Thursday, May 23, 2013

U.S. Military Records FREE on FindMyPast from 24 to 27 May

FindMyPast has announced that their United States Military Records collections will be FREE to access between 24 May and 27 May for registered users (not subscribers, but you do have to register).  The email announcement that I received said:

"In honor of Memorial Day on May 27, and in remembrance of all who died while serving our country, will offer its collection of US and International military records for free in the days leading up to national observance.

"With more than 26 million US and International military records available, is encouraging people to explore and learn about the heroic efforts of their ancestors this Memorial Day. Record sets such as ‘Draft Registration Cards,’ ‘Casualties Returned Alive,’ ‘POWs’ and others will offer a captivating glimpse into the lives and experiences of our veteran ancestors.

"The US and International military records will be available free of charge starting at midnight EDT on Thursday, May 23 until midnight EDT on Monday, May 27. Anyone can access the records by registering for free at"

I wondered what record collections were included, so I went to the home page and followed the links to the Military collections and found this page:

On the left side, there is a box that lists the collections in the U.S. Military Service and Conflict Records:
 I entered the surname "Seaver" (no variants) in the search field, and clicked on the blue Search button.  There were 341 matches (two screens shown):

Right in the middle of the matches was a link about results found in US and world newspapers.  Those are not just military records - they are for a general surname search.

 In order to see the search results, I had to register or sign in. I signed in, since I have a paid subscription.  I clicked on the first match on the list, and saw the Korean War Casualty File record transcription for Edward J. Seaver:

What about the "International" part of the Military record collections?  I went to the "Search records" tab, selected "Military service & conflicts" and searched for "Smith."  I then selected the "Record set" "Show filter" button, and saw a list of military record collections:

Since I have a current FindMyPast subscription, I can access those collections.  I can't tell if a non-subscriber can access them.  When I did my initial search (not signed in), I did not see the International matches (there were 6).

These record collections provide an opportunity for researchers to access Military records for free for a limited time period.

My attitude is that everybody should be applying the Forrest Gump Principle of Genealogy Research - ""Genealogy research is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to find, but you have to look everywhere your 'genealogy gem' might be hiding."

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

T said...

While attempting to access's military records for WWII, I didn't find any for my family. None. So I posted on ancestry and got this reply. "A fire in 1973 destroyed approx 80% of military records from the 1912 to 1960 time frame. Read this to figure out what to do next.

So it's no wonder I didn't find them on Find my past either.