United States Civil War Soldiers Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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United States Civil War Soldiers Index, 1861-1865 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of the United States of America|
|Seal of the National Archives|
|Record Type||Index to Compiled Service Records|
|Record Group||RG 94 and 109: Records of the Adjutant General's OfficeWar Department Collection of Confederate Records|
|National Archives Identifier||300398586957|
|National Archives and Records Administration|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 4 What Do I Do Next?
- 5 What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?
- 6 Realted FamilySearch Collections
- 7 Related Digital Books
- 8 How You Can Contribute
- 9 Citing this Collection
What is in the Collection?
This index was culled from 6.3 million soldier records in the General Index Cards to the Compiled Military Service Records in the National Archives. This index was a joint project of the U.S. National Park Service, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU). This is an index of soldiers who served in the Civil War, 1861 to 1865.
This in an index to the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) which is a computerized database containing very basic facts about servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War. The initial focus of the CWSS is the Names Index Project, a project to enter names and other basic information from 6.3 million soldier records in the National Archives. The facts about the soldiers were entered from records that are indexed to many millions of other documents about Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) is a cooperative effort by the National Park Service (NPS) and several other public and private partners, to computerize information about the Civil War.
The goal of the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) is to increase public understanding of this era in American history. The index was created to enable the public to make a personal link between themselves and their ancestors.
The information in the index is accurate regarding the locator information. However, any index may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
Copies of compiled military service records are available from the National Archives. To request copies follow the instructions in the following link. Requesting Pre-WWI Service Records
Each record provides the following:
- Full name
- Whether Union or Confederate
- Soldier's rank
- Sometimes alternate names
- NARA publication and roll numbers
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search you need to know
- The name of your ancestor
- Other identifying information such as age or military unit where served
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 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:
- If your ancestor was a union soldier, he may have service or pension records at the National Archives.
- If your ancestor was a confederate soldier, he may have service or pension records in the state archives.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- 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.
What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
- 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.
Realted FamilySearch Collections
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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.
- "United States, Civil War Soldiers Index." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citingmultiple microfilm publications, Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
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 Civil War Soldiers Index, 1861-1865.|