Applications for Headstones, compiled 01/01/1925 - 06/30/1970, documenting the period ca. 1776 - 1970 ARC: 596118. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774–1985, Record Group 92. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
This collection contains applications for headstones to be provided for deceased U.S. military personnel.
National cemeteries in the U.S. trace their origins back to 1862, when the government began to establish cemeteries to honor Union war dead. Over time, the government expanded burial honors and benefits available to honorably discharged U.S. soldiers. NARA’s guide to the applications contained in M1916 explains:
On March 3, 1873, Congress granted burial rights in national military cemeteries to all honorably discharged veterans of the Civil War (17 Stat. 605). An act of Congress of February 3, 1879 (20 Stat. 281), extended the privilege of government-provided gravestones to soldiers buried in private cemeteries.
What You May Find in the Records
This database contains application forms for headstones for deceased members and veterans of the U.S. armed services. Applications were made between 1925 and 1963, but they include veterans in conflicts going back to the Revolutionary War. Forms vary, but they may contain the following details:
- birth date
- enlistment date
- discharge date
- death date
- cemetery name
- cemetery place
- marker type
- religious emblem
- name and relationship of applicant