Tag Archives: military records

Beginning Principles: Important Records Part 2

Last week we looked at a few of the “basics” when it comes to records a beginning genealogist should be looking for and possibly a few things beginners don’t realize when they are first starting out. This week let’s explore a few of the more “advanced” records that can be located for your ancestors. These records are where you can really start to dig in to the details about individuals.

  • Land Records – Deeds primarily fall into this category for the beginning genealogist, though there are other types of land records to be found. If your ancestors were farmers, like mine were, you are most likely going to find deeds somewhere along the way. These are held at the county courthouse for the most part though these days, they are likely digitized at FamilySearch. Take a look through their catalog for your county to see if they are there. Deeds will tell you when an ancestor bought or sold land, how much land, for how much money, and more importantly where that land was located.
  • Probate Records – Estates and wills are especially helpful when they can be located because they will often spell out family groups and relationships. You may also get very detailed information about the stuff your ancestors owned such as furniture and occupational equipment. Again, these are typically found at a county courthouse, though many may be digitized at FamilySearch.
  • Military Records – Draft registration cards or ledgers, pension applications, enlistment records, compiled military service records, and more fall into this category. These kinds of records are available in a lot of places, but a good starting point website is Fold3.

After these kinds of records, you really start digging into the details. But those are probably not records a beginning genealogist is going to dig into right away so we will address some of that later in another series. Next we will talk about how to start focusing your research.

What I Don’t Know, Part 8: Military Records

It is always wise when working in the early to mid 1800s to check military records, either for War of 1812 or Civil War soldiers. There are growing collections coming online all the time for these 2 groups of soldiers’ records. The first place I look to determine if a person I’m researching was involved in the Civil War is the National Parks Service’s Soldiers and Sailors Database. This is an index to all who served in the Civil War on either side of the conflict. A quick search for Dimick and Scroggins provided the following 2 results:

2014-03-31 09.55.09 pm
There was a soldier named Sanders Scroggins from Illinois.

2014-03-31 09.55.36 pm
There was no soldier named Franklin Dimick (Sarah’s brother).

This told me that Sanders Scroggins enlisted during the Civil War. Sarah (his wife) had a brother named Franklin Dimick. No entry was found for him. Once I determined Sanders had enlisted, I began searching for more information about his service. One great online repository for military records is Fold3.com. There I found a copy of a Widow’s Pension from his widow (and third wife) Josephine Scroggins.

 

2014-03-31 09.59.49 pmFurther searching (at Internet Archive) revealed a copy of the Adjutant General’s report:

2014-03-31 10.02.38 pm

It appears that Sanders only served for about a month from August to September 1864. The AG report also gives some description of what the company was doing during that time:

2014-03-31 10.02.01 pm
Franklin Dimick was not to be left out, however. Searching at Fold3.com revealed that he performed an important role in his town:

2014-03-31 10.07.16 pm

Franklin Dimick was a Justice of the Peace in Hardin County! (This information leads to an interesting find that I will share in a future post.)