BCG OFFERS FREE WEBINAR Tuesday, August 16, 8:00 p.m. EDT

BcglogoHere's the press release from the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) about our first webinar together. We hope to see you all there!

“Another Kind of Navigation: GPS for Genealogy” presented by Shellee Morehead, Ph.D., CG

The first to be presented under the new webinar partnership with Legacy, this lecture describes the five steps of the Genealogical Proof Standard to establish proof of identities and relationships. Shellee Morehead, CG, will present examples at each step, along with a case study of a complex problem that was solved with research, creativity, attention to detail and a defined process. See how reasonably exhaustive research, accurate citations, analysis and correlation of data, the resolution of conflicting data and a reasoned, written conclusion was used to identify the parents of a Civil War soldier who shaved 10 years off his age and complicated the search for this relationship.

The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) will present “Another Kind of Navigation: GPS for Genealogy,” a webinar by Shellee Morehead, Ph.D., CG, free to the public at 8:00 p.m. EDT, 16 August 2016. 

The recording of the webinar will be available for free from the 9th through the 22nd of August. After that the recording will be available with an annual or monthly membership to Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Shellee Morehead has a Ph.D. in evolutionary ecology and is an adjunct instructor of biology at New England Institute of Technology. She was certified by BCG in 2012, and researches, writes and lectures on family history. Her specialties include Rhode Island, Italian, and French-Canadian research and genetic genealogy. She is an active member of the Rhode Island Genealogical Society, American-French Genealogical Society, and the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) New England Chapter. She is currently serving as Treasurer for the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

“We are pleased to offer this informative webinar as the first in our collaborative efforts with Legacy Family Tree Webinars,” said BCG president Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG. “The Board for Certification of Genealogists strives to foster public confidence in genealogy by promoting an attainable, uniform standard of competence and ethics. Partnering with Legacy, whose technical expertise in genealogy webinar production and management is second to none, will allow BCG to focus on its mission of promoting attainable, uniform standards of competence and ethics among genealogical practitioners.”

Register for “Another Kind of Navigation: GPS for Genealogy,” a webinar by Shellee Morehead, Ph.D., CG, before 16 August 2016 at: http://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=477.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. For more information contact: office@BCGcertification.org.

Learn about BCG’s previous webinars at http://bcgcertification.org/blog/bcg-webinars.


Register for Webinar Wednesday - The Battle for Bounty Land: War of 1812 and Mexican-American Wars by Beth Foulk

Register

Land given as a “Bounty” for military service has been an American tradition from the Colonial Era up to the Civil War when the practice saw its ultimate discontinuance. The Spanish-American and Mexican-American Wars and the battle waged by the veterans for their bounty land tell the story of a nation and a military in transition. Lucky for us genealogists, there is a “bounty” of both military pension and land-purchase records left behind to tell the story both nationally and personally.

Logotransparent

Join us and Beth Foulk for the live webinar Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 8pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

Download the syllabus

In preparation for the webinar, download the supplemental syllabus materials here. The syllabus is available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers. Log in here or subscribe here.

Registerbut 

Or register for multiple webinars at once by clicking here.

Not sure if you already registered?

Login to view your registration status for this webinar (available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers).

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

BethFoulk-144x144Beth discovered her love of genealogy through her father, who built a 115-name family tree with every family member’s name he knew. While Beth continues to research her family, she shares her knowledge through lectures, articles, her blog, and one-on-one assistance. She particularly enjoys speaking at regional conferences. Her focus is Early American Genealogy.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at:

  • 8pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 7pm Central
  • 6pm Mountain
  • 5pm Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at www.java.com.
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Legacy Tip - Who Is Missing an Obituary?

The reactions I got from showing this Legacy tip in a recent webinar made me feel like I was the Legacy King for a day. The comments just kept coming and coming, as if this was the greatest thing since sliced bread. It's a tip I use to keep track of who has obituaries and who does not.

Below is a screenshot of my Descendant View. It begins with Asa Brown and shows two generations of his descendants. Notice that the far right column is one that you do not normally see in the Descendant View, but if you follow these steps to record an obituary, it will be simple to see which of Asa's descendants lack this type of a record.

Obit1

As I demonstrated in this webinar (see minute 11:07 in the GenealogyBank.com section) and in Legacy Unlocked!, obituaries can be added as an Event in the Individual's Information screen.

Obit2

The "Edit Event" screen for Lorenzo Brown looks like this:

Obit3

Because I entered the obituary as an event (I also added its citation to the appropriate pieces of data), it is possible for it to be displayed in the Descendant View. Here's how:

1) In the Descendant View, click on the Options button on the right (just below the Print button).

2) Then click on Customize Columns.

3) Next, click on the button with the three dots in the next available row.

Obit4

4. Next, click on the Event... option and click the Select button 

Obit5

5. Click on Obituary and click the Select button, then click Close.

Obit6

The Obituary column will now appear in the Descendant View.

Obit1

Now, between GenealogyBank.com, Newspapers.com, Chronicling America and more, you can get busy looking for the missing obituaries.

Additional Resources

Watch Geoff Live: Adding Online Records to Legacy webinar

Obit7

Legacy QuickGuide: Obituaries in Genealogy by Cari A. Taplin

Obituaries in Genealogy

How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers by Lisa Louise Cooke

Newspaper_pubilsher


New Genealogy Books (Printed and PDFs) now available in our online store

Our new partnership with Genealogical Publishing Company means that in addition to our Legacy Family Tree software and our webinar series, we will be adding hundreds of new titles to our online store's book collections. In addition to the traditional printed editions of these books, most are also available for the first time anywhere as a PDF. What does this mean to you? Instant download delivery at a significant discount on many of genealogy's finest guidebooks.

Here's a sneak peek at some of the books we've added just this week:

Books

Click here to browse the 132 available books.


How Many Ancestors Do We Have?

If we double the number of ancestors in each generation, 2 parents, 4 grandparents, and so on, we can see that by the time we are back 10 generations, we have the potential for 1024 ancestors. If we were to go back to the time of Charlemagne, we would find we had the potential for 281 trillion ancestors all living at that one moment in history. But this is statistically impossible! The world’s population at that time does not support these numbers. So where did our ancestors go?

It is estimated that 80% of the marriages in history were between second cousins. Why? Because the population base was smaller, people lived in small communities and migrated within those same small communities. The theory in genealogical research is that our family trees are actually shaped like a diamond, not an inverted pyramid. Tracing back a few generations gives a wider shape. Keep going and you find the shape narrowing, eventually, the theory holds, converging to only a few ancestors.

This may sound mind-boggling but I've seen the truth of it. I am back a total of 14 generations which takes me to the last half of the 1500s. I've found that in two cases so far, I am descended from more than one child of one specific couple. Need an example? Pieter Uziele and his wife Cornelia Damen were my 8th great grandparents. I descend from two of their children: Sophia Uziele and her sister Maria Uziele. Remember, they are my 7th great-grandmothers and are in my 10th generation. I also descend from two children of Jochem Lambertse Van Valkenburg and his wife Eva Hendrickse Vrooman, who were my 8th great-grandparents. Their son Isaac and his sister Jannetie are my 7th great-grandparents and are in my 10th generation. So we see the gene pool narrowing in my 11th generation!

How is this possible? In the pyramid theory of doubling ancestors each generation, these four 7th great-grandparents would give me eight distinct individuals as ancestors for my 8th great-grandparents - but they don't. Because they are sets of siblings, I have only four new distinct individuals as ancestors for my 8th great-grandparents - half the number I should have if the doubling theory held true.

Assuming I have double sets of siblings at least three times on that 10th generation, I've lost six individuals from my 11th generation. That carries over to my 12th generation, but doubles the number I lose for a total of 12 ancestors. If I had three more double sets of siblings in my 11th generation, I've lost another six individuals in my 12th - for a total of 18 fewer individuals. Keep doing this for a few more generations and you'll see the shape your ancestral tree is taking. It’s not an inverted pyramid, it’s a diamond.

Luckily for the human race, this tendency to marry cousins reversed itself in more recent years, due to larger population bases and easier access to possible mates. Otherwise, our search for the missing link might prove to be just that !

One very interesting probability model created by a demographer for genealogists, is that a child born in 1947 in Englad tracing back to 1492 would have 60,000 ancestors. Going back further to 1215, this child would find that 80% of the entire population of England at that time would be on his or her family tree! So anyone living in present-day England who traces his or her lineage back through English history would theoretically be related. This is why genealogists find so many people searching for the same families in the 1600s and earlier, and why we find so many "cousins" out there in our search. I've found hundreds of cousins in the last year while searching via the Internet.

Genealogy is fascinating, and becomes even more so when we make those human contacts in present-day times with folks as far away as Norway who are descended from the same immigrant ancestor of 1624. I've become almost blasé about new cousins - I expect to find them, and I do!

Inverted Pyramid Theory of Doubling Ancestors

Screenshot 2016-07-22 13.33.31

Inverted Pyramid Theory

In this theory the number of ancestors double each generation. I can't represent the rest of the generations on this page, so following is the number of theoretical ancestors in each generation, starting at Generation 12 where the figure above leaves off.


Gen. 12: 2048
Gen. 13: 4096
Gen. 14: 8192
Gen. 15: 16384
Gen. 16: 32768

Diamond Theory of Ancestors

In this theory the pyramid begins to narrow beyond the 10th generation. I can't represent this with numbers as they would be unknown, so I am representing the basic shape with x representing the number of individuals in each generation. I will, however make some assumptions about the number of parents and grandparents back to the 10th generation.

LFT DIamond Theory

Diamond Theory of Ancestors


Basically the Diamond Theory explains that we can't keep going back through the generations and doubling the number of ancestors in each generation. (That's the inverted pyramid theory). Why not? Because eventually the world's population will not be large enough to support the numbers! 

In the Diamond Theory we see that as you keep going back through the generations you will eventually find cousins marrying cousins which narrows the number of unique ancestors and results in a diamond shape rather than a pyramid. 

In Your Family Past, Present and Future the author, Tim Urban of Wait But Why has some very informative and interesting ideas on this topic. At the end he comes up with four conclusions including this, my favorite one:

Writing this post has really hammered home the point that humans are mainly a temporary container for their genes. In 150 years, all 7,100,000,000 people alive today will be dead, but all of our genes will be doing just fine, living in other people. (Tim Urban. http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/01/your-family-past-present-and-future.html)

Tim's article has illustrations and sources and is well worth the read. 

 

Lorine McGinnis Schulze is a Canadian genealogist who has been involved with genealogy and history for more than thirty years. In 1996 Lorine created the Olive Tree Genealogy website and its companion blog. Lorine is the author of many published genealogical and historical articles and books.


Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint - free webinar by Thomas MacEntee now online for limited time

2016-08-03-image500blog

The recording of today's webinar, "Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint" by Thomas MacEntee is now available to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. 

Webinar Description

Microsoft Powerpoint can be used to create dynamic slide shows for sharing family history and genealogy research, and it can do so much more! Participants will learn the basics of Powerpoint including slide design and formatting. In addition, projects covered include using Powerpoint to create graphics and more.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 33 minute recording of "Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint" is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - power - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, August 8, 2016

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 386 classes, 548 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,684 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • The Battle for Bounty Land - War of 1812 and Mexican-American Wars by Beth Foulk. August 10.
  • Homestead Act of 1862 - Following the Witnesses by Bernice Bennett. August 12.
  • Another Kind of Navigation: GPS for Genealogy by Shellee Morehead, CG. August 16. Hosted by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
  • Successfully Applying to a Lineage Society by Amy Johnson Crow. August 17.
  • Using Findmypast to Unlock Your Irish Ancestry by Brian Donovan. August 24.
  • Finding French Ancestors by Luana Darby. August 26.
  • The Treasure Trove in Legislative Petitions by Judy Russell. September 14.
  • Clooz - A Document-Based Software Companion by Richard Thomas. September 16.
  • How to Use FamilySearch.org for Beginners by Devin Ashby. September 21.
  • Beginning Polish Genealogy by Lisa Alzo and Jonathan Shea. September 28.
  • AHA! Analysis of Handwriting for Genealogical Research by Ron Arons. October 5.
  • Time and Place - Using Genealogy's Cross-Hairs by Jim Beidler. October 12.
  • Finding Your Ancestors' German Hometown by Ursula Krause. October 14.
  • Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life by Gena Philibert-Ortega. October 19.
  • Flip for Flickr - Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos by Maureen Taylor. October 26.
  • Analysis and Correlation - Two Keys to Sound Conclusions by Chris Staats. November 2.
  • Publishing a Genealogy E-Book by Thomas MacEntee. November 9.
  • Dating Family Photographs by Jane Neff Rollins. November 16.
  • Nature & Nurture - Family History for Adoptees by Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade. November 18.
  • Multi-Media Story Telling by Devin Ashby. November 30.
  • Becoming a Genealogy Detective by Sharon Atkins. December 7.
  • From the Heartland - Utilizing Online Resources in Midwest Research by Luana Darby. December 14.
  • Tracing Your European Ancestors by Julie Goucher. December 16.
  • An Introduction to BillionGraves by Garth Fitzner. December 21.

Click here to register.

Print the 2016 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


Register for Webinar Wednesday - Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint by Thomas MacEntee

Register

Microsoft Powerpoint can be used to create dynamic slide shows for sharing family history and genealogy research, and it can do so much more! Participants will learn the basics of Powerpoint including slide design and formatting. In addition, projects covered include using Powerpoint to create graphics and more.

Logotransparent

Join us and Thomas MacEntee for the live webinar Wednesday, August 2, 2016 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

Registerbut 

Or register for multiple webinars at once by clicking here.

Not sure if you already registered?

Login to view your registration status for this webinar (available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers).

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

ThomasMacEntee-144x144What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more.
 
Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.”
 
Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, August 2, 2016 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at www.java.com.
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


The Top 10 Genealogy Classes of July 2016

We've tallied the numbers and made a list of the Top 10 FamilyTreeWebinars.com classes for July 2016! Are your favorite topics or instructors among the list? Need something new to learn? Use the list to get inspired!

Top10

Each month thousands of Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers head for the library to learn new skills and techniques to help improve their genealogy research. Among the now-364 genealogy classes in the members-only library, these were the most frequently played during the month of July 2016.  They aren't necessarily the newest classes but rather the topics that were sought out by our members.

Have you seen any of these classes? Are these among your favorites too? Some of these classes (and topics) might be new to you! Get inspired to learn more and make your genealogy journey more fun!

The Top 10 for July 2016

1. Windows 10 Survival Guide for Genealogists by Thomas MacEntee

2. Watch Geoff Live: GEDmatch.com by Geoff Rasmussen and Diahan Southard

3. Watch Geoff Live: Adding Online Records to Legacy by Geoff Rasmussen

4. Circles or Triangles? What Shape is Your DNA? by Diahan Southard

5. Organize Your Online Life by Lisa Louise Cooke

6. Navigating Naturalization Records by Lisa Alzo

7. Foundations of Irish Genealogy 1 of 6: The Raw Materials of Irish Genealogy by John Grenham

8. Digital Research Guidance, Research Logs, and To Do Lists: FamilySearch, Research Wiki, and Legacy Family Tree by Geoff Rasmussen

9. A Genealogist's Guide to Heraldry by Shannon Combs-Bennett

10. Researching in Libraries and Archives: the Do's and Don'ts by Melissa Barker

The Runner-Ups

11. Digging Deeper in German Parish Records by Gail Blankenau

12. Researching Women - Community Cookbooks and What They Tell Us About Our Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega

13. Sources and Citations Made Simple, Standard, and Powerful by Geoff Rasmussen

14. Watch Geoff Live: DNA by Geoff Rasmussen and Diahan Southard

15. Tracing Immigrant Ancestors in New York Passenger Lists by Lisa Alzo

16. It's Not All Online: Researching in Archives by Melissa Barker

17. Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records by Tom Jones

18. Legacy Family Tree and FamilySearch Family Tree by Geoff Rasmussen

19. Foundations of Irish Genealogy 2 of 6: The Major Records I, General Register Office by John Grenham

20. Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy by Diahan Southard

Access to classes in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar library are available with an annual or monthly membership. Not a member? Become one! Or watch one of our free classes here.


Board for Certification of Genealogists and Legacy Family Tree Webinars Form Webinar Partnership

 

BcglogoThe Board for Certification of Genealogists and Legacy Family Tree Webinars are excited to announce a new partnership. Legacy, host of the webinar series at FamilyTreeWebinars.com, will now also serve as host, producer, and publisher for future BCG webinars. This arrangement will produce and promote high-quality education in genealogy standards and methodologies by one of the leading creators of genealogy webinars.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars is a leader in the field of webinar production and management. BCG is excited to bring this level of technical quality and experience to its webinar series, which offers educational opportunities on topics of certification, genealogy standards, and methodologies.

Held on the second Tuesday of the month when scheduled, BCG webinars are presented to educate and raise awareness of genealogy standards. Registration for live webinars is available at http://bcgcertification.org/blog/bcg-webinars and now at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. Registration is free and is open to the public.

Recordings of BCG’s live webinars are available at both http://bcgcertification.org/blog/bcg-webinars and at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com/bcg. Some are free for a limited time after the live event, while others are available with an annual or monthly membership to Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

“We are very excited about our new partnership with Legacy Family Tree Webinars, whose technical expertise in genealogy webinar production and management is second to none,” said BCG President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom. “This collaboration allows BCG to focus on its mission of promoting attainable, uniform standards of competence and ethics among genealogical practitioners.”

Geoff Rasmussen, founder and host of the Legacy webinar series, said, “BCG and Legacy webinars is the perfect partnership––where high tech and high quality education meet. The entire genealogy industry will benefit.”


6 Military Records For Genealogy That You Might Not Know About

Genealogists and family historians get excited about finding veteran ancestors because this means there will be many sources available for research and potential clues. My time spent at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has certainly exposed me to the sheer size of possibilities for records relating to military research and genealogy. At times, it can be complicated to conduct this type of research. The more I’ve learned about it, the more I realize how challenging it is for beginners to sort out the administrative hierarchy and record groupings at NARA.

In the genealogy world, most of us have been introduced to the Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR), Pensions, and Bounty Land Warrant Applications. Even as these important collections are bountiful in number and usefulness for genealogists, this two-part post intends to shed light on other original records  that are not talked about as much to help with military research. This post is themed around medical records and records related to disabled veterans. In all, it demonstrates the enormous possibilities for mining genealogical information in military records. 

Carded Medical Records – The National Archives holds a separate series of hospitalization records for regular and volunteer soldiers. They look a lot like the cards used in CMSRs. Only in some cases has this information been extracted by the War Department and included on a soldier’s CMSR, so these should be consulted for additional information about your ancestor’s experience while serving. These medical cards include the hospital or station where they were admitted, cause of admission, and treatment. They are filed with Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, RG 94 and are dated 1821-84 and 1894-1912. These are only available at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. and can be requested if you know the soldier’s name, company, and regiment. 

Records of United States National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers – The National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers were established by Congress in 1866 [14 Stat.10] to provide residence to needy veterans. The National Archives has records of homes from 1866-1938 in Records of The Veterans Administration, RG 15. Most of the historical home registers survive which include a lot of genealogical information including birth place, physical description, religion, residence subsequent to discharge, name and address of nearest relative, medical history, date of death, place of burial, military service, and remarks by the administration. These records are indexed and can be viewed on FamilySearch.org.

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.54.45 PM

Home Register for Michael J. McDonnell, Togus Branch (Togus, ME), National Home for Disabled Volunteers. [2]

Records of the U.S. Soldier’s Home – Before National Homes for Disabled Volunteers in 1866, Congress established the first institution for taking care of needy veterans of the regular army in 1851 with the United States Military Asylum, later known as the U.S. Soldier’s and Airmen’s Home. Records of these homes are grouped under Records of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, RG 231. Amongst the sources that hold the most genealogical value are case files for deceased inmates, death records, hospital records, burial registers and admission registers. Most records are dated from the establishment of the Soldier’s Home in 1851 up to 1943. These are only available for research at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. When researching records of veteran homes, researchers should know the soldier’s name, home to which they were admitted and approximate date of admission or discharge. 

Records of Artificial Limbs Provided To Civil War and Later Veterans – The Civil War would result in the performance of amputations on about 60,000 soldiers. In 1862, Congress authorized the Army’s Surgeon General to purchase artificial limbs for soldiers and seamen. Records related to artificial limbs for veterans are in Records of the Veteran’s Administration, RG 15 and include registers of persons furnished artificial limbs and commutation, as well as letters sent to veterans, physicians, and manufacturers. Most series are self-indexed and date from 1862-1927. These records are not online and only available at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C.

 

14580340747_b7708af70d_z

Disabled Soldier with Artificial Arm Working in Shop. [3]

 

Medical Registers of Examinations of Recruits and Substitutes – In 1862, the U.S. War Department established the post of Provost Marshal General, a year later becoming a separate government bureau. The Provost Marshal was responsible for making sure the Union met enlistment quotas for the armed forces. To make sure recruits were fit for service, each person underwent a medical examination and these results was recorded by the Provost Marshal. You may have searched Civil War Draft Registrations on Ancestry.com, but these medical examinations are actually a separate series and not available in this online collection. Most are still in original form at branches of the National Archives. The most interesting pieces of information are found under the Provost Marshal’s remarks for each recruit who described any illnesses or physical ailments and would subsequently note if the recruit was accepted or rejected. The medical examinations are in Records of the Provost Marshal’s General Bureau, RG 110 and volumes are organized by congressional district. To find what congressional district your ancestor’s county belonged to, consult the Congressional Directory for the Second Session of the Thirty‑eighth Congress of the United States of America. Draft registrations and medical examinations for the Civil War are dispersed throughout NARA’s regional facilities. For ancestor’s who served after the Civil War, Records of the Adjutant General, RG 94, contains a separate collection with reports of medical examination of recruits, 1884-1912.

1890 U.S. Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War – The regular population schedule of the 1890 U.S. Census was destroyed by fire, but if your ancestor served in the Union, you may be able to bridge the gap. The government fortunately did a special population schedule for Union veterans and widows, which survived in the states of Kentucky through Wyoming.[1] The census questions include name and service information such as company, unit, time of enlistment, time of discharge, length of service, Post Office address, and disabilities incurred, which can be helpful in understanding your ancestor’s life post-war. This particular source was helpful in proving the kinship of my second great-grandparents because both their fathers appear next to each other on this particular census. The 1890 Union Veterans Census is fully available on FamilySearch.org.

These sources should be used in conjunction with the soldier’s CMSR and pension/bounty land applications to obtain the most complete set of documentation of a veteran’s personal experience in the war and after. To inquire with the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. about finding your veteran ancestor in collections that are not online, contact the Old Military and Civil Reference Department at archives1reference@nara.gov. As you can tell, there are many possibilities for researchers to flesh out the details of their veteran ancestor’s life. Next post will focus on government publications and other personnel records. Stay tuned!
 

[1] Except for miscellaneous returns, the census pages for Alabama through Kansas do not survive.

[2] Image Source: FamilySearch.org 

[3] Image Source: "Internet Archive Book Images," Flickr.com

---

Jake Fletcher is a professional genealogist, educator and blogger. Jake has been researching and writing about his ancestors since 2008 on his research blog. He currently volunteers as a research assistant at the National Archives in Waltham, Massachusetts and is Vice President of the New England Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG).