The Daniel Boone Regional Library currently subscribes to two databases that can help you locate information about your family members who might have taken part in or been affected by the Civil War and its aftermath: HeritageQuest (which I will discuss in a future article) and Ancestry.com Library Edition.
Both of these databases can be found under the genealogy section of the databases page on dbrl.org. Due to a licensing agreement, Ancestry.com Library Edition can only be accessed at the library using one of the public Internet computers (or your own laptop connected to the library’s Wi-Fi) at our three main locations. If you need assistance, you can talk to one of our reference librarians, come to one of our genealogy classes.
Ancestry.com Library Edition has under its search tab the following military collections indexed in this database:
- U. S. Civil War Soldiers 1861-1865
- Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934
- U. S. Navy Pension Index 1861-1910
- U. S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1958
- U. S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles
- Soldier, Veteran and Prisoner Rolls & Lists
While most of these record indexes are for Union (Northern) soldiers, due to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, more of the records on field hospitals, prisoners of war, etc. for Confederate (Southern) soldiers are becoming available in the records (which are all now owned by the National Archives Records Administration). Ancestry.com has the indexes to records that can be requested from the National Archives through their website, www.archives.gov. If your soldier fought for the South, those records are generally held in private collections or at the state level.
The Missouri State Archives has the records of the State Adjutant General’s Office for the Civil War era, and they are accessible through their Missouri Digital Heritage website. Besides enrollment data, they also have information about when surviving soldiers attended reunions held following the Civil War. Many of the soldiers in Missouri can be found joining the home guards whether they fought for the North or the South, and thus can be identified in the indexes listed above. This can be searched wherever you have Internet access.
Due to digitization, more and more records have become more easily accessible to the public. Private companies, organizations and volunteers are doing much of the indexing. It has become more commonplace for government agencies that preserve the records through digitization to work together with researchers and historians to index records, which has been a nice trend to see. Otherwise, we might never have been able to access some of these historical gems!