Finding Your Military Family:  A Guide to Databases and Websites

Government Repositories

Library of Congress Veterans History Project


General Tips for Searching LOC


National Archives

Search SOME of the NARA holdings (enlistment records, casualty reports, prisoner of war data)
(complete list of accessible online records)*:*&f.ancestorNaIds=563391&sort=naIdSort%20asc (Ships Records 1845-1963, may list some officers)


National Park Service

Includes information on wars, military branches, biographical data and more

U.S. Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database

U.S. Mexican War Soldiers and Sailors Database


Illinois State Archives

1929 Illinois Roll of Honor

Illinois Black Hawk War Veterans

Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls

Illinois Civil War Veterans of Missouri Units

Illinois Civil War Veterans Serving in the U.S. Navy

Illinois Mexican War Veterans

Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Home Residents

Illinois Spanish–American War Veterans

Illinois Veterans' History Project

Illinois War of 1812 Veterans

Illinois Winnebago War Veteran


Archives and Books


Internet Archive


Google Books


HeritageQuest (go through your home library)

FamilySearch (go through your home library if they are an affiliate)

Volume 1, with links to the other four volumes for Civil War pensioners (also available on Ancestry and FamilySearch)

List of Pensioners on the Roll, 1883,

Record of the services of Illinois soldiers in the Black Hawk war, 1831-32, and in the Mexican war, 1846-1848 

Roll of Honor:  Soldiers Buried in Cook County, Illinois 

WWI Cook County Draft Lottery

Soldiers of the Great War (WWI)

Korean War Honor Roll


Specialized Museums

Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Cantigny Park First Division Museum

The Civil War Museum


The Census

1840 census asked the name, age, and place of residence of pensioners of the Revolutionary War

1890 Veterans Schedules of the U.S. Federal Census

1900, 1910, 1920 separate Military and Naval Population Census

1910 census asked if there was a survivor of the Union or Confederate Army or Navy in Column 30

1930 census asked whether there was a veteran of the military or navy and in what war in columns 30 and 31


Old Soldiers Home Records

Ancestry: U.S., National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938

NARA: Records, RG 231

FamilySearch: United States Military Old Soldiers Home Records (Table of Homes and Location of Records)


Major Websites



Cyndi's List


Fraternities, Sororities and Other Organizations






Grand Army of the Republic

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Each office of a GAR post or department was responsible for maintaining its own files. Most of the local records are not available.


The National Society United States Daughters of 1812


General Society of the War of 1812


State War of 1812 Societies List


Other  Societies and Groups

Society for Military History-Archives/Museums/Online Records


Red Cross (Five million digitized WWI prisoner records)






African American


Asian American


Hispanic American


Native American



National Gravesite Locator

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Civil War Cemetery Burials

Confederate Graves Registry

National Graves Registration Project Database




Prisoners of the First World War: The ICRC Archives (5 million prisoners of WWI records)

NARA (WWII, Korea, Vietnam)


Military Service Branches

Air Force Historical Research Agency

Air Force Historical Research Agency-Archival Requests

U.S. Army Center of Military History

U.S. Army Center of Military History-General Resources and Research

United States Coast Guard Historian’s Office

United States Marine Corps History Division

Naval History and Heritage Command


Air Force Records at the National Archives

Army Records at the National Archives

Coast Guard Records at the National Archives

Marine Corps Records at the National Archives

Records of the National Guard Bureau at the National Archives

Naval and Marine Records at the National Archives