Native American Heritage Month: Research Part 2: Military Records

Discussing Native Americans and U.S. military service was not my original plan for Part 2. November 11 was Veterans Day and that changed my focus and thinking. I have spent many hours at the U.S. National Archives delving into military service, pension, and Indian Scout files for Native Americans. The family details in these records are phenomenal. If your ancestor didn’t serve, perhaps their sibling or uncle did. State archives and state historical societies are also treasure troves of military information for the many Native Americans who served.

It’s important to delve into the general military history of the U.S., the records created, and where they may be found. Learn what years and wars resulted in pension records. Learn where the indexes exist. Do some general Google searches, use the FamilySearch Wiki, Legacy Family Tree Webinars, and Ancestry Academy as some beginning steps for knowledge on military records. They are filled with general and war specific background information.

The U.S. National Archives website has articles and descriptions of other material about the federal level records, the content, and where to find them. State archives and historical societies often have such informative information for state level records. Vary your searches on the institutional websites by war, tribal name, and state or colony. Many military indexes, records, and general information details are found on the major genealogy free and subscription websites. (Ancestry, FamilySearch, Fold3, etc.) Yet, many more valuable records remain in original paper format in state and federal institutions.

A variety of links:

U.S. National Archives website:

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