Course Six – Military Records I: The Colonial Era to the Vietnam War

UpcomingCourse Six – Military Records I: The Colonial Era to the Vietnam War

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  • December 21, 2020
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    Details Price Qty
    Course Six $545.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
    March 6, 2021
  • Course Six
    July 25, 2021 - July 30, 2021
    10:30 am - 2:30 pm

Course Six — Military Records I: The Colonial Era to the Vietnam War

Registration opens Saturday, 6 March 2021 at 11:30am ET

[Maximum: 30 students]

Course Coordinator

Michael L. Strauss, AG®


This course is designed to introduce students to military records covering multiple war periods. It is an in-depth assessment of numerous military records used in connection with genealogical research that is intended to offer maximum return over the short term. With the understanding this is a beginner to intermediate course it allows total immersion into the records without crossing over to advanced topic applications. Each of the war periods (and some peacetime periods) in American History will be examined chronologically starting with the Colonial War period through the end of the Vietnam War. Course instruction will break down various military record types, including: Compiled Military Service Records, Official Military Personnel Files, Pensions, Draft Records, Draft Registrations and Classifications. Other topics of discussion will also include Pensions, Bounty Land, and an introduction to military laws and government documents as they relate to the military research. Each student will also receive instruction regarding key military vocabulary, along with how each relates to the military. Several of the lectures offer at the end of instruction, critical thinking exercises intended to have each student apply what was learned during the lecture period.

Prerequisites, textbooks, and other student information

Prerequisites: None. This is the beginning course on military research.

Additional information: Military Course I will be followed by an intermediate and advanced level course

Required textbook:

Plante, Trevor K. Military Service Records at the National Archives. Reference Information Paper 109. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 2007.   Free PDF Download at:

Recommended textbook:

1) Rose, Christine. Military Bounty Land, 1776-1855. San Jose: CR, 2001.

2) Neagles, James C. U.S. Military Records: A Guide to Federal & State Sources, Colonial America to the Present. Provo: Ancestry Publishing, 1994.

Course Schedule

10:30 – 11:00 Introduction to Military Records I (Strauss)
11:00 – 12:15 Researching Colonial War Ancestors (Strauss)
12:15 – 12:30 Break
12:30 – 1:45 Introduction to the National Archives (Strauss)
1:45 – 2:45 Lunch
2:45 – 4:00 The Road to Independence: The Revolutionary War (Strauss)
4:00 – 4:15 Break
4:15 – 5:30 Free Trade and Sailors Rights: War of 1812 Research (Strauss)
11:00 – 12:15 Manifest Destiny: Mexican War Research (Strauss)
12:15 – 12:30 Break
12:30 – 1:45 House Divided: Civil War Research-Part I (Strauss)
1:45 – 2:45 Lunch
2:45 – 4:00 House Divided: Civil War Research-Part II (Strauss)
4:00 – 4:15 Break
4:15 – 5:30 Refugees, Claims, and Pardons: The Reconstruction Era (Strauss)
11:00 – 12:15 Introduction to the National Personnel Record Center (Miller)
12:15 – 12:30 Break
12:30 – 1:45 Fighting Along the Frontier: Indian War Research (Strauss)
1:45 – 2:45 Lunch
2:45 – 4:00 Introduction to Military Government Documents (McDonald)
4:00 – 4:15 Break
4:15 – 5:30 Researching in World War II Records (Miller)
11:00 – 12:15 That Splendid Little War: Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection (Strauss)
12:15 – 12:30 Break
12:30 – 1:45 The Great War: Researching World War I (Strauss)
1:45 – 2:45 Lunch
2:45 – 4:00 Reconstructing the Past: Understanding Military Record Loss (Strauss)
4:00 – 4:15 Break
4:15 – 5:30 Introduction to Military Pension Law (Russell)
10:30 – 11:45 Researching the Korean War (Miller)
11:45 –12:00 Break
12:00 – 1:15 Researching the Vietnam War (Miller)
1:15 – 1:30 Break
1:30 – 2:30 Recap of Military Records I with Q&A Session and Certficates (Strauss)


Course Faculty

Michael L. Strauss, AG®, Course Coordinator
David McDonald, DMin
Lori Berdak Miller, BA
Judy G. Russell, JD, CG®, CGLSM