AncestorEbooks Spotlights Findmypast.com’s Open Record Weekend

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AncestorEbooks tells readers about open record weekend on findmypast.com.

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
― George Orwell

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AncestorEbooks reminds readers that findmypast.com has made military records available without fees or subscriptions from May 23 thru 27 in honor of Memorial Day. Both the United States and International records will be available from midnight EDT on Thursday May 23 until midnight of Monday, May 27, Memorial Day.

These records, available from Thursday through midnight Monday, include draft registration cards from World War I, Korean and Vietnam War Records, Casualty Records, POWs, World War II POWs, Enlistment Records and US Army Casualties from 1961-1981.

There are also records available from Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. These records include involvement in wars and rebellions, including records for Australia's involvement in the Boer war, the Maori campaigns, and even Australia's Fighting Sons of the Empire.

Findmypast.com has the most comprehensive online records of Great Britain's military records, including information from battles such as Waterloo, and Trafalgar, conflicts like the Boer war, World War I and II. 

While many of these records will be centered on male ancestors, it is important to realize they might have valid information about female ancestors as well. You might also find the war time efforts of an ancestor who was morally or religiously opposed to serving with the military. You may also find records giving information about your ancestors' civilian service during wartime.

AncestorEbooks would also like readers to remember that military records themselves are invaluable [archives.gov/research/military/genealogy.html] because of the detailed and maintained way the military has always kept its records. This open access weekend to view military records on Findmypast.com could give information to support a family history story of war heroism or show how an ancestor's service might have affected the outcome of a major military battle.

Any military service records that are older than 62 years become archival records and are available to the general public, but those within the last 62 years (Including the Korean and Vietnam Wars) are under the Federal Records Central Program. For these records you will have to apply for copies of service records. The one exception to this rule are records of "Persons of Exceptional Prominence"; these records are to be archived 10 years after the soldier's death [archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/about-service-records.html].

AncestorEbooks points out that although Findmypast.com will have international records available, the American records are always available through Archives.gov and are found in two different repositories. The first covers from the Revolutionary War through 1912, and the second repository will hold the years from World War I to present day.

An important note: NO individual military records are available online [archives.gov/research/military/genealogy.html]. If individual military records are needed, the next of kin can receive those records often without a fee through the eVetRecs system [.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/].

Because of the strict Privacy and Security of the Veterans and Military Personnel Records, all disclosures are required to go through a third party and require a written signature before the request is processed, and the eVetRecs web site uses a secure and encrypted channel with the customer.

For those who are researching Military Records of their deceased parents, archives.gov [archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/public/general-public.html#written-request] 'Certain basic information needed to locate military service records, includes: the veteran's complete name as used in service; service number; Social Security Number (if applicable); branch of service; dates of service; date and place of birth. For records affected by the 1973 Fire, additional information, such as place of discharge; last assigned unit; and place of entry into service may be useful.'

To obtain a record mail a signed letter to:
National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

AncestorEbooks adds one final note when using the above link addresses, be sure to include the entire address when using military or archival research, including the 'http://www.' The security programs will not allow specific searches without the proper address urls.

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Cristina Besendorfer
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