Was your ancestor a veteran? Add old soldier's home records to your genealogy research. You might be surprised what you find.
How To Trace Your Family Tree

31 Days of “Out of the Box” Genealogy Tips – Civil War Veterans Homes Records

July is completely focused on providing you with genealogy tips that are …..well,….”out of the box”.

Welcome to DAY 14 of the 31 Days of “Out of the Box” Genealogy Tips series! Need to start at the beginning of the series or catch up? Start here.

DAY 14 – Explore Civil War Veterans Homes Records!

Homes to care for aged and disabled veterans began as early as 1811 when Congress approved a national home for Navy veterans. [Construction of the home did not start until 1827.]

While the federal government created and supported “old soldiers” homes many states (if not most) were run by the states.  Records were kept for each veteran entering into home. Admission and discharge into a civil war veterans home was usually voluntary. A few admitted women as well.

Old Soldier's Home, Washington DC
Old Soldier’s Home (Source: Library of Congress)

Types of information found in old soldiers home records include

  • Military – Information on  the soldier’s military enlistments, rank, discharge from service.
  • Domestic – Includes information on the veteran’s physical characteristics, birth date, nearest relative, etc.
  • Home – Includes information on the resident’s admission, discharge, death date and place of burial (if applicable).

If you are researching ancestors who were Union solders, check out The National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers by Trevor Plante. Information pertaining to genealogy research is in the bottom section.

How to Find Civil War Veterans Home Records

Finding these Civil War Veterans Home records (or Old Soldiers Home records) can be tough. These take a bit of digging and most will not be online. That’s okay. You can do this!

Old Soldiers Home
Southern Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, Hampton, VA (Source: Library of Congress)

For those homes run by the state, check the state archives for the state where your ancestor lived.  Some state archives also have a military archivist who specializes in the state’s military records. Contacting that individual may also be helpful in your search.

The FamilySearch wiki offers a nice list of soldiers homes. Included are any links to online websites/databases/indices associated with a particular home and if the Family History Library has records pertaining to that state home.

Now it’s Your Turn…..

Make a research plan to explore a Civil War veterans home record for you ancestor.

Check out previous posts in the 31 Days of Out of the Box Genealogy Tips:

Week 1

Week 2


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Look for genealogy clues to your ancestor "outside the box" in civil war veterans homes records. You may be surprised at what you find. #genealogy #genealogytips #areyoumycousin #civilwar #ancestors
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