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Revolutionary Soldier                       General Washington on the Delaware                       Revolutionary Soldier

The Class Was Given At The Los Angeles FamilySearch Library (LAFSL)
Formerly Los Angeles Family History Library (LAFHL)
And Elsewhere By Instructor Jon Schweitzer

This is a Website companion to the class.

Dedicated to our ancestors who fought and died to keep this
country free and to their descendants who follow in their
brave tradition to this day.

Revised 21 October 2013 by Jon Schweitzer.


Unless stated otherwise, the books mentioned below are in the LAFSL. Their Call Numbers are in parentheses.

You must make a solid connection to your possible military ancestor before proceeding. Properly record all of your documentation.

Identify the ancestors who might have been in the military and identify the war or time period.

Contact all living descendants of your military ancestors using all means possible. Ask each of them if they know anyone else to contact.

Explain the resources in the LAFSL. The 4 local libraries are listed below and on the Internet. Show you the types and locations of records and other information and how to obtain copies of all of them.

The most comprehensive book in the LAFSL is "U.S. Military Records" (973 M23nu) that has Federal and State resources. Another very good book is the "Source", pages 255 - 298 (JGS 973 D27ts). The best book is "U.S. Military Records" (973 M23nu). Another book is the "Source", pages 255 - 298 (JGS 973 D27ts). There is the excellent Research Outline "U.S. Military Records" at and Research Outlines for the states at See the state resources in the Redbook (JGS 973 D27rba). Consult the Redbook (JGS 973 D27rba). There are military books at 973 M2df to M3L in the Book Room and DAR Patriot Index (Ref 973 C42da) on the reference shelves.

Sons of the Revolution Library - Revolutionary and Civil Wars, 600 S. Central, Glendale 818-240-1775. The Web site is at Click on Menu at top and then Library Catalog.
Southern California Genealogical Society - Revolutionary and Civil Wars, 417 Irving Dr., Burbank 818-843-7247,
University of California at Santa Barbara - Wyles Collection - Best Civil War Collection on the West Coast at Catalog Search - use "wyles civil war"
Los Angeles Public Library - Central - Many Reference Books - Directories, Encyclopedias and more, 630 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles 213-612-3200 and click "BROWSE THE CATALOG".

Attend other classes at the LAFSL. View the classes and courses on You may also access the classes of Jon Schweitzer online at

Military Service Records, Enlistments, Draft Registrations, Discharges, Medical Records, Burials, Censuses, Amnesty, Bounty Land (Land Grants), Pensions and Homestead Land. Pensions and Homestead Land Records are the richest record sources of genealogical information about the veteran and his family.

County - Register of Deeds, Recorder and Court Clerk might have discharges - Other military service information might be filed and/or recorded with the person's land records - County Recorder might have veteran burial records, Public Libraries have newspapers - The local newspapers had the war news.

State - Adjutant General might have discharges, State Censuses, State Libraries and State Archives

Federal - National Archives (before WW1), Personnel Record Center (military personnel about 1918 to present), U.S. Office of Personnel Management, FOIA Request, Room 5H27, 1900 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20415-7900 (202) 606-1800 for Civilians who have worked for the Federal Government (((New information about greed and the "U.S. Office of Personnel Management" records if the latter does not work: "To purchase a copy of a particular record, send a written request to NPRC, Civilian Personnel Records, 111 Winnebago Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63118-4199. The request should include the requester's contact information, the former federal employee's full name, date of birth, name of employing agency, and period of employment. Copies of the records can be purchased for either $20 or $60, depending upon the size of the record. Most records will fall into the $60 range. Once a request has been submitted, contact us at with any questions. Visitors to NPRC in St. Louis can make an appointment to view these records for free in the Archival Research Room. Visitors interested in doing so should call 314-801-0850 to schedule an appointment."))) and the Dept. of Veteran Affairs (VA), 1840 Census that has the revolutionary war veterans and the 1890 Census of Union Veterans/Widows available on

The Military Historical Centers such as the Army Military History Institute (USAMHI) at and click "Research" or 717-245-3700 or write U.S. Army Military History Institute, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013-5021. The Military Libraries have Biographies of Officers and Unit Histories (973 M2df) Part I, II and III.

Other Persons - Use the new FamilySearch website at Search for the military ancestor in the Ancestral File at the old FamilySearch at: under "Search" and "Individual Record" and lower right "Details" for the name and address of the submitter.
Use the annual Genealogical Research Directories (maybe 929.1025 G286grd) at some libraries.

Lineage Societies - The DAR site at and click on "Genealogy" and the SAR site at have copies of old applications for membership that have pedigrees. Newer applications of their members will also have the names and addresses of the living submitters that might have more information if you have a member submit the request. Obtain the DAR request form at and the DAR Form - Obtain File Case Documentation Folders records request form HERE.
The SAR request PDF form is at

LAFSL - The has the Union Civil War regimental unit histories in 3 Volumes (973 M2df) and the histories of the "Units of the Confederate States Army" (973M2cru).
The bibliography of Confederate and Border States Regimental Histories can be seen at

Internet - The best internet source of online military searchable databases is and the "Search Military Records" and other internal links at At the LAFSL access using the “Commercial Websites” icon at the top left on Desktop of any computer monitor and you go to at PORTAL page and then click Premium Family History Websites and you go to a Premium Websites page and then click on and than the “More Collections” and “US Military Collection”.
To obtain total access to all the military databases at at home, you will have to: 1. Try a trial subscription to OR 2. Use a public library computer that has the smaller Library Edition OR 3. Pay for a subscription to

Heritage Quest is now on the LAFSL computers. At the LAFSL access Heritage Quest at the “Commercial Websites” icon at the top left on Desktop of any computer monitor and you then go to at PORTAL page and you click Premium Family History Websites and you go to a Premium Websites page and click on Heritage Quest. You will find 80,000 Revolutionary War Pension, Bounty Land Application Files, censuses and more.
You can use Heritage Quest at home if you have a LA CITY Public Library card to use at Click on "H" and find Heritage Quest and enter your card number and part of your phone and Submit.
You can also use Heritage Quest at home if you have a LA COUNTY Public Library card to use at Look under "Reference" to find and click on "Heritage Quest". Enter your 13 digit (no spaces) card number and proceed.

The Fold3, previously known as Footnote, database has MANY military databases and is available at the LAFSL. At the LAFSL access Fold3 using the “Commercial Websites” icon at the top of the screen of any computer monitor and you go to a PORTAL page and you click "Premium Family History Websites" and you go to a Premium Websites page and click on Fold3. At home, without a subscription, you may view the Fold3 Website at At home you can only use 43 of the databases that are shown at

The National Archives website at have very nice examples of WW1 Draft Registration Cards in color.

A great list of Web sites of searchable military online records and databases is at The "requires payment" ones are at
Another very large Web site with wonderful links to online military indexes and records is at - To find more Web Sites - use "Military Genealogy Research" in Google and your other search engines.
Cyndi's ... U.S. - Military and for only the Civil War
Genealogy Research - Military Records at
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors online searchable database - also has unit's history when regiment name is clicked at

The American Civil War
The American Civil War Homepage
US Civil War Information Histories of Navy Ships is at the Directory of American Naval Fighting Ships at
Civil War Photographs Online Catalog is explained and linked at

WWII Army Enlistments Online Searchable Database of  9+ million names is explained at and the Database is at At the LAFSL access the WWII Army Enlistments at using the “Commercial Websites” icon at the top left on Desktop of any computer monitor. Access the Military Collection for the Army Enlistments. From home the Database may also be found HERE The data input is special - see the "Sample Values".

VA Offers the On-Line Nationwide Gravesite Locator. "More than 3 million records showing where veterans have been buried in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries are now available online. The innovation will make it easy for anyone with Internet access to search for the gravesite locations of deceased family members and friends." You can access this resource "The National Grave Locator" at

Scanners next to Microfilm readers - Print, flash drive
Computer Area - Copy machines
Computers - Internet - print or flash drive

The National Archives fees have increased. See the new fees at
You may order online the military records online without sending in forms at

Federal - before WW I - do not use the old NATF Form 80 - use only the new NATF Form 85 for Military Pension and the new Form 86 for Military Services Records. Download and print these forms from
See an example of the records HERE.

WW I - Draft Registration Card Request Form. Suggest you find this information on
See an example of the Draft Registration Card HERE.

Federal - WW I to present - Personnel Record Center. Use and order only the new legal size Standard Form 180 (SF-180) that you can print out from: or at When using the Standard Form 180 to obtain the "Discharge Paper" military record WD AGO (started 1941) or DD-214 (started 1950 with short and long forms). ASK FOR THE LONG FORM of the person. If you receive back a form letter stating that the records were lost in a fire in 1973, send a letter with copies of everything to your congress person and request that he contact the National Archives and request a special search for the records in other repositories.
See an example of the discharge HERE.

WW II to Present - Selective Service Card - download and print record request form from
See an example of the Selective Service Card HERE.

In the National Archives in Washington D.C. - Neil Carmichael, phone toll free to 1-866-272-6272 ext. 3169 or 73169 or phone direct to 1-301-837-3169. His snail mail is: The National Archives at College Park, Room 6350, Neil Carmichael, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001         

Died or declared dead are in the Military Death Index for the Korean War 1950 - 1957 at and the Vietnam War 1957 - 1975 at

Use Standard Form 180 to obtain the "Discharge Paper" military record WD AGO (started 1941) or DD-214 (started 1950 with short and long forms). ASK FOR THE LONG FORM of the person. It states the medals awarded. Order free replacement medals from the government - see this link for info or buy medals at

Use the LAFSL book "How to locate anyone who is or has been in the military", (973 M27j). Contact the VA.
Genealogy Research In The Los Angeles Area
Genealogy Research At The Los Angeles Family History Center

14th Amendment - Post Civil War Reconstruction Amendment,
Civil Rights - Special Dedication to Abby and two girls

The Role of Cotton in the Civil War

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