Posted by Ancestry Team on April 23, 2014 in Ask Ancestry Anne, Collections

You know you should look for military records for your ancestor, but what war did he serve in?

Our friends over at Fold3 created this handy little infographic to use as a rule of thumb. There are exceptions to every rule, but this will get you started!

Birth Years of Veterans
Birth Years of Veterans (Right-click on the image to save to your desktop.)


If you want to dig a little deeper into the subject of who served and how to find their story, these presentations will help:

Happy Searching!



  1. Vera McHale

    This is really nice. I have done a lot of research on when and where wars were fought but this is a nice shortcut to who might have gone where and when or may have missed all wars in their life time. Thank you.

  2. Gail brown

    I am trying to find my nomad it’s been a difficult but would appreciate some help. Her name is Brenda Sue southall. Contact me if you could please and Thank u..

  3. Adriana

    Very handy record and pretty to boot.

    My 2nd-great-grandfather was born in 1846-1848, but he apparently never served in the Civil War. During that time period and a decade after, he was a real rolling stone who never stayed in one place for too long. I guess he had no interest in fighting. And I am glad he didn’t because if he had died, I wouldn’t be here!

  4. Cheryl McGinnis Johnson


    I’ve wanted to obtain my father’s draft registration card for WWII. He was born in 1912 and too young for ‘Fourth Registration’ therefore his card is not available unless I provide his address at the time of his registering. Unfortunately that is the reason I need the information on the card. I am trying to trace his steps from 1929 to 1945. He dropped off the face of the earth as far as records go. This would give me information where he was at this time. Can you give me any ideas how to obtain this information. I can give birth/parents just not address at the time. Thanks!

  5. Elsie Lively

    Thank you, I appreciate fast look-up “cheat-sheets” for quick reference.

    Is there a similar sheet for England’s wars and birth years? They have a longer history than we do so something going back only to around the same time frame would even be helpful, or a bit before.

  6. Sara

    Is there a template for this that we can fill in with our ancestors? If yes, would you please provide a link. I’ve tried to find it on Fold3, but no luck. Thanks!

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