana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home||Not at FHL|
|NE Burkett (Grand Island)||Nebraska Soldiers & Sailors Home||Not at FHL|
|NE Milford||Soldiers' and Sailors' Home||||Not at FHL|
|NH Tilton||Soldiers’ Home||Not at FHL|
|NJ Kearny||Soldiers’ Home||Not at FHL|
|NJ Vineland||NJ Memorial Home for Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and their Wives||Not at FHL|
|NY Bath||Bath Branch Nat'l Military Home||1878–1934 FHL film 1536167 (15 reels)|
|NY Oxford||State Woman’s Relief Corps Home||1897||Not at FHL|
|ND Lisbon||Soldiers’ Home||Not at FHL|
|OH Dayton||Central Branch Nat'l Military Home|
|OH Sandusky||Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home||Not at FHL|
|OK Oklahoma City||Oklahoma Union Soldiers’ Home||Not at FHL|
|OR Roseburg||Roseburg Branch Nat'l Military Home||
1894–1933 FHL film 1578117
Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home
Not at FHL
|PA Philadelphia||United States Naval Home||1834-1976||Not at FHL|
|SC, Columbia||Confed. Home for Soldiers & Sailors||Registers 1909–1958||Cemetery|
|SD Hot Springs||Battle Mountain Sanitarium Nat'l Hm||1907–1934 FHL film 1547492 (10 reels)|
SD Hot Springs
South Dakota State Home
|TN Johnson City||Mountain Branch Nat'l Military Home||1903–1932 FHL film 1571745 (22 reels)|
|TN Nashville||Confederate Soldiers’ Home||1890||Index to applications|
|TX Austin||Texas Confederate Home||Not at FHL|
|VT Bennington||Soldiers' Home||Not at FHL|
|VA Hampton||Southern Branch Nat'l Military Home||1871–1933 FHL film 1578118 (24 reels)|
|VA Richmond||Virginia Confederate Soldiers' Home||Not at FHL|
|WA Olympia||Soldiers Home and Colony||1890||Not at FHL||Database|
|WA Orting||Washington State Soldiers' Home, & Wash. State Soldiers' Colony||1891||case files||Index|
|WA Retsil by Port Orchard||Washington Veterans' Home||1910||case files|
|WI King (Waupaca Co)||Grand Army Home||1887||Not at FHL|
|WI Milwaukee||Northwestern Branch Nat'l Mil. Home||1867–1934 FHL film 1561060 (31 reels); History and necrology|
|WY Buffalo (Clearmont)||WY State Home for Soldier & Sailors||Not at FHL|
The Family History Library has microfilms of the following:
- Registers of Veterans at National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866–1937. (On 282 FHL films starting with 1546167.) The registers are indexed individually by the name of the veteran for each home. Upon admission each veteran was given a number. The registers are arranged numerically by these numbers. To find specific microfilm numbers, look in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
- UNITED STATES - MILITARY RECORDS.
Many states also maintained soldier homes as well. The Family History Library also has records for some state homes, including:
- Georgia Index to registers of inmates of the Confederate Soldiers Home of Georgia (2 FHL fillms 1445835-36)
- Louisiana Register books, 1884-1934; index, 1905-1944 (5 FHL films beginning with 1685399 Items 5-6)
- Michigan Applications for admission, 1885-1960 (75 FHL films beginning with 925040), and Historical register of inhabitants, 1885-1927 (10 FHL films beginning with 925039)
- Ohio Admission records of veterans of wartime United States military service, 1888-1919 (8 FHL films starting with 928927)
- Missouri Confederate pension applications and soldiers' home admission applications (27 FHL films starting with 1021101)
- Pennsylvania Philadelphia soldier's home records, 1866-1883 (FHL film 1032842 Items 4-6), and Pennsylvania soldiers and sailors homes, 1864-1872 (FHL film 1032842 Item 3)
- Tennessee Judith A. Strange, The Tennessee Confederate Soldier's Home : marching out of the mist into the light, roster one and roster two, The Tennessee Confederate Veterans' Home (Goodlettsville, Tenn.: Tennessee Tracers, 1996) [FHL book 976.8 M2s].
- Texas Roster of the residents of the Texas Confederate Old Soldier's Home in Austin, Texas (FHL film 1689628)
- Virginia Applications for admission, 1884-1941 (40 FHL films beginning with 2026354), and Registers of residents, 1885-1939 (FHL film 2109655 Items 1 - 3)
- Cyndi's List Veterans' or Soldiers' Homes
Sources and Notes
- Wikipedia contributors, "Alabama Confederate Soldiers Home," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alabama_Confederate_Soldiers_Home (accessed 23 November 2009).
- National Archives, "National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers" at http://www.archives.gov/publications/ref-info-papers/109/national-home-for-disabled-volunteer-soldiers.pdf (accessed 24 November 2009), Family History 101, "Veterans' Homes" in Research in Military Records [Internet site] at http://www.familyhistory101.com/research-military/index.html (accessed 24 November 2009).
- Arkansas History Commission, "Arkansas Confederate Home Records" in Catalog of Arkansas Resources and Archival Treasures at http://arkansashistory.arkansas.com/documenting/confederate_homes.asp (accessed 24 November 2009).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Sawtelle Veterans Home," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sawtelle_Veterans_Home (accessed November 23, 2009).
- California Dept. of Veterans Affairs, "The Veterans Home of California, Yountville" in California Dept. of Veterans Affairs [Internet site] at http://www.cdva.ca.gov/Homes/Yountville.aspx (accessed 24 November 2009).
- Colorado Dept. of Humans Services, "Colorado State and Veterans Nursing Homes" at http://www.cdhs.state.co.us/svnh/FacilityLocations.htm (accessed 25 November 2009).
- Wikipedia contributors, "History of Darien, Connecticut," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Darien,_Connecticut (accessed 24 November 2009).
- National Archives, "The National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers-Branches of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers," in Prologue Magazine Spring 2004, Vol. 36, No. 1 at http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/spring/nhdvs-sidebar1.html (accessed 25 November 2009).
- St. Louis Public Library, "State Archives Confederate Civil War Military Records Not in the Holdings of the National Archives" at http://www.slpl.lib.mo.us/libsrc/stateconfed.htm (accessed 25 November 2009). Listed under Georgia.
- Boise Idaho Veterans Home at http://www.veteransareheroes.com/BoiseVetHomes.aspx (accessed 2 December 2009).
- Ruth Wright, "The Kentucky Confederate Home" in Sons of Confederate Veterans, John Hunt Morgan Camp 1342, Confederate Crossroads Online at http://johnhuntmorgan.scv.org/confhome.htm (accessed 23 November 2009).
- National Archives, "The National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers-State Run Homes (in 1922)," in Prologue Magazine Spring 2004, Vol. 36, No. 1 at http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/spring/nhdvs-sidebar3.html (accessed 25 November 2009).