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union and confederate soldiers

Civil War Research: Tracing Union & Confederate Ancestors

June 22, 2024 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET
Course materials available starting June 15
David Allen Lambert
Melanie McComb
10% Member Discount

In Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, he acknowledged the soldiers who fought and died in battle declaring, “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” Indeed, as genealogists there are many of us with American ancestry from the Civil War era who wish to determine if—and how—they served, so that they can be remembered long into the future. This five-week online course will delve into the many primary and published resources that exist to document your ancestors’ role in the Civil War and their contributions to either the Union or Confederate cause. You'll receive access to all five recorded lectures and additional course materials on June 15. Then join us for a live Q&A session with the instructors on June 22, 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

This course includes:
•    Five+ hours’ worth of pre-recorded lectures
•    Exclusive access to handouts, slides, templates, and other materials
•    An in-depth Q&A session with the instructors
•    Access to all materials for the foreseeable future


Class 1: Union Ancestors: Essential Resources for Tracing Their Service
Presented by David Allen Lambert

In this first class, we’ll discuss how to determine if your ancestor served for the Union Army and how to learn more about their service through compiled service records, muster rolls, unit histories, and more. For each record group we will explain what information is provided, how to access the resources, and how to leverage the sources to uncover stories of your ancestor's service.

Class 2: Confederate Ancestors: Essential Resources for Tracing Their Service
Presented by David Allen Lambert

Following on the heels of the first class, in this session we will discuss key resources for researching your Confederate Ancestors. You’ll learn how to determine if they served for the confederacy and how to trace their service through important resources. 

Class 3: Women in the Civil War
Presented by Melanie McComb

While you may look to the men in your tree first to determine if you have ancestors who served in the Civil War, don’t forget your female ancestors from the time period as well. Many women contributed to both the Union and Confederate causes by serving as nurses, spies, and even by disguising themselves as men and taking up arms on the battlefield. In this class, we’ll cover the historical context of women in the Civil War and key resources for researching your female ancestors in the era. 

Class 4: Union and Confederate Pension Files: A Genealogist’s Gold Mine
Presented by David Allen Lambert

Pension files can contain a wealth of information about your Civil War ancestors—including medical information related to your ancestor’s service and details about their movements and fighting during the war. They and may even include unique additions like letters your ancestor wrote from the front and photographs. In this class, we’ll discuss how to determine if a pension was filed for your Union or Confederate ancestor and how to access it.

Class 5: Post-Service Records for Union and Confederate Soldiers 

When the Civil War drew to a close in 1865, over 600,000 had died for the Union and Confederate causes. Those who survived lived in a united but forever changed nation. In this final class, we will cover records for tracing your veteran ancestors after the Civil War ended, including veteran home records, veteran organizations (such as the Grand Army of the Republic and the United Confederate Veterans), Civil War hereditary societies, and more.

Education and Programming
David Allen Lambert
Military Records
New England
Eastern Canada
Areas of expertise: New England and Atlantic Canadian records of the 17th through 21st century; American and international military records; DNA research; and Native American and African American genealogical research in New England. 
Education and Programming
Melanie McComb
Eastern Canada
Areas of expertise: Irish genealogy, DNA, Atlantic Canada, Jewish genealogy, and military records.