Wednesday, February 23, 2011

CVGS Program Summary - Margaret Lewis on Military Records

The February 23rd Program Meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society at the Chula Vista South Branch Library featured Margaret Lewis speaking on "Identifying and Researching Your Ancestors Who Served in the Military." 

To identify ancestors that might have served in the military, suggested checking your pedigree chart for men born between these years:

Born 1726-1767:  American Revolution (1775-1783)
Born 1782-1799:  War of 1812 (1812-1815)
Born 1796-1831:  Mexican-American War (1846-1848)
Born 1811-1848:  Civil War (1861-1865)
Born 1848-1881:  Spanish-American War (1898-1902)
Born 1849-1885:  Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902)
Born 1872-1900:  World War I (1917-1918)
Born 1877-1925:  World War II (1941-1945)
Born 1900-1936:  Korean War (1950-1953)
Born 1914-1955:  Viet Nam War (1964-1972)

She then identified possible records that are available from each time period that might provide information about the lives of military men.  Items covered include Draft Registrations, Census Records, Enlistment and Service Records, Pension Records, Confederate State Service and Pension Records, Land Bounty Warrants, Cemetery Records, Disabled Soldiers Homes Records, Veteran and Lineage Society Records, Regimental History records, Discharge and Separation records, and Dog Tags. 

During the presentation, Margaret effectively used images of different record types to help explain her points.  She also told the story about her Union Soldier, and later Buffalo soldier, great-great-grandfather, Jacob Wilks being buried in San Angelo, Texas, without a memorial stone (he had just a gravestone).  She inquired about purchasing a proper Veteran's marker for the grave, and the cemetery agreed to work with her.  Before she knew it, she was invited to San Angelo for the dedication, all expenses paid, was treated like a celebrity, with newspaper articles, and met a second cousin who had been tending the grave.

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