Researching U.S. Merchant Marines

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on November 16, 2015 in Collections, Content, Military Records

People researching members of the U.S. Merchant Marine have to be creative with their searching, as the records aren’t as plentiful as they are for the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard. Recently, that search became a little easier for those who are researching in the early 20th century. U.S., Merchant Marine… Read more

Second World War Home Front Heroes

Posted by Rebecca Simpson on November 12, 2015 in Collections, Guest Bloggers, Military Records, United Kingdom

Records of over 5,000 Second World War civilian gallantry awards have just been published online for the first time by Ancestry, in association with The National Archives. I wanted to share some of the amazing stories that caught my eye – including an 11 year old facing down a bomb. The UK WWII Civil Defence Gallantry Awards, 1940-1949 collection… Read more

Getting to Know Pennsylvania WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on November 11, 2015 in Content, Military Records

Although the United States was involved in World War I for a relatively short period of time (1917-1918), the records generated by and about those who served should not be overlooked. The records go beyond the well-known World War I Draft Registration Cards. Pennsylvania WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files A new collection on Ancestry… Read more

Building a WWII Timeline of Service

Posted by Jennifer Holik on October 22, 2015 in Family History Month, Military Records, Research

This is a guest post by Jennifer Holik. Researching an individual in our family tree often requires us to create a timeline of the individual’s life. On that timeline we place important events such as birth, marriage, education, residence, and death. We follow the same process for a World War II soldier, except we are specifically… Read more

Fire and Devastation! Reconstructing World War II Service

Posted by Jennifer Holik on September 30, 2015 in Military Records, Research Helps

This is a guest post by Jennifer Holik. Myth and misunderstanding surround World War II records access and reconstruction due to the 1973 Fire at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Missouri. Eighty percent of the Army, Air Corps, and National Guard Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs) were lost in the fire. Do not worry though… Read more

7 Facts You Didn’t Know about the D-Day Invasion at Normandy

Posted by Ancestry Team on June 5, 2015 in Military Records, Moments in Time

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 1944 —the day the Allied troops invaded the beaches at Normandy, France— was the largest seaborne invasion in history and the first time since 1688 that an invading army successfully crossed the English Channel. The D-Day landings led to the liberation of France from Nazi control and have… Read more

1945 – 2015. The 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.

Posted by Brian Gallagher on May 8, 2015 in Military Records, Stories, United Kingdom

Today is the 70th anniversary of VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day. On May 8th 1945 World War Two officially ended in Europe. On the 30th April 1945, Adolf Hitler took his own life and a week later German General Jodl and Grand Admiral Doenitz had signed an unconditional surrender on Monday May 7th at… Read more

How the sinking of The Lusitania & the battlefields of WWI took an immeasurable toll on one Irish family.

Posted by Brian Gallagher on May 7, 2015 in Guest Bloggers, Military Records, Research, Stories, United Kingdom

Authored by Richard Coplen and originally published in the Westmeath Examiner May 5th 2015. The Doyles: A Mullingar family fractured by the First World War The First World War was more destructive than any other war had ever been. It was the first genuinely global conflict, fought not just on the fields of France and Flanders,… Read more

Tracking the Service of a World War I Veteran for our UK Branch Out Winner

Posted by Brian Gallagher on January 24, 2015 in Site, Contest, Guest Bloggers, Military Records, Research, Stories, United Kingdom

  By Neil Holden, AncestryProGenealogists Alan Small recently won our Branch Out Sweepstakes, and received 20 hours of research with AncestryProGenealogists. High on Alan’s list of interests were the experiences and movements of his grandfather, John James Collins, who served in the British military both before and during World War I. Our research provided detailed… Read more

WWI Honour Roll – Guest post by Archivist Karyn Stuckey from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Posted by Brian Gallagher on November 17, 2014 in Site, Guest Bloggers, In The Community, Military Records, Research, United Kingdom

Authored by Karyn Stuckey, Archivist at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers   After the guns had fallen silent, thoughts turned to how to honour the dead. Faced with the dilemma of how to commemorate the dead, many organisations created Honour Rolls or memorials. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers created an ornate board, recording the names… Read more