Monday Milestones: Two Weeks Into November

This month we are focusing on military records.  It’s been touching to read your comments here on the blog, over on our Facebook page, and on the message boards regarding the many ancestors of yours that served in the military through the years.


My own great-grandfather was stationed in France on 11 Nov 1918.  I have the letter he wrote my great-grandmother that week describing the experience of walking the streets and having the “Frenchies grab and kiss us just because we are Americans.”  I re-read that letter this past week in light of both Veteran’s Day and the fact that I just came into possession of my great-grandmother’s photo albums.  He was a handsome man, career military.  Before he went to Europe during World War One he had served in the Cavalry unit engaged in conflict with Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution.  Following the Great War he continued to serve in the Army, stationed in California.  He is buried in the Presidio Cemetery in San Francisco.


So – with you – I’m taking some time this month to key the military records available here in the Ancestry World Archives Project.  It is a small thing.  But, each name I key seems to me a way to honor my great-grandfather for his service.  And, I’m hoping one day the descendants of these men whose names I index will discover them, come to know them, and find their own way to honor them.


Until next time – Happy Keying!


P.S. – In the past two weeks we have keyed over 17,000 records and arbitrated over 3,000 records from military collections alone (various Returns from US Military Posts and Buffalo Soldiers).  Way to go!

Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.

Other Posts

Write a Comment

Take a moment to comment and tell us what you think. Some basic HTML is allowed for formatting.

Reader Comments

I too have been reflecting on the lives of the many family members that served in the military in my family as well as my husbands. We have documentation of service for many of them and I am hoping to find more through my research on Ancestry. My father served in World War II. He left for Europe less than 2 weeks after my parents married. I have four volumes containing every single letter my father wrote to my mother during his time overseas. As you read them you can really get a good feel of what his experience was like.

I haven’t found any love letters yet. My Paternal Grandfather was a photographer for Royal British Navy. He photographed the rescues of the prisoners from the concentration camps as well as Aushwitz. Most of his photos were donated to the Smithsonian and are a part of the Holocaust exhibit. I have the rest of the photos, someday I’ll have the guts to unseal the case.

My paternal great grandfather died in the first world war. Through the records I found out that he died on the 26 September 1916 on the Somme. I also connected with another memeber who had a copy of the letter from his commanding officer which detailed how he died.

In addition he had a photograph of my great grandfather. My dad had never seen a photograph of him before and was really please to put a face to the name.

When my father passed away in 2005, we found, among his papers, a narrative that he had written about his life during WWII and the Nazi occupation of Rouen, France, where he was born and lived. It remains one of my genealogical treasures. Working on the military records is a bow to those who came before. It is showing them that we still remember and value their service. He was only 5 to 8 at the time, but his father was in Comppeigne, a work camp. I have posted his story on my family tree.