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29 January 2015

Are You Utilizing the National Archives?

Have you utilized records from the National Archives in your genealogical search? Federal records of military service and benefits, homestead records, land patents, land warrants, and other items held at the National Archives may hold the answer to your genealogical mysteries.

A few sample items that I've posted over the last few years:

If you've only used local and state records in your search...you may be missing out. 

I blog about the location and use of these items on my Rootdig blog--where you can subscribe to get blog updates in your email using the link in the upper right hand corner.


  1. The records cost quite a bit of money to get copies of and it off sets the use of the archives unless you live near there...

  2. You are right that ordering the records is not always cheap and some are more likely to have genealogically relevant material than others. I have a researcher who goes actually makes copies for me...usually for less than what it would cost to go directly through NARA. He also scans larger files for genealogically relevant materials and only copies those items--particularly helpful for pension files that may have page after page of medical documentation. Going forward we're going to post more "entire sets" of some things so that readers have an idea of what they may get if they request certain materials and so that they can judge a little better if they should get the specific type of file or not.

  3. Several years ago I spent $50 for a Mexican War widow's application. It was a huge chunk of change for me, but it provided incredible information that I wouldn't have gotten any other way (at that time!); and it really helped me understand how to better focus my research! It totally 'debunked' some 'published' information I had seen.