Thursday, November 9, 2017

Can't Find Out If Your Ancestor Served In The Civil War?

It's no mystery that sometimes our ancestors entered or mustered out of the Civil War under a different name. Definitely with the high rate of illiteracy, the spelling of soldiers' names were at the mercy of the writer.

And in researching, it's not always clear if our ancestors served in the war under the websites that specialize in this service.

Here's a hint!

If your ancestor was alive in 1910, find those census records (they're easy to find online), find their name and trace the line across to the right side of the form (column 30). It states if they were a "survivor of the Confederate or Union Army or Navy."

Veterans will display the letters UA (Union Army), UN (Union Navy), CA (Confederate Army), or CN (Confederate Navy). If you see a number in that column, ignore it. Tabulators in Washington DC used this column to compile statistical data, as it was usually left blank.

This knowledge will help you search further for any military records, and pension records (awarded to either themselves or their widow). 

The 1930 Census was the last census record to ask if an individual was a participant of a major war (column 31). If you find the letters, CW, they were veteran of the Civil War.

(photo: Union and Confederate Soldiers Shake Hands, Iconic Photos)

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