Follow Friday: U. S. Military Collection, Fold3, and Veterans’ Service Records

It’s Follow Friday and I continue my tribute to Veterans by recommending three major websites  that I use to document my family’s service; enjoy!

U. S. Military Collection is one of my personal favorite collections at! Ancestry — noted for being the world’s largest online collection of family history resources — has millions of military records spanning from before the Revolutionary War all the way up to Vietnam. In this collection there’s draft records, service records, pension records, bounty land records, claim records, and military histories. There are search tips and sample images available to get you started. In addition to this collection, Ancestry’s paid subscribers have the ability to create public or private military webpages for all veteran ancestors in their family trees with the records they find as well as with their own photos, personal documents and stories. Now how cool is that? I say that’s very cool indeed. So check out this military collection for yourself!, formerly known as, was acquired by Ancestry in 2011 and is believed to be the Internet’s premier collection of original U. S. military records — including many from the U. S. National Archives. According to the website, “[t]he Fold3 name comes from a traditional flag folding ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans who served in defense of their country and to maintain peace throughout the world.”  This website  truly does provide convenient access to US military records, stories, photos, and personal information about the men and women who served our country. I started using Fold3 for the first time last year when I was given a discount for joining the website because I am a member of the Houston Genealogical Forum. And if you’ve never used this website before, I suggest you report to the “Fold3 Training Center where there’s excellent tutorials and videos available to get you started with your military research there!

Veterans’ Service Records at the National Archives is the “go-to” place for all genealogists looking to document their family’s service. According to the website about the records at the National Archives, “[o]f all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept forever. Those valuable records are preserved in the National Archives and are available to you, whether you want to see if they contain clues about your family’s history, need to prove a veteran’s military service, or are researching an historical topic that interests you.” What I particularly love about this website is the — get-to-the-point — “Genealogy Research in Military Records” section that highlights specific records that are important and tips on how to begin and be successful with our military records research via the National Archives!


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