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Researching Through Military Records

Military records, especially military pension records, can be an excellent place to find genealogical information. Through them, you can often find information such as birthplace, age at enlistment, occupation, and names of immediate family members.

Most records for veterans of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy are available through the National Archives, with the earliest records dating from the Revolutionary War. The collection includes service records, pension applications and records, bounty land records, and even pardon petitions for Confederate Army veterans.

The table below will help you locate the military records you need. First, determine which category in the table applies to your situation. For example, if you are looking for pension records from any branch of the military, the first category — "Veterans' Records" — is appropriate. If you are looking for U. S. Air Force service record, the "U.S. Air Force" category would be the right choice. Once you've chosen a category, select the appropriate option in that category and click the underlined text. The page that you see after clicking the underlined text will tell you how to order your records.

Veterans' Records

Service for Confederate States

  • For military personnel serving for the Confederate States government from 1861 to 1865, contact the National Archives.

Draft Registration for WW I

U.S. Air Force

U.S. Army

U.S. Coast Guard and Related

U.S. Marine Corps

U.S. Navy

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