USCW-SEVEN_PINES-L ArchivesArchiver > USCW-SEVEN_PINES > 2003-12 > 1072731363
From: "Nancy" <>
Subject: [Seven-Pines] Fw: Just A Few Tidbits
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 14:58:20 -0600
This was posted on the CW List and Mr. Harding gave me permission to share it. Nancy
As the new year approaches, and knowing the list is always getting new members, I wanted to share a few things which might be of some help in searching for ancestors who served in the War. As the Sons of Confederate Veterans North Carolina Division Genealogist, I receive so many emails from people asking if I can tell them if they had an ancestor in the War, with no names given or any other information. Not being able to travel all over the country, and not having access to any family papers and other things such as Family Bibles, it's impossible for me to just pull an ancestor out of the sky and say, "This is your ancestor." To search for ancestors, it takes some detective work, sometimes very little, sometimes a lot. Patience is one of the things I encourage, and not to get easily discouraged and just give up. Not every man who lived during that time served. Some men were too old, some too young, and others were just not physically able to serve. With all of this s!
aid, I'd like to share a few guidelines that might help someone with their research.
1) Talk with all of your older relatives, no matter how distantly related you are. Many times, an older relative may have knowledge of an ancestor who served in the War, but they have never really shared this information because of lack of interest by the younger generations.
2) Cemeteries are an excellent place to search. Here you can find not only names, but also dates that can tell you if the man was of age to serve in the War. If you live in a different area from where your ancestors are buried, contact a family member who resides close to the cemetery. Be sure to write down the names and dates and any other information on the stone. This will prevent you having to return in case you forget something. I have found in most cases, families were very proud of their loved one's service, and most times had something engraved in his stone about his service, if it was not a stone provided by the government. The stone could show the name of the man's company or regiment, where he was wounded or killed, and if he was a Confederate soldier, it may simply have C.S.A. engraved.
3) Old family papers or old Family Bibles can be a source of information. Many times, family records were written in the personal family information section in Bibles. The information usually included are names, dates of birth and death, dates of Baptism or marriage, and any other facts the person wanted to include. The names and dates are the important information as they can show you if the man was of age to serve during the War.
4) One of the best sources to use in tracing back are Birth and Death Certificates. These documents list names of parents, and are an excellent research tool. Depending on where you live, and how far back your county records go, these documents will certainly be of great help in your search. You can find these documents at the Register of Deeds Office at the Court House.
5) Contact your local genealogy society, or if you don't live where your ancestors did, contact the genealogy society in that area. These people are always willing to help others with family research. They can possibly get you names of men who would have been of age to serve in the War from old census records or other county records, such as records of marriage.
6) If you find the name of a man who you think possibly served, and, if your library or the library where the man resided has old newspapers on microfilm, you may very possibly be able to find your ancestor's obituary. Most times obituaries will tell of the man's service in the War. The obituary may list the name of his company or regiment, the locations he served at, and also give other family names you may be interested in. Obituaries can be a great source of information. On a personal note, I just recently found what day of the week my ancestor was buried in 1890 from information in his obituary.
I also want to mention obtaining copies of a soldier's original War Service Record. In my research, I have used both the National Archives and Broadfoot Publishing Company. In my opinion, and my opinion only, I prefer Broadfoot over the National Archives hands down. Unless they have changed their way of doing things in the past few years, the National Archives requires you to complete an application to mail in, and then they notify you if any records were found. After you are notified, you must send payment to them within a certain time period, and then wait for weeks to get the information. The National Archives will only get you the soldier's file information on the specific company and regiment you list on the application. If you would like to find out more about the National Archives and obtaining information from them, you can find their website located at the following address : http://www.archives.gov/research_room/obtain_copies/veterans_service_records.html#nar!
a Broadfoot Publishing Company does not require you to complete and application. You can contact them with the soldiers name, company, and regiment, and they will do a complete search on him. If he served in more than one company or regiment, which happened many times, you will receive all of the information found for all companies or regiments he served in. Once they make the necessary copies, they mail them to you and there is no long waiting period to receive them. Usually, the time frame is a matter of days after receiving your request. Yes, Broadfoot's services cost a bit more than that of the National Archives, but to me, the additional cost is well worth it. One other thing I like about Broadfoot is that you are treated as an individual, and not a numbered job which has to be completed. If you would like to find out more about Broadfoot's services, you can find their website at http://www.soldiersearch.com/index.html
I hope I haven't taken up too much space, but I just wanted to share a few things with the Listmembers, especially any new subscribers. If I can be of help to anyone regarding soldiers who served from North Carolina, please feel free to email me directly, and I'll be more than happy to try to be of help. On a personal note, to the members who know me, I'm still recovering from my recent surgery. Things went well, and even though I'm still pretty sore, I'm back up and going again. Many thanks to all of you who contacted me with well wishes. I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas and will also have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!
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