Moat of us have military veterans in our family that we are seeking information on. I suspect most of us have used Fold 3 to begin our research on these family members. Ancestry is another on-line resource that can assist your efforts. However, Jamestown has a treasure trove of records on various veteran groups located at The Fenton History Center’s Hall House Research Library at 73 Forest Ave. The collection is extensive and includes records from the Revolutionary War through WWII.
Information on Revolutionary War veterans can be found in a two volume series entitled Patriots and Soldiers of 1775-1783. These are indexed and each entry includes a summary of the soldier or patriot, with the unit that they served with and often additional biographical information.
Several years ago, the library began a project to document all War of 1812 Veterans that have a connection to the county or are buried in the county. The number grew exponentially. WE took the time to research each of them, looking for the unit that they served in and any battles that they may have been in volved in. We also traced their families, homes and occupations. For some there is truly little information but for others we have quite a bit owing to the fact that they applied for a pension or their wives a widow’s pension. These are all filed on 3 Ring binders.
We have many books on the Civil War including those that feature prominent Generals, battles and politicians. For those doing family research, we recommend that you check a book entitled Civil War Veterans of Chautauqua County. This book is arranged alphabetically by townships. Then with in each township, you will find a list of those who served from that township. Generally, these are one line entries that list the unit that the soldier served in and their death date. One entry was quite poignant stating, “killed at the bloody angel at Gettysburg, buried where he fell.”
During WWII, the Honor Society at Jamestown High School created cards for each person from Jamestown High School that served in the military. They included basic information such as their birthdate, parents, address and the branch of the military that they served in. In addition, they listed the years that the person attended JHS. If there were news clippings, they were sometimes attached to the cards. As a follow-up they added notations for those that were WIA (Wounded in Action) or those that were KIA (Killed in Action). These have proved to be a great resource for my research into my husband’s family.
One vastly underutilized resource is a series of cards created by family members and friends that cover all wars from the Revolutionary onward. They are arranged in alphabetical order and are stored in archival boxes. While these do not cover every veteran, they cover many.
As you organize and plan your family research, take the time to come to the Hall House Research Library to look at our resources. WE are there Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10AM to 4PM.
To read Janet Walberg’s previous genealogy columns or to delve deeper into her writings and insights for searching out and recording your own family’s genealogy, please go to jamestowngazette.com and visit Janet’s own web page.