NATIONAL CIVIL WAR GRAVES REGISTRATION PROJECT
by Brenda Kellow
July 11, 2010
So many lives were lost during the Civil War, both civilian and military personnel. Besides known as the earliest true industrial war in our history, it was the bloodiest war in our history with over 620,000 Americans killed. In some cases, brothers fought brothers, or fathers fought sons. Historians estimate that ten-percent of males, ages 20-45, living in the Union states were killed and 30% of the 18-40 year-old males in the South met their demise.
Imagine how difficult finding their graves has been, but the Internet is changing that. Thanks to the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) for putting their database online, it is becoming easier to identify where the remains are buried. Additionally, they are also entering the graves of Confederate soldiers.
The SUVCW database began with that of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a database first collected by those living soldiers of that war. At their demise, these records became part of the SUVCW, both fraternal organizations for Union veterans. The Confederate information comes from several sources.
They created the Grave Registration Project to document both Union and Confederate Civil War veterans. It is fully searchable and straightforward in its design. You can find additional information at www.suvcwdb.org/home/about.php or enter the site to search at www.suvcwdb.org/home/search.php?action=search. It is free, but you do have to register.
Finding the graves of these brave souls of the Civil War benefits all family historians. If you have information on a grave that is not in the registry, please submit it to help your fellow colleagues. If you have additional information or updated intelligence to add, please contact the National Graves Registration Officer. You can read the details at www.suvcwdb.org/home/about.php.
THE BRITISH NATIONAL ARCHIVES LAUNCHES ITS FIRST PUBLIC WIKI: The Our Archives wiki is on Wikispaces, www.ourarchives.wikispaces.net. On the wiki, their site says you can edit or create new pages, expand a description in the online catalog, publish a transcription, add information to build upon other resources, and collaborate with others. Wikis are a new technology tool the researcher should not forget to try and to use.
TRACING BACK TO YOUR ANCESTRAL VILLAGE: The Herald of Scotland announced in July that Edinburgh, Scotland scientists have found a way to identify a family’s roots to within a few miles of their ancestral village. They believe this will be available within five years. This may not help those whose ancestors did not dwell in villages. However, that might be forthcoming in the future. Read more on this fascinating story at www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/scots-breakthrough-in-helping-families-go-back-to-their-roots-1.1039443.
SEARCHING THE WEB: The Internet is full of interesting sites promoting genealogical research, but there are a few newer ones I’d like for you to try. On three occasions in the past month, I have been asked for other ways to research other than Ancestry and Footnote, both of these require subscriptions but free if used in the library. In addition to FamilySearch, I recommend their pilot site, www.labs.familysearch.org. There you will find Family Search Data, Record Search, Research Wiki and Forums. Each of these is free to use. AncestorSearch.com uses Google’s powerful search engine. Google has a feature called Google Alerts, www.google.com/alerts. Here you can set up searches and let it notify you when new items appear. I have it notify me each morning. I like that—a free researcher who helps with my investigation. I’ll be giving you other sites for genealogy searches in future columns.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.