Posted by Heather Erickson on May 25, 2010 in Collections, Webinars

Memorial Day is right around the corner.

It’s a time to remember the military heroes that fought for America’s freedom and reflect on those sacrifices made for our country. And what better way to honor them than by locating your military ancestors within historical record collections so that their legacy can live on for generations to come.

In honor of this Memorial Day, we’ve recently released some additional military collections that could increase your chances to learn more about your military ancestors. My friend, Paul Rawlins, already posted some great information about the new Alabama Civil War Muster Rolls, 1861-1865 collection that was released a few weeks ago.  Check out his blog post to learn what a muster roll really is, and what type of information you can learn from these documents.

We also just added U.S. WWII Draft Registration Card records for the states of Idaho and Oregon.  These records, often referred to as the “old man’s registration,” are now available for more than 19 states. For the full list of states, check out the database description.

All of these new records are a good reminder for us to take a moment and search for ancestors that could have served in the military, or review some of the military records you’ve already discovered to see what further details you can learn about your ancestor’s life.

Even if your ancestors weren’t in the military, it’s amazing some of the information you can uncover in even a draft registration card – including birth place, employer and physical description.

For those of you who haven’t experienced the joy of finding one of your ancestors in a military collection, it’s never too late to start your search. We have some amazing military record collections that span the 1600s to Vietnam and include more than 100 million names – all which can be found at

Also, if you want to learn more about searching military historical records, then don’t miss our upcoming FREE online class that focuses specifically on researching ancestors in the military.


WEBINAR: Finding Your Military Heroes on

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 8pm ET/5pm PT

Investigating and preserving the stories of the military heroes in our family tree is wonderful way to honor their service. In this webinar, Juliana Smith, editor of the Ancestry Weekly Discovery, will show you how to identify family members who served, determine what records are available, and find their stories in those records. In this free one-hour class, you’ll see examples of some of the records you can find on, get search tips, and learn how to use that information to take your family history further. Sign up today!

Heather Erickson

Heather Erickson is Head of Global Communications for and has been with the company since 2009.


  1. Wilfredo Flores

    My father fought in the Battle of the Bulge, he never spoke very much about the war. I strongly believe that like my brother, who fought in the Vietnamese war, had PTSD.

    I have always wonder about what his, their experiences were, they couldn’t have been very pleasant one. God bless them both. They are now both dead and from very similar disease, an addiction they both acquired after being in battle. The experience had to have been awful for two very gentle men.

    My brother died just last year this coming June and father died about eight years ago. I hurts to know that they were in so much pain from their war experiences, but, unfortunately there wasn’t as much knowledge of or treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD)in those days.

    I miss them both terribly, which is why I started to grow my tree in their honor and what they did for our country, even if they were both treated badly throughout, racial discrimination, knew no bounds then.

    My paternel great grandmother came to the island of Puerto Rico from the Canary Island sometime in the early to mid twenties. She was a landowner both in the Canary Isands, as well as in PR. Only we have very little information about that, and it’s one of my quest to find out some more information about her. I could use some help, but it’s an expensive prospect, but well worth the effort.

    I am attending the next webinar to get some more tips on how to go further than I am now. Is there going to be an expansion of information coming out the Caribbean?

    Warm regards,

    Wilfredo Flores

  2. Tony Mitchell

    Question for tonight’s (5/26/10) webinar. After I click on the leaf and update records, is their a way to turn off the leaf for that person until new data comes in? I wasted alot of time looking those records up on one day and then checking it again on another day.

  3. Tony,
    Sounds like you may have done something I catch myself doing now and then. Be sure that when you follow and work the hints that you always click save or done or whatever is at the bottom of each page, otherwise when you click on to something else the work you’ve done isn’t saved.

    Good luck 🙂

  4. Karis

    Sorry to bring it up but I had very few problems during big change but site is behaving oddly for me now. It is not loading everything and I keep getting screens that I’ve never seen before. I won’t panic but wanted to let you know.

  5. Karis- are you using FireFox and NoScripts?
    If so there is a new NoScripts undate that has cured several people’s problems.

    There was an automatic update of NOScripts at the same time Ancestry was having all the problems and it messed things up for some. the newest update, just out, cures those problems.

  6. Ingrid

    I forgot that the webinar was on the same night as church. In the future, could you do a night other than Wednesday?

    Do you think you will ever have a list of the Women who enlisted in WWII? Or the WASPs? My mom was a WAVE and my dad’s second wife was a WASP. I would love to find some records.

  7. Karis

    Thank You Andy. It seems to have stopped by itself. I couldn’t load people and also when I tried to add new people a screen came up saying the person didn’t exist. No problem for several hours now. Thanks ancestry.

  8. Michel Bryson

    I ‘attended’ the Webinar on finding military records. My great-great-grandfather fought in the Civil War. I had his company / regiment info, but really nothing else. In less than 24 hours after the webinar, I found him in the 1890 Veterans’ Schedule and found a Civil War pension record with *two* petitions! One was filed in 1880 when he was listed as an ‘invalid’ and the other was filed by my great-great-grandmother less than two weeks after he died. Next is to get both packets from the National Archives so I can get more details on both of them.

    Thank you thank you thank you! Every webinar is informative, but this one stands out above the rest!

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