If your ancestor gave his or her life or was injured, captured, or missing in service of country, casualty records can be a good source of information.
In addition to learning more about the circumstances, casualty records can also include biographical details that can help with your research.
- Start by searching for your ancestor’s name. If you find too many results, try adding a residence or military service location to narrow the list.
- Try a search replacing given names with only the first initial. Some records list only a first, or a first and middle initial, particularly for Civil War veterans.
- When a veteran was killed in combat, their dependents could apply for their military pension. Pension Records for soldiers who died in service often include information about the circumstances of their death, so if you find a record, click on "Learn more" from the record page or the Source tab for information on how to order a copy of the original record.
- Military casualties were often reported in Local Newspapers. Search for a veteran’s name in newspapers near their home town.
- War memorials honoring local veterans are found in many cities. Check for a memorial in the town where your ancestor lived when he or she entered the service. You may find their name listed on a memorial, possibly with their unit name or death date.