West Virginia Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers - FamilySearch Historical Records
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West Virginia Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|West Virginia, |
|Flag of the United States of America|
|Flag of the United States at the outbreak of the civil war|
|National Archives and Records Administration Logo|
|Record Type||Compiled Service Records|
|Record Group||RG 94: Records of the Adjutant General's Office|
|Microfilm Publication||M508. Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of West Virginia.|
|National Archives Identifier||300398 423|
|National Archives and Records Administration|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues
- 7 Citing This Collection
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
The collection consists of Union service records of soldiers who served in organizations from West Virginia for the years 1861 to 1865. The records include abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in the following original records:
- Name, rank, company and regiment in which served
- Muster rolls showing when soldier was mustered-in, discharged
- Appointment books
- Hospital registers
- Union prison registers and rolls
- Parole rolls
- Inspection reports
For each military unit the service records are arranged alphabetically by the soldier's surname. The Military Unit field may also display the surname range (A-G) as found on the microfilm. This collection is a part of RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780s - 1917, and is National Archive Microfilm Publication M508. Index courtesy of Fold3 (previously Footnote.com).
Service records were kept for each soldier. Those records, or their abstracts, were compiled into individual files. Each envelope/jacket contains information and cross references to original records relating to the soldier.
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
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What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The index to these records contains the following:
- Jacket name
- Soldier’s full name
- Age (often estimated)
- Military unit served in
- Type of records in file
- NARA publication number, title, and roll number
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
The records are in individual files which usually include the following:
- A jacket-envelope for each soldier, labeled with his name, his rank, and the unit in which he served
- A card (or cards) with abstracts of entries from original muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, parole rolls, and inspection reports
- The originals of any papers relating only to the particular soldier
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of the soldier
- Identifying information such as age
Search the Index[edit | edit source]Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Use the estimated age to calculate a birth date
- Use the age and location of the military unit to find the soldier’s family in census, church, and land records
- Continue to search the index and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have served in the same unit or a nearby unit
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
- If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for variant spellings of the surnames
I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities
- Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals with the same family number
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of West Virginia.
- US Military Basic Search Strategies
- Beginning Research in United States Military Records
- Beginning United States Civil War Research
- Locating a Union Civil War Soldier (1861-1865)
- West Virginia Guided Research
- Research Tips and Strategies
- Step-by-Step Research
Related Family History Library Holdings[edit | edit source]
- Compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of West Virginia
- Muster rolls for West Virginia, 1861-1864 1st-2nd Regiment of Calvary
Related FamilySearch historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]
- United States General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934
- United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933
- United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War, 1890
Known Issues[edit | edit source]
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.