Exploring Military Service Records on FamilySearch.org: A Guide for Genealogists

FamilySearch.org is a popular genealogy website that offers a wealth of information to those looking to discover their family history. One of the most valuable resources available on the website is its collection of military service records. If you’re interested in exploring your family’s military history, FamilySearch.org is an excellent place to start. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of accessing and using these records.

What are Military Service Records?

Military service records are documents that provide information about a person’s military service. They can include enlistment papers, discharge papers, pension applications, and other documents related to a person’s time in the military. These records can be an invaluable resource for genealogists looking to piece together their family history.

Accessing Military Service Records on FamilySearch.org

To access military service records on FamilySearch.org, start by visiting the website and clicking on the “Search” tab at the top of the page. From there, select “Military Records” from the drop-down menu.

Once you’ve selected “Military Records,” you’ll be taken to a search page where you can input information about your ancestor’s military service. You can search by name, birthplace, branch of service, and other criteria.

Once you’ve entered your search criteria, click “Search” to see a list of results. From there, you can view individual records by clicking on them and scrolling through the document.

Using Military Service Records for Genealogy Research

Military service records can provide valuable information for genealogy research. They often include details such as birthdate and birthplace, occupation before entering the military, and physical descriptions of the individual.

In addition to basic information about an ancestor’s military service, these records may also contain details about their life outside of the military. For example, pension applications may include information about the individual’s spouse and children, as well as details about their occupation and residence after leaving the military.

Tips for Using Military Service Records

When using military service records for genealogy research, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind. First, be sure to search for alternate spellings of your ancestor’s name – records may have been indexed incorrectly or transcribed inaccurately.

Additionally, be aware that military service records can sometimes contain sensitive information. For example, discharge papers may include details about a soldier’s mental health or disciplinary issues. Be respectful of your ancestor’s privacy and consider whether you want to include this information in your family history research.


Exploring military service records on FamilySearch.org can be an incredibly rewarding experience for genealogists looking to learn more about their family history. By following the steps outlined in this article and keeping our tips in mind, you’ll be able to access and use these valuable records to uncover new information about your ancestors’ lives.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.