- Civil War Records Tip
- Have you found several Civil War soldiers with the same name as your
ancestor and can't determine which one is yours? I have run across
this problem many times. I find several men with the same name who
served in the Civil War. How do I determine which one is mine??
There are a few things that might help.
- #1 Look for siblings and
the father of your guy. Often times, you
will find that family members served in the same unit. If you find a
couple of family member names in the same regiment, they will most
likely be your family.
- Example: (these are fictitious
names and units)
- I am searching for James Roberts in Tennessee Civil War indexes. I
find 4 of them in the indexes.
- 1. James Roberts - Co A, 12th TN Infantry.
- 2. James - Co B, 3rd TN Cavalry
- 3. James - Co C, 4th TN Infantry
- 4. James - Co G, 8th TN Infantry
- NOW, I know that James has several brothers who were old enough to
be in the Civil War also: Nathan, John, Greenberry, Matthew. I
search for these names and compare the companies and regiments they are in
to the companies and regiments the James Roberts listed above are in. AHA!
I find a Nathan and a Greenberry who are in Co C, 4th TN Infantry. The
Roberts men who are in Co C, 4th TN Infantry are most likely my family
members. At this point, I will order a military record for one of them
to determine if this is my family member. Most of the time, this
works! Of course, it gets much more difficult when you are looking for
a name like SMITH etc..
- #2 If you know the county where your ancestor lived during the
Civil War, try to locate some information about the Civil War in that
area. The majority of Civil War regiments were formed mostly with men
from a particular area. Many times, the genealogy society or
historical society in the place where your ancestor lived will know which
regiments were comprised of men from that area. NOW, remember,
I have 4 James Roberts who served in different Tennessee units and I am
trying to determine which one is mine. I will also go to a good search
engine (preferably one that will search many search engines at the same
time) and put in the unit like this: "3rd Tennessee
Infantry". Many times, this has led me to a web site where I will
find information on that regiment, such as where most of the soldiers were
from or sometimes even a roster! Of course, you could
order all 4 records but that would be quite expensive so do a little
research before giving up or spending that much money. Civil War
records can contain a lot of good information. They are well worth the
money spent to acquire them.