National Archives

10 Nov 2015

U.S. Veterans’ Claim Files Now Available

Today’s topic is newly released U.S. Veterans’ Claim Files, 1917-1948, a group of records now available from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
This record group includes cases closed by the VA from 1917-1948, which were transferred to a Federal Records Center in 1952 and 1955. The National Archives began taking custody in 2013. U.S. Veterans’ claim files are included Record Group 15, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and are formally named “Deceased Veterans Compensation Files” (aka “XC Files) and “Veterans Administration Claim Files.”

NARA staff member Daria Labinsky has written a comprehensive article entitled “Claim Files: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs” in the latest fall 2015 of Researcher News from NARA. (Back issues of Researcher News are available at this link.) Labinsky writes:

birth, marriage, and death certificates
change of address forms
lists of family members who are beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries
discharge […]

18 Oct 2015

NARA Free Online Genealogy Fair 2015

The National Archives of the United States is hosting the NARA Free Online Genealogy Fair 2015 this coming Wednesday and Thursday.
This annual event is a live two-day program via webcast on YouTube, offering family history research tools for all skill levels on Federal records dealing with immigration, military and civilian personnel, and bankruptcy.

Sessions on are available on genealogical research using traditional and electronic records. The National Archives’ lead preservation expert will hold a special question-and-answer session on how to preserve family records. Sessions and handouts will be available free of charge during and after the event. For complete schedule and participation instructions, visit the Virtual Genealogy Fair website.

WHEN: October 21 and 22, starting daily at 10 a.m. EDT [7 a.m. PDT ouch!]

WHO: Experts on genealogy-related records from National Archives’ facilities nationwide.

WHERE: Anywhere! The Fair will be video streamed on the US National Archives’ YouTube channel::

Day 1: Wednesday, October 21 –Watch live on YouTube

Day 2: Thursday, October […]

4 Jul 2015

Essential Revolutionary War Records

In honor of the holiday, information on essential Revolutionary War records from If your ancestors were American Patriots who broke away from Britain, here is some one-stop shopping on American Revolutionary War Records.

Revolutionary War Records and Documents Online at Fold3

Compiled Service Records of American Army Soldiers During the Revolutionary War 1775-1783 contains scanned documents of the service records (from National Archives Microfilm Publication M881)
Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files contains scanned documents of these records (from NARA Microfilm Publication M804)
Numbered Record Books Concerning Military Operations and Service, Pay and Settlement of Accounts, and Supplies in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records (from NARA Microfilm Publication M853). See also FamilySearch’s information on this record group.

Revolutionary War Records at Ancestry

U.S. Compiled Revolutionary War Military Service Records 1775-1783 (from NARA Microfilm Publications M880 and M881)
Revolutionary War Rolls 1775-1783 nearly 426,000 names (NARA M246)
Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Books – 152 Vols.

State records at this link from Connecticut, […]

9 Apr 2015

National Archives and Ancestry Staff Caught Discarding Thousands of Records

In an incident at the end of March, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an employee was caught throwing away military records at the NARA facility in St. Louis. According to one blog report:

Bryan McGraw, director of the National Personnel Records Center, said Friday that his staff recovered all the papers, some of them from a trash can. The incident on March 12 prompted the federal agency to halt contract work by Ancestry Inc., which operates as, at St. Louis and four other sites.

McGraw said the employee apparently had been warned about productivity by his supervisor and tried to dispose of a pending stack of supplemental papers that had been attached to individual draft cards. McGraw said another person found some of the records on the employee’s desk and others stuffed into a latex glove in a trash can.
The employee is suspected of throwing away the records to meet Ancestry production […]