Ancestry.com Launches Largest U.S. Military Records Collection Available Online — Free Until June 6th

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Ancestry.com is announcing it has launched the largest collection of U.S. military records available and searchable online, featuring more than 90 million names that span more than four centuries of American history from the 1600s through Vietnam.

This U.S. Military Collection includes exclusive record sets such as the only complete collection of WWI draft registration cards and commemorative military yearbooks and newspapers. Combined, the records bring to life the stories and sacrifices of the millions of brave men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Inside the U.S. Military Collection
Ancestry.com’s U.S. Military Collection captures all major wars and conflicts from American history, including the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts as well as the Spanish-American War and the War of 1812.

The eclectic volume of records features more than 700 databases and titles and  37 million images of original and often personally autographed documents including:

  • World War I and World War II draft registration cards’
  • Prisoner of war records from the War of 1812, Civil War, World War II, and Korea
  • Muster rolls (unit rosters) for the Marine Corps 1893-1958 and WWII U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Muster rolls, 1939-1949
  • U.S. Military burial registers 1768-1921
  • Service Records from Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War 
  • Civil War Pension Index
  • Casualty listings from WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam
  • WWI and WWII Stars and Stripes Newspapers
  • Young American Patriots Military Yearbooks (post WWII)

Rare historical media such as the United Newsreel Motion Pictures (1942-1945) are another highlight of the collection, making Ancestry.com the only online source for all 267 counter-propaganda films shown in U.S. theaters and abroad during WWII. Produced by the Office of War Information and financed by the U. S. government, the United Newsreels consisted of several short stories concerning allied military operations and were reportedly released in sixteen languages. Newsreels were also dropped behind enemy lines in a German language version and distributed in friendly and neutral countries.

Beginning now through June 6th (D-Day), Ancestry.com will make its entire U.S. Military Collection free to the public. For more information on Ancestry.com’s U.S. Military Collection, click here.

In order to see the new titles added to Ancestry for this military release, click here and view titles by war/conflict.

 

 

50 thoughts on “Ancestry.com Launches Largest U.S. Military Records Collection Available Online — Free Until June 6th

  1. I searched for several people and I was unimpressed. The information it has for my World War I vets is widely available for free elsewhere; my dad isn’t in the database even though he served for four years in World War II; and when I clicked on a link to see the information for my ex-father-in-law, I received an error message. It’s a typical, unexciting, error-ridden database.

  2. The database does not mention anything about the Mexican-American War that took place between 1846 and 1848.

  3. It appears you do not consider the U.S. Navy as part of the military of this country

  4. I have searched for myself (US Army WWII 9/9/46 to 2/2/48) cannot find me. Searched for friend Jophn F. Dorman, Lewisburg, P)A, USMC Korea, Major. Cannot find. My 4th great grandgather, Jacob Hetrick, York Co PA Militia. Lieutenant. Cannot find. I am also USMCR, cannot find. Retired Lt Col USAF 12/87, cannot find. Vietnam vet.

    What good is this new site? I would never pay to use it. I agree with the negative comments above.

    Frank

  5. I searched for myself a Korean Vet and came up with nothing. I also searched for 4 relatives in WW2 and came up empty also. Are they still building the data base?

  6. I’ve searched for Donald Ray Rhew and Norman Andrew Allen in WWll Navy records and have not found them. Hope we get the website soon. I guess the Navy and Marines and all the other branches of service is not important. They served our counrty also. Just like the Army.

  7. I must agree with the above negative comments. Searching for members of my family who served in the military – Navy and Army provided NO hits. Both served during WWII, one in the army the other in the navy. One was wounded in action the other on board a ship during the Pearl Harbor attack.

    Who have you included in this “Largest collection of Military Records??

    WRJ

  8. I tried any MYCROFT, nothing came up yet their enlishment cards are on the database alnong with burial records.

    whats up

  9. I don’t think this site even pretends to have all the US military records. I am impressed with what they do have. I have found Rev. and Civil war ancestors and EVERY one I was looking for in the WWI draft registration records. I have found everyone in my family who served in the ARMY in WWII. I am very impressed with the old newsreels that they just added. History is a part of family research and these newsreels add to my understanding of my parent’s generation. BE PATIENT. Ancestry constantly adds new information to all of it’s databases and I expect will have the Navy and the Marines (my Dad’s branch of the military) for WWII. Of course they need to add the Mexican War and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts as well as enlistees and draftees for peacetime service. Yes, some of this can be found on free websites, but using Ancestry, you don’t have to hop from one site to another. BE PATIENT. Ancestry.com is the best composite site for US, English and Canadian ancestry and is adding other countries’ records at a quick rate. I have been a subscriber for about 4 years and am consistently impressed at what they have. (I do get a little irritated at their marketing tools)

  10. i served 4 years navy 1951-55,cant locate i have located 3 brothers from wwii,in burial section,i agree title is misleading

  11. Not to be so positive, but I was able to find a lot of information, though not my father’s information. Though that is not Ancestry.com fault. There is still information not being release by the government. My father served with Patton and all I can gathered by his congressman is that the CIA has clamp down on some information.

    You would think that at this time over these many years that the information would be open to the public. But the congressman stop in his track explaining to us once he read the report.

    There are some things the government does want you to know and there is others they do not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Searched for my Father, Charles A. Seibert who served in WWII,
    1943-1945 and found nothing. Even tried all last name spellings I could think of. I know the military has a problem with records. They’re story from St. Louis is all the records burned in 1977. Strange my Father had his at a VA Hospital in Illinois in 1990. Just can’t seem to get any help from them.
    Guess you are having the same problems.

  13. I was a bit disappointed. My ancestor seems to be listed on a microfilm roll for (VA) for the Revolutionary War. The list is in no particular order that I can see and there are 768 pages to look through. Hope I live long enough to find him with more information than what I put in.
    I put ten other names in of relatives who I know served and found nine. Just like any other search. Sometimes you hit paydirt; sometimes you don’t. I hope it will prove to be a useful tool.

  14. Error in the above comment….I could NOT find 9 out of 10. Sorry bout that.

  15. Could not find my father -Ray Wm. Holliday listed under WW1, altho he enlisted in 1910 and served till 1919, serving on several ships, and stations. It would appear that unless you were drafted you have no record. Quite a disapointment.

  16. I was searching the Revolutionary War. I know my ggggg Grandfather, Nathaniel Thompson, fought in this war along with his brother, Price. However, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Wish there was a better way to pinpoint their record. They were both from Morristown, Morris County, NJ. Who has time to go through all 568 pages????!!!

  17. I decided to search The WW II records and found my grandfather and an uncle!!!! They were lisred in a WWII yearbook and were on the same page no less!!! I have seen this book before but didn’t have a copy of it. So this is a nice document to save!

  18. I too am disappointed in this latest attempt by Ancestry to attract customers. Could not find anyone I knew who served in WW1 or WW2, Korea, or Civil or Revolutionary Wars. After reading above blogs, I am relieved that I am not the only one!

  19. I have very FEW complaints about ancestry. Luckily, I’ve been able to locate MOST of the military persons I’ve searched for. I found WW1 Draft Registrations for my 2 grandfathers and I never knew they had filed them.

    Visit http://www.bitsofblueandgray.com and leaf through our American Civil War Notebook.

    Jayne

  20. I looked for my name in WWII. I found it but most of the information was wrong. I enlisted in PA but they say I am from Alaska. They said i went to college for 4 years. Wrong.
    My civil occupation listed jobs I never even heard of before.
    The movies are old worn out propaganda bits we used to see in the Saturday movies. I could not find my father, my best friend, my commanding officer, or a host of fellow GIs in WWII.
    This is a bust.

  21. Where is the Spanish-American War listed? My grgrandmother’s brother was on the battlrship Maine and was injured when it blew up. He is supposed to be buried in Arlington Cem. Wsh. D.C. They cannot find him. I need help on this.

  22. I have attempted to view original draftcards Of WW I ancestors but only the summaries show on screen, so I know the original cards are there. I certainly will not PAY to view these when they offer for free. I suggest Ancestry fix the problem I’m sure others are having also; then extend the viewing time allowed to make amends.

  23. Lt.Col. US AIR FORCE RETIRED. SERVED: 19 AUGUST 1943 TO 1 SEPTEMBER 1973

  24. I have not been too thrilled with this website and the cost is too rich for this old soul. Sorry jshillin

  25. Still unable to locate Joseph Edward Boggs, Army WWII enlistment, a second time in order to obtain a print out. Did find the information earlier but printer was down. Now there is a totally different form with fewer spaces to enter know information. After repeated attempts just keep coming up short. Even after sending a help request to support which was of little consequence. Would appear Ancestry has shot their self in the foot – so to speak!?!

  26. Some I could find, but wonder if there are more after reading above. I had the same problem with census records also. Found them by searching through without index earlier on but then could not when census years were indexed.

  27. this is the second time I have contacted Ancestry. My fathers Military record is a mess! His name is Garvin D Ginn. Now I know there are not many around by that name. He was born in 1917 and was a small man. His record shows him born in 1844 and weighing 968 lbs and being 60 in tall. He was a vet of WW11 so dont you think he deserves to have this info corrected?

  28. I have been searching in the new release for records that were missing before and find that they are still missing, but I did notice that some records are now their in duplicate! I also had hoped the new release would correct my grandfather’s WWI draft registration which is indexed, but the image is blank. I have reported that one many times and, as usual, no response from Ancestry.

    It amazes me that with this ‘Major Release’ of military records, Ancestry did not provide a way to attach these records to a Military event in Family Trees. Right now, when you attach one of these records to your Family Tree, you can only attach the record as a source for the Name, Birth or Residence Events. When you manually add the record as a source for a Military event, you run into the whole issue of how Ancestry is handling and displaying user entered sources….which is not well! I’ve also written about both of these issues many times to no avail, but I digress.

    I guess I just would like to see that, in addition to splashy marketing events intended to attract new customers, Ancestry would do more to retain their existing customer base by acknowledging and addressing their issues.

  29. I could not find my husband who served in World War 11 and the Korean conflict, Army and 45th. I didn’t try to find anyone else after the comment about the navy.

  30. I agree with Leslie and K.Will above about being patient with Ancestry.com not having EVERYTHING on their website, particularly the military records! I have been with Ancestry.com since its beginning (I believe) and have been quite impressed with the speed they put genealogical and historical data on the website – particularly with the complete census report lists (from 1790 to 1930)! Do be aware that Ancestry.com and others may not have the permission to put some very needed records on the website. I do know that Ancestry.com’s very extensive database has saved me hours of searching for several people when using the index in different ways! I have been quite pleased with the website.

  31. Full of holes and not nearly as complete as you claim. Definitely not worth paying for at this time.

  32. When will you have enlistment records for WWl? My father enlisted in 1917, the only record I found on him is a draft registeration card for WW2. I did find my brother under the WWII enlistment records. Also I couldn’t find my uncle who served in the Spanish American War.
    So I would not call this Military Record site as complete and I’m a paying member of ancestry.com!

  33. When I tried to find my dad who served in the service and
    was wounded the army nor sights could find him as serving.
    But, when he passed away I found papers that proved where,when and how long.The veterans did not do a good job for him or his
    children.Can’t find grasndparents either!

  34. I was disappointed with the much touted US Military Records. Most of my male relatives served in the Navy in WWII and I could not find references to any of them. Also I was unable to find any mention of my male relatives who served in the army both in WWI and WWII. I think its back to the “drawing board” for who ever did the research!

  35. I too am disappointed; looking for several uncles and cousins in Navy for WW11, Vietnam, and Korean conflict. Of course did not find. Biggest disappointment was finding a Civil War Pension file I had been looking for and guess what, No image!!!! I have been a paying member for a long time but am very frustrated and like others don’t know how they expect to attract new members. I will try and be patient tho. as ancestry did respond to my error report.

  36. I too have been unable to locate information regarding several family members known to have served in the armed forces — especially the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps. The birth of one uncle’s son appears in the Stars and Stripes but no record of my uncle elsewhere, and I most certainly remember him in his World War II Army uniform! I have found some information about earlier relatives, previously unknown to me as serving in the military but it has been a long, drawn out, involved search and I am currently unsure as to the completeness of this search. After spending many hours of searching, I am left wondering if I’ve covered all the bases. Too much here and there searching without confidence that my research has been complete. I had expected to have better success, anticipating a subscription to the site to complete my research. From what I’ve been able to ascertain, as well as from the comments of others, I am left wondering — is it worth a subscription to this data base, after all?

  37. Is it possible to give me any information about my friend who was killed in Vietnam. His name was Eddie Scully from Birmingham, England. He left Birmingham for USA where he joined the American Forces, unfortunatly he was killed in action. I would be very grateful if you could help me in any way. Yours Sincerely David Polhill

  38. Is there any way to find out what the range of height was on the WWl draft registraton cards? How tall was someone considered to be if he was tall, medium or short? I haven’t been able to find this information anywhere. Thanks for any help you can give me.

  39. I have tried over and over again to get into the records even using my name and password and it blocks my getting in. I found a record that I wanted to see but I can not get to it. kblair

  40. My father servered in both wars. He entered the Navy at the age of 17, he lied about his age. He was born in 1900 on may 30 but told the Navy he was born in 1988 on May 30

  41. I think they should ofer info for free as long as their info is not complete. What if I pay to join and I can not find my fathers info???

  42. I was very dissapointed with the WWII Draft Records, I couldn’t find my own. And besides, I noticed that most of the people were born in 1800′s. They would have been too old to be drafted. It seems that these people might have been in Civil War instead of WWII.

  43. I hope they get the site working properly soon so that I can find info on my dad, Charles Edwin Olson, Jr., 24 Aug.1922 – 01 Dec.1961 from Rockford, Illinois, his mother’s name was Kathryn, Enlistment in the US Navy on 12 Nov.1940, Induction 13 Nov. 1940 Chicago,IL and Seperated 25 Dec. 1946 San Francisco,CA I believe he was on the USS Arkansas and the USS Beatty and was in the Phillipines,I have alot of photos and memorabilia and hope to share it with everybody somehow sometime soon and wish there was a way to contact the people in the photos and memorabilia and/or their siblings, etc.

  44. i agree I was looking for the Navy records of an uncle who served abourd the wasp in WW11 also my dad who was in the Army results were 0 in both cases

  45. can anyone give me infor on how to track down an uncle in the americian army in the 40′s/50′s he was a quater master sgt called patrick nash he was irish married to betty with children debbi and peter

  46. How do I find my Dad’s military records for late 1940′s? I know he was in first Navy for two years then Army, or vice versa. I know he was on ships in both, and went to Japan, and other places.

  47. Pingback: Free Access to Ancestry’s Military Records « Jessica’s Genejournal

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