Today is Veteran’s Day. A day to honor all of our country’s veterans, both past and present. Family historians usually track down common records for a military ancestor such as discharge papers, pension files, service records, and unit histories. What about those ancestors whose records have been destroyed or contain almost nothing? Alternate sources of information should be searched to locate information on these military heroes.
Ways to collect information on all military family members
- Talk to family members and recording stories they have heard.
- Look at county histories for a mention of your ancestor.
- Check to see if your county courthouse holds military discharge records. Some veterans filed their discharges with the county for safe keeping. Some counties are digitizing these records and putting them online.
- Ask family members about old postcards, letters, and other memorabilia left behind by a military ancestor.
- Photograph the grave of your military ancestor and look for other family photographs.
- Check with your state archives about WWI or WWII bonus application records. Some states gave veterans or their beneficiaries a monetary bonus after the war ended.
- Look for websites on the specific unit in which your ancestor served.
- Search GoogleBooks for unit histories or your ancestor’s name.
After collecting all this information, use Sort Your Story to organize and tell the story of all your family’s veterans. Sort Your Story has a folder specifically for military records. All of an ancestor’s records can be stored in one place. Then, using the Sort Your Story Profiler, you can add the images and text for those military records for an ancestor. Everything is all in one place! Your information is organized and you will know what information you have on each ancestor and what is missing.
Have you used Sort Your Story to organize your military records? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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