Click Here to Return to Index
Return To Milestones Index
Those who wish to trace an ancestor, who served in the Civil War have great and varied sources of material, which they can call upon. The records were kept in greater detail than previous wars.
Assemble as much information about the veteran as you can from County Histories, family records and recollections of the older members of the family. Read about the Company which was formed in your ancestors area. Usually County Histories written after the Civil War had a section or sections devoted to the veterans.
Application forms for the National Archives can be picked up at the Beaver County Historical Research & Landmarks Office or can be ordered directly from the National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, Washington, D. C. 20408. All veteran records from the Revolutionary to the SpanishAmerican War are requested on form GSA 6751.
Fill the form as completely as possible and return to the National Archives. They will send a photocopy of their records, and bill you for their service. If no record can be found they will return your form and mark it no record found. A higher ranking officer may have a large file and only part will be sent unless you request complete information. Naturally you will be billed for more information.
Even though the Civil War records were kept much better than previous veteran records not all veterans are recorded, Some veterans were from the States and their records are in the State Archives.
If you do not receive any information recheck your own records. Could the family have moved just before or just after the war? Did you supply everything about the veteran you could? Until you have read the microfilms yourself, you will never believe how many people of the same name, or nearly the same, served in the war from the different states. Also check various spellings which may have been used; Robert William Jones may have been, Robert W., R. William, R. W., or plain R. or W.
All records depend on how well someone does their job. Ironically the Confederate Soldiers groups kept much better records of the veterans after the war than the Union groups.
For anyone, who is having trouble tracing their records, or, who is interested in Civil War Veterans I would recommend a book by Bertram Hawthorne Groene, TRACING YOUR CIVIL WAR ANCESTOR, WHICH LISTS MANY LITTLE KNOWN SOURCES OF INFORMATION.