Memorializing Our Military Ancestors

by Amy Johnson Crow

Posted on May 24, 2013

Monday is Memorial Day in the United States. Although it was originally established to honor those who had perished while serving the military, it has come to be a time to remember all veterans who have passed away. We here at would like to help you remember the veterans in your family.


flag.jpg has several military collections. There are two that are especially important this Memorial Day. The American Battle Monuments Commission Burials Records collection contains information about U.S. servicemen who died in World War I or World War II and are buried in ABMC cemeteries in foreign countries. (One example is the Luxembourg American Cemetery in Luxembourg, where General George S. Patton is buried.) This collection lists the person's name, date of death, rank, unit, and cemetery name and plot number.

Another collection is the Veterans Burial Records, a collection from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This lists veterans' burials in U.S. national cemeteries, as well as some private and family cemeteries. Information varies by record, but could include the veteran's name, date of death, regiment, and the cemetery name and plot number.

Learning About Your Military Ancestors

The Expert Series has a category just for military research. Learn how to research War of 1812 veterans, Civil War unit structures, and what to do if you think your ancestor's military records were destroyed. You can also get inspiration and guidance to tell the stories of the lost.

Not sure which of your ancestors served in the military? You can watch our recent video on YouTube as Amy Johnson Crow shares ways that you can identify which of your ancestors served in the military and how to follow up on those clues.

We here at encourage everyone to honor the veterans who have gone before. We wish all of you a happy and safe Memorial Day!

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