War has been a real part of our world since the beginning of time. Starting with a war in heaven, I don't believe there has ever been a time on earth when some country, village, or peoples has not been involved in some sort of war or conflict. War is something that has an impact on everyone. You not only loose family and friends, but homes, property and rights. Today, we are going to look at how to find the records of those that have served in a military conflict, or war.

For a complete list, resources and other information go to Wikipedia  ​This list will shock you! The list of wars and conflict go on for pages. Some we have never heard of.


Fold-3 Military Records (requires subscription to get documents) There are some FREE records around Veterans Day. In 2016, Native American records are FREE from November 1-15. Finding your Military Veterans in Fold-3

Ancestry.com (subscription required)
US Military Records  there are 1,260 databases available

Revolutionary War

  • U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls 1775-1783:  A collection of more than 425,000 records documenting men who fought for the colonies in the American Revolutionary War.
  • Abstracts of Graves of Revolutionary War Patriots:  Revolutionary War graves found between 1900 and 1987, which include the name of the patriot and the cemetery in which the headstone is found.
  • U.S. Compiled Revolutionary War Military Service Records 1775-1783:  Records of regular soldiers, militia volunteers, Navy personnel and members of aux Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800–1900 A detail-rich collection of more than 80,000 files from applications by officers and enlisted men who served in the Revolutionary War.
  • Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War:  Compilation of more than 850,000 records of Massachusetts soldiers and sailors serving in the Army or Navy during the Revolutionary War.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution: Lineage Books A collection of 152 volumes containing nearly 2.4 million names.
  • U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications 1889-1970:  This database contains applications for membership in the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution approved between 1889 and 31 December 1970. These records can be an excellent source for names, dates, locations, and family relationships.

Civil War

  • U.S. Civil War Soldiers 1861-1865: Collection of military service records, containing more than 6 million names of servicemen — Union and Confederate — who fought in the U.S. Civil War.
  • U.S. Civil War Soldiers Records and Profiles: A historic effort to compile and interlink all available records of soldiers who participated in the American Civil War.
  • Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files Records of more than 2 million Union Army soldiers who filed for pensions after the Civil War.
  • U.S. Civil War POW Records: Collection of more than 1.5 million names from the Union and Confederate prisoner of war records.
  • U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records 1861-1865:  Records featuring details about 178,000 African-American troops who served the Union during the Civil War.
  • Alabama Civil War Muster Rolls: Find ancestors who were part of Confederate military units formed in Alabama during the Civil War.
  • Confederate Service Records 1861-1865:  Card abstracts and documents about Confederate soldiers who served in military organizations formed by the Confederate Government.
  • Confederate Applications for Presidential Pardons 1865-1867:  Collection of 14,000 pardon applications featuring background information and service details for former Confederates soldiers.
  • U.S. Civil War Photos: Almost 7,000 photographs depicting the Civil War Era.

World WarI

  • World War I Draft Registration Cards: Draft registration cards for more than 24 million men who registered for the WWI draft in 1917 and 1918.
  • U.S. World War I Mothers Pilgrimage:  More than 10,000 names of widows and mothers entitled to make the U.S. government sponsored pilgrimage to visit their loved one's grave in Europe.
  • World War I, World War II and Korean War Casualty Listings: Names of more than 135,000 casualties from World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

World War II

  • U.S. WWII Draft Cards: Young Men, 1940–1947 The first installment of “young men’s” draft cards includes almost 2 million filled out by men living in North Carolina.
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific: (Punchbowl), 1941–2011 Find images of all gravestones and memorial from the final resting place of more than 13,000 service personnel who died during WWII.
  • WWII U.S. Navy Muster Rolls, 1938–1949: This collection of more than 33 million records give facts about WWII enlisted Navy personnel, like occupational specialty and service number.
  • WWII Prisoners of the Japanese 1941-1945:  An index of 30,000 records containing the names of prisoners of war, plus their ranks, service numbers, units and prison camp information.
  • World War II Draft Registration Cards: Almost 6 million draft cards of men who registered for the fourth WWII draft in 1942.
  • U.S. Navy Cruise Books: Yearbook-style books detailing sailors and others on board U.S. Navy ships, dating from 1950.
  • WWII Missing in Action or Lost at Sea: More than 80,000 names of military personnel reported Missing in Action or Lost at Sea during World War II.
  • Stars and Stripes Newspaper:  Pacific Edition Images of the Stars and Stripes newspaper distributed to U.S. servicemen and women in the Pacific,1945–1963.
  • U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records: Collection of more than 8 million names of U.S. Army enlistees


Finding your Revolutionary War Ancestors

Exploring Pension File Applications


  • Daughters of the American Revolution have dedicated themselves to historical preservation, promotion of education, and encouragement of patriotic endeavor. These goals are as relevant in today's society as they were when the organization was founded in 1890.
  • Sons of the American Revolution is the leading male lineage society that perpetuates the ideals of the war for independence.
  • Sons of Confederate Veterans is preserving the history and legacy of these heroes so that future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause.
  • National Archives request military service records, replace lost medals and browse WWII photos.
  • Family Search links to many other resources available.

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Military Records
Sharron Mirikitani

​​​Genealogy Detective