Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Genealogy: Finding Your Ancestor in Military Records

The Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library has a variety of resources to help you trace your ancestors who served in the military. Through our collection of ClevNet Databases, you can access Ancestry Library Edition (within the library only), which offers over a billion records of interest to genealogists. Another excellent database is Heritage Quest, which is provided by OPLIN (The Ohio Public Library Information Network). Besides digitized census images, Heritage Quest also provides the full text of over 20,000 books of genealogy and local history, as well as records from the Freedman’s Bank, and Revolutionary War pension records from the National Archives and Records Administration. The Reference Services staff can assist you in accessing these online sources.

Below are a few samples of military related records found at the Archives Research Center:

David Carswell is listed in the OFFICIAL ROSTER: SOLDIERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BURIED IN OHIO, available on the genealogy shelves. In that record, we find (among other things) that he is buried in Oakland Cemetery. Information about thousands of Revolutionary soldiers who eventually settled in Ohio is included in this volume.

A multi-volume set which provides genealogical information about Revolutionary soldiers is GENEALOGICAL ABSTRACTS OF REVOLUTIONARY WAR PENSION FILES, also available in the Genealogy department.

For information about veterans of the War of 1812, the Ohio Historical Society offers an online database of the roster of Ohio soldiers. This is also available in print form here at the library, in the Genealogy department. Here, you can find that Joseph Taylor, who is buried in Perkins Cemetery, served in Capt. Nathaniel Massie’s Mounted Company in the War of 1812.

Civil War soldiers’ discharge records are on microfilm in the Archives Research Center. In the film are copies of the original discharge certificates. For example, on this film you can find that First Lieutant Foster V. Follett was mustered out on July 13, 1865 at Camp Chase.

Several men from Sandusky served in the Massachusetts 55th Volunteer Infantry. The Sandusky Daily Commercial Register of June 3, 1863 (available on microfilm) lists the names of men of color from Sandusky, ranging in age from 18 to 40, who were anxious to fight for freedom. Two of the recruits were Elijah Brown and Maurice Darnell, both buried in Oakland Cemetery.

The Archives Research Center also a number of photographs of military service men and events:

Sandusky photographer Willard Bishop photographed these officers from Company B of the Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. During the Spanish American War, this unit served in Cuba from January through April 1899.
Hundreds of local residents turned out to welcome back Company B on May 26, 1899.

The information in this entry represents just a fraction of the military-related resources available at the Archives Research Center. Visit the lower level of the Sandusky Library to find a wealth of information about the history of Sandusky, Erie County, and its residents.

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