Monday Milestones: November – A Month To Remember!

During the month of October we focused on naturalization records.  I spent quite a bit of time keying and arbitrating on the New York Naturalization Originals project.  It was fun and REALLY interesting to see life stories play out in just a few short lines on such important documents.  People from all over the world coming to the United States – young and old, black and white, single and married, with children or without, dressmakers and doctors, tailors and tanners – and for years filing page after page of documentation in order to become citizens of this country.


You did a great job capturing their names so that the descendants of these people can find these important records of their ancestors’ lives.  In fact, during the month of October alone over 743,000 naturalization records were keyed.  Thank you for your efforts!


Now it’s November (where did the year go?) and in many countries around the world the 11th of this month is a day of remembrance for those who served their country in the armed forces.  Here in the United States it is called Veteran’s Day.  In Great Britain, Australia and Canada it is called Remembrance Day.  In France and New Zealand it is generally referred to as Armistice Day.


Wherever you live and however you choose to honor and remember those who served in the armed forces, we hope you will join us in keying some of the military records currently available in the Ancestry World Archives Project.  (And, be sure to watch throughout the month for announcements from Anna about additional military collections being made available for keying.)


Right now we have a very large collection of Returns from U.S. Military Posts.  These records cover over a century (1800-1916) of reports from the commanding officer of each Army post.  They are a listing of personnel assigned to the post, the names and duties of the officers, and a brief record of events.  We have broken this project into regions so you can select a part of the country that you think a relative may have served.  My own great-grandfather, Fred Cowan, was stationed in Texas from 1912-1917 so, I’ll be keying those records in hopes of running across his name and the names of those with whom he served.


In honor of my brother and sister-in-law serving in the United States Air Force, my brother-in-law who served in the United States Marine Corps, both of my grandfather’s who served in World War Two, and a great-grandfather who served in World War One I’ll be keying military records all month long.  Who knows what great stories I might find to help someone else find and remember their ancestors who served in the armed forces?  And, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll find some stories of my own great-grandfather in the process.  I’ll keep you posted.


Until next time – Happy Keying!

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I thought it would be interesting to note that the United States also used the wording Armistice Day until 1954 when it was changed to Veteran’s Day. Although Armistice was the end of WWI the change in 1954 was to honor all veterans rather than keep the focus on WWI veterans. As a senior citizen, I remember referring to Nov 11th as Armistice Day. It was also my father’s birthday so the change has always been one of my memories.

Here in England, I will wear my poppy with pride. On 11 November I will remember both my grandfathers; one survived both World Wars in the British Army, the other was involved in the development of Radar.

Yes I will also wear my poppy with pride for my grandad(on my fathers side) Great grandad (mothers side), who served during 1st world War, and my grandad 2nd WWar. And in memory of my great uncle who was a Spitfire Pilot and was killed in Action in 1943.

As a member of the USCG Auxiliary, I’ll be riding in the Veterans Day Parade in honor of my son (active-USMC), my son-in-law (USMC-Gulf War), brother-in-law (USMC-Vietnam), uncle (USArmy-WWII) & g-uncle (WWI).

I had 4 great-uncles serve in WWII. One earned two bronze stars in the European Theater. Only three returned home. Through my membership at I found the grave record of the one who didn’t come back when Ancestry posted the records of the war dead buried on foreign soil several years ago.