Jan Mayer | Feb 23, 2018

RootsTech 2018 Classes to Attend if You Have Ancestors Who Served in the Military

Military records often include facts like physical descriptions that you won’t find anywhere else. But more than that, they can provide clues to unique stories about the heroes from your family tree.

These records have rich and detailed information that will be a meaningful addition to your family history. To learn more, consider attending the following classes at RootsTech 2018.

Accessing US Soldiers Records for World War I

Ken Nelson

Did you know that 2018 is the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I? With that in mind, this presentation will a be a survey of the record collections available for documenting the service of ancestors or relatives who served during the Great War. Topics will include draft registrations, statement of service cards, military unit histories, state collections, discharge records, and records of Gold Star Mothers. We will look at the American Legion and cemetery burials of the American Battle Monuments Commission and the National Cemetery System in the United States, concluding with a look at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City and the National Personnel Records Center and National Archives in St. Louis.

Time: 4:30 p.m
Date: Thursday, March 1
Room: 150

Missing—Presumed Dead: A Case Study of Civil War Records

Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG

The American Civil War took a devastating toll on those who lived through it and impacted generations to come. Though the horrors of war made soldiers reluctant to share their experiences, many of the records of Union and Confederate soldiers have been preserved and are accessible—if you know where to look. This lecture will illustrate the research process by following one soldier’s story through the records, draft records, service records, pensions, medical records, newspapers, order books, prisoner of war records, and some less well-known information.

Time: 11:00 a.m
Date: Wednesday, February 28
Room: 255A

Finding the Answers. The Basics of WWI Research

Jennifer Holik, World War II Research and Writing Center

Approximately 80 percent of the records for the Army, Air Force, and National Guard were destroyed in a 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. But there are still research possibilities for genealogists. Many alternative record sources are available to help reconstruct service history.

This engaging and informative presentation will teach you how to research World War I and II records for any branch of the military and civilian service. By taking the audience on a trip through time, the instructor will explore the service history of several men and women and will:

  • Explore resources to search prior to obtaining military and civilian records.
  • Provide information on obtaining Official Military Personnel Files and Civilian Files.
  • Show you which military records can be used to reconstruct service history.
  • Give tips on weaving military, genealogical, and historical records together.
  • Offer a brief exploration of the Individual Deceased Personnel File.

Time: 3:00 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, February 28
Room: Ballroom A

Battlefield Stories: Writing Your Stories of War

Jennifer Holik, World War II Research and Writing Center

If you’ve researched a World War II soldier or civilian and need tips on where to go next, this class will provide lots of ideas. Using tried-and-true tips, attendees will learn ways to organize their digital and paper military records and begin writing their World War II stories. In this hands-on, engaging, and informative presentation, Jennifer will share:

  • Basic World War II research tips for soldier research.
  • A formula for writing a military story.
  • Writing prompts to get your writing flowing.

Time: 11:00 a.m. Saturday
Room: Ballroom J

Sources to Researching Confederate Soldiers Online

Nicole Dyer

Confederate Civil War soldiers in your family tree may be more difficult to research than Union soldiers. Using the Compiled Military Service Record as a starting point, this presentation will dive into the world of the Civil War by finding regiment histories, photographs, hospital descriptions, and more to bring your relative’s service to life.

Online state archive collections, the Library of Congress’s Civil War Photo and Maps collections, digitized letters and diaries, and Civil War forums may contain valuable tidbits to help you connect with your ancestors and gain insight into how and why they served.

Time: 3:00 p.m.
Date: Saturday, March 3
Room: 255A

Jan Mayer

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