Document the Veterans in Your Family Tree

by Julie Hill

Posted on November 11, 2011

This Veterans Day, take some time to honor the veterans in your life, and remember your ancestors who served in the military.

Veterans Day was established on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month of 1918 to mark the peace agreements that ended World War I. In other parts of the world, this day is known as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day (as it was originally called in the United States). Do you have veterans in your family tree?

armistice.jpg Many people in the United States have at least a few family members throughout the generations who served in the military in some capacity. You can find records of their service in's many military record collections. You can browse to find military personnel records, records organized by conflict, casualties and prisoners of war, retirement and pension requests, and veteran burial records.

Our collections date back to the Revolutionary War and represent every major military conflict the United States was involved in through the Vietnam War. To search for military records on start here:

Military records can be very illuminating to help you better understand the life of an ancestor or relative. Depending on the record type, you can see your relative's branch of service, unit, rank, date and location of enlistment, record of burial in a military cemetery, and service awards.

You can also use our newspaper collections to learn about the events and times surrounding your veteran ancestors' military service. Newspapers are particularly valuable resources for conflicts predating the invention of radio and television, as they represented the main channel through which the public could learn about their loved ones serving overseas.

Did any of your ancestors serve in the military? Have you found records of their service in our collections? Share in the comments below.

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