Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Book About Researching World War II Army Service Records

Book Review: Finding Your Father's War - A Practical Guide to Researching and Understanding Service in the World War II US Army by Jonathan Gawne

Finding Your Father's War - A Practical Guide to Researching and Understanding Service in the World War II US Army book coverIf you have an ancestor or relative who served in the Army during World War II here is an entire book about researching records of individual soldiers and Army units. The book is divided into five distinct sections.

The first section, "Introduction to Army Units," discusses rank, branches of service and unit size. Don't know the difference between a squad, a platoon, a battalion, etc? Here's where to find out. A subsection on rank covers enlisted men, technicians and officers. For each rank (private, sergeant, etc) the insignia is shown along with the base pay.

Section two describes the types of records kept for an individual soldier and explains the Army's serial number system. There's even an illustration of a soldier's dog tag, explaining what each line and code means. Section three describes organizational records for army units.

The fourth section, "Finding Records," tells you where to look for many of the records discussed in the book. Here you can learn about using the Freedom of Information Act, the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, the National Archives, Veterans Affairs records, and other topics. The author lets you know that some records are only available to next of kin, while others may be public domain and available to anyone.

The last section has all sorts of useful information and illustrations of insignias, badges, uniforms and medals - things you might find in the attic and are wondering what they mean. Insignias for WWII Armies, Army Groups, Corps, Major Army Commands, the Army Air Force, and Divisions (Infantry & Airborne, Armored, and Cavalry) are shown in appendices. Most of the book's illustrations are in color.

Overall this book contains a wealth of information about a soldier's World War II Army service and how you can find many of the records that have survived. I found it to be a nice resource for U.S. Army WWII genealogy research.

The book can be ordered from Amazon:
Finding Your Father's War: A Practical Guide to Researching and Understanding Service in the World War II U.S. Army revised third edition from Amazon

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May also be helpful: World War II Records and Indexes on the Internet

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Colorado Genealogy and Western History

The folks at the Denver Public Library have reorganized and updated their Western History and Genealogy webpages. If you have Colorado ancestors, the genealogy section is worth checking out. Here's just a sample of what you can find there...
  • Denver Obituaries Index 1936-2005 (some years missing)
  • Colorado Obituary Project Index 1970s-1990 (non-Denver)
  • 1885 Colorado State Census - Arapahoe County (includes Denver)
  • Colorado World War I Draft Registration Cards Index
  • Links to offsite Colorado genealogy material
For those items and more try their nifty A-Z Guide to Colorado Genealogy and Western History Research Tools

For more Colorado genealogy see:

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hamburg Passenger Lists Now At Ancestry

Ancestry has recently added online images and a partial index to the Hamburg, Germany passenger departure records from 1850-1934 (except: 1 January--14 July 1853, which are missing, and the WWI years of 1915-1919). The years 1890-1913 have been indexed so far. These lists can be helpful if you have an immigrant ancestor who left from Hamburg because they usually give the place (town or city) of residence for the passengers.

For more information see: Hamburg Passenger Lists 1850-1934

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Missouri Death Certificates Database Updated - New Images

The Missouri State Archives has added new images to its online Missouri death certificates database. Go to: Missouri Death Certificates Database 1910-1966

For more online Missouri death indexes see: Online Missouri Death Records, Indexes and Obituaries

This post was updated on 31 January 2018

Saturday, December 09, 2006

An Irish Christmas Tale

Christmas angel by Susan Ebertowski
Since it's the festive time of year I thought I would offer my blog readers a story about the upcoming holiday. Each year at Christmas time I send out a story instead of a Christmas card. You can read one of these online at...

To Hear the Angels Sing - a Dublin City Christmas Story

Enjoy the holiday season. -Joe

(illustration by Susan Ebertowski from the story)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Additions - Online Death Indexes

The following links were recently added to the Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records website...

- Archuleta County Mortality Schedule 1884-1885
- Ouray County Probate Index 1878-1919
- Teller County Inheritance Tax Record Index 1917-1936
- Teller County Will Records 1894-1971

- Gove County Cemeteries

- Jefferson County: Cave Hill Cemetery Burials - Louisville, Kentucky

- Bangor Maine Municipal Cemetery Interments (downloadable Word files) includes Pine Grove Cemetery, Oak Grove Cemetery & Maple Grove Cemetery

New York
- Albany County: Berne Historical Project - includes cemetery records
- Suffolk County: Mount Ararat Jewish Cemetery Burials (in Lindenhurst, New York)

- Lorain County: Amherst News-Times Obituaries Index (recent)
- Lorain County Probate Online Records Search 1990-present
- Stark County Probate Court Records Search

- Tennesse Death Index 1914-1918 (update: year 1918 added)