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Genealogy

Resources for researching your ancestors and your family history

Colonial Wars and Your Ancestors

Colonial Wars and Your Ancestors


Supposed site of the death of King Philip (a.k.a. Metacomet), Bristol, RI

Site of Nine Men’s Misery, Cumberland RI

What We Are Covering

  • Military records researching basics
  • What the Colonial Wars were
  • Record availability from the Colonial Wars
  • Books available at the BPL containing records from the Colonial Wars
  • Useful websites
  • Local archives

Battle of Bloody Brook Monument
South Deerfield, MA

What You Should Have Before You Start Searching

  1. The name of the person you are researching
  2. The state in which they enlisted or were drafted from
  3. The approximate dates of their service
  4. A clear idea of what kind of records you are looking for (i.e. a complete personnel file, an enlistment record, a draft card, etc...)

Fort Massachusetts
(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Useful Things to Know

  • For conflicts taking place on U.S. soil, cities/towns with any significant ties to military action will often have their own collections related to the conflict. It may be worthwhile to try contacting local libraries or historical societies in such places to see what they have.
  • Depending on the time period you are researching, you may or may not be able to access certain records. Access to records for anyone who is still living are generally restricted to the person who served and their next of kin.

The National Archives

The National Archives can in many cases be the best place to get military records for those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • Some records are available on their website.
  • Physical records are kept in two different locations:
    • Washington, D.C. (service prior to 1917)
    • St. Louis, Missouri (service from 1917-present.)
  • Requests for records can be made online, via mail, or in person.
  • A fire at the St. Louis facility in 1973 destroyed millions of personnel files, including most records for those who served in the Army in WWI and WWII. More information is available here.
  • Links to useful sections of their website are available in the BPL’s Genealogy LibGuide

How to Get to the Military Records Section of the Genealogy LibGuide

First Muster, Spring 1637, Massachusetts Bay Colony
United States National Guard

Colonial Wars

  • What Are They
    • Military conflicts occurring between the first settlement of North America by Europeans and the Revolutionary War (1607-1773)
  • Who Fought in Them
    • British Army & Navy
    • Local Militias
    • Ranger Companies
    • Allied Native Americans
  • Who Were They Fighting
    • Native American Tribes & Alliances
    • Other Europeans (i.e. the French)

Philip. King of Mount Hope.
Paul Revere, c. 1772

Colonial Wars, cont'd

  • What Were They Fighting About
    • Control of North America
    • Land ownership
    • European Succession Crises
  • The Wars
    • Pequot War, 1636–1638
      • Fought between: Pequot Tribe; colonists of the Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Saybrook colonies and their Native allies
    • King Philip's War, 1675–1678
      • Fought between: Native inhabitants of New England; colonists in New England and their Native allies
    • King William's War, 1688–1697
      • Fought between: French colonists and their Native allies; British colonists in New England and their Native allies
    • Queen Anne's War, 1702–1713
      • Fought Between: French colonists and their Native allies; British colonists in North America and their Native allies
    • Dummer's War, 1722–1725
      • Fought Between: Colonists in New England and their Native allies; the Wabanaki Confederacy
    • War of Jenkins' Ear, 1739-1748
      • Fought Between: British Empire; Spanish Empire
    • French & Indian War, 1754–1763
      • Fought Between: French colonists and their Native allies; British colonists in North America and their Native allies

Colonial Wars: Records

Good Things to Know:

  • Record keeping is spotty during the colonial era, particularly in the early decades
  • Records are often held by private organizations or societies in addition to state/local agencies
  • The resources we have access to and will refer you to focus primarily on Massachusetts records although other states are included
  • The conflicts we will focus on involved Massachusetts, either occurring here or involving settlers who lived here

Book: Soldiers in King Phillip's War

  • Subtitle: Being A Critical Account of That War, With A Concise History of the Indian Wars of New England From 1620-1677, Official Lists of the Soldiers of Massachusetts Colony Serving in Philip's War, and Sketches of the Principal Officers, Copies of Ancient Documents and Records Relating to the War, Also Lists of the Narraganset Grantees of the United Colonies, Massachusetts, Plymouth and Connecticut
  • Originally published in 1896
  • Also available online.

 

Book: Massachusetts Officers and Soldiers, 1723-1743: Dummer's War to the War of Jenkins' Ear

  • Mostly comprised of tables
  • Information for this volume was taken exclusively from volumes 91 and 92 of the Massachusetts Archives collection of the colonial muster rolls.
  • Produced by the Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Book: British Officers Serving in America. 1754-1774

  • Subtitle: Compiled From the "Army Lists" (lists of British Army officers that served in the U.S. prior to the Revolutionary War)
  • Arranged alphabetically by name.
  • Originally published in 1894.
  • Also available online.

Book: Massachusetts Soldiers in the French and Indian Wars, 1744-1755

  • Mostly comprised of tables
  • Information for this volume was taken exclusively from volumes 92 and 93 of the Massachusetts Archives collection of colonial muster rolls
  • Published by the Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Book: Massachusetts Officers in the French and Indian Wars, 1748-1763

  • Mostly comprised of tables
  • Consists of information compiled from the muster rolls of the French and Indian Wars, 1748-1763, vols. 91-99 in the Massachusetts Archives
  • Published by the Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Book: Massachusetts Officers and Soldiers in the Seventeenth-Century Conflicts

  • Includes, where available, residence, commanding officer, name of unit, and conflict fought in
  • Produced by the Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Book: Peirce's Colonial Lists

  • Subtitle: Civil, Military and Professional Lists of Plymouth and Rhode Island Colonies, Comprising Colonial, County and Town Officers, Clergymen, Physicians and Lawyers. With Extracts From Colonial Laws Defining Their Duties, 1621-1700
  • Originally published in 1881
  • Also available online.

Useful Websites

Local Archives:

Massachusetts Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
Phone: (617) 727-2816
Email: archives@sec.state.ma.us
Website: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/archrs/hrsidx.htm
Records of militia units and military activities during King Philip's War and the French and Indian Wars. Records consist of military rolls, muster rolls, billeting accounts, etc.

National Archives at Boston (Waltham)
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452
Toll Free Telephone: (866) 406-2379
Telephone: (781) 663-0144
E-mail: boston.archives@nara.gov
Website: https://www.archives.gov/boston
Holds military records pertaining to New England-based installations and units.

Researching Ancestors Who Served in the Revolutionary War

Researching Ancestors Who Served in the Revolutionary War

What We Are Covering

  • Military records researching basics
  • Record availability from the Revolutionary War
  • Books available at the BPL containing records from the Revolutionary War
  • Useful websites
  • Local archives

What You Should Have Before You Start Searching

  1. The name of the person you are researching
  2. The state in which they enlisted or were drafted from
  3. The approximate dates of their service
  4. A clear idea of what kind of records you are looking for (i.e. a complete personnel file, an enlistment record, a draft card, etc...)

Useful Things to Know

  • For conflicts taking place on U.S. soil, cities/towns with any significant ties to military action will often have their own collections related to the conflict. It may be worthwhile to try contacting local libraries or historical societies in such places to see what they have.
  • Depending on the time period you are researching, you may or may not be able to access certain records. Access to records for anyone who is still living are generally restricted to the person who served and their next of kin.

The National Archives

The National Archives can in many cases be the best place to get military records for those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • Some records are available on their website.
  • Physical records are kept in two different locations:
    • Washington, D.C. (service prior to 1917)
    • St. Louis, Missouri (service from 1917-present.)
  • Requests for records can be made online, via mail, or in person.
  • A fire at the St. Louis facility in 1973 destroyed millions of personnel files, including most records for those who served in the Army in WWI and WWII. More information is available here.
  • Links to useful sections of their website are available in the BPL’s Genealogy LibGuide

How to Get to the Military Records Section of the Genealogy LibGuide

Revolutionary War Records

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Record keeping during the Revolutionary War era was notoriously spotty, so some records may be difficult or impossible to find.
  • The resources we have access to and will refer you to focus primarily on Massachusetts records although other states are included.
  • Many resources were compiled through the efforts of volunteers, sometimes many years (or decades) after the end of the war, so information may not be complete.

Book: Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War

  • A 17 volume set compiled by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts using records from the State Archives.
  • Also available online
  • Example:
    • Lemuel Holden
    • Shirley, MA

Book: Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots

  • The material in this book is an abstract of, and index to, information reported by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
  • Example:
    • William Dawes

Book: Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files

  • These abstracts were taken from National Archives Series M805. Everything of genealogical value has been extracted from these claims & contain references to several hundred thousand people.
  • Example:
    • Copley

Book: Women Patriots of the American Revolution

  • This book contains the biographies of 600 women who performed patriotic acts. With a list of 4,500 additional women who suffered damage from the British or provided provisions for the troops.
  • Example:
    • Borden

Useful Websites

Local Archives:

Massachusetts Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
Phone: (617) 727-2816
Email: archives@sec.state.ma.us
Website: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/archrs/hrsidx.htm
Revolutionary rolls contain documents such as muster rolls, descriptive lists, receipts of supplies or money, lists of officers and lists of deserters. Continental Army Books consist of muster rolls of Massachusetts companies and receipts for supplies and money. The records of the Board of War, Commissary General, and Quartermaster General contain minutes, correspondence, blotters, cash books, journals, and ledgers, which detail the delivery of ordnance, provisions, and services to the military units. Pension records contain information on rank, unit, residence, and land or money bounty.

National Archives at Boston (Waltham)
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452
Toll Free Telephone: (866) 406-2379
Telephone: (781) 663-0144
E-mail: boston.archives@nara.gov
Website: https://www.archives.gov/boston
Holds military records pertaining to New England-based installations and units.

Researching Ancestors Who Served in the Civil War

Researching Ancestors Who Served in the Civil War

What We Are Covering

  • Military records researching basics
  • Record availability from the Civil War
  • Researching an ancestor using available records from the Civil War:
    • Books at the BPL
    • Personnel Records from the National Archives
    • Newspaper articles
    • Pension record
    • Headstone application record
  • Useful websites
  • Local archives

What You Should Have Before You Start Searching

  1. The name of the person you are researching
  2. The state in which they enlisted or were drafted from
  3. The approximate dates of their service
  4. A clear idea of what kind of records you are looking for (i.e. a complete personnel file, an enlistment record, a draft card, etc...)

Useful Things to Know

  • For conflicts taking place on U.S. soil, cities/towns with any significant ties to military action will often have their own collections related to the conflict. It may be worthwhile to try contacting local libraries or historical societies in such places to see what they have.
  • Depending on the time period you are researching, you may or may not be able to access certain records. Access to records for anyone who is still living are generally restricted to the person who served and their next of kin.

The National Archives

The National Archives can in many cases be the best place to get military records for those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • Some records are available on their website.
  • Physical records are kept in two different locations:
    • Washington, D.C. (service prior to 1917)
    • St. Louis, Missouri (service from 1917-present.)
  • Requests for records can be made online, via mail, or in person.
  • A fire at the St. Louis facility in 1973 destroyed millions of personnel files, including most records for those who served in the Army in WWI and WWII. More information is available here.
  • Links to useful sections of their website are available in the BPL’s Genealogy LibGuide

How to Get to the Military Records Section of the Genealogy LibGuide

Civil War Records

Good things to know:

  • A concerted effort to keep records began during the war itself, with compilations of records being published not long after.
  • Organizations, such as the Grand Army of the Republic, began forming almost immediately after the war ended and also aided in the preservation of records.
  • The resources we have access to and will refer you to focus primarily on Massachusetts records although other states are included, as are resources for researching both Union and Confederate ancestors.

Case Study: A Civil War Ancestor

  • Name: Hosea Wheeler
  • State Enlisted/Drafted From: Massachusetts (Berkshire County)
  • Approximate Dates of Service: 1861-1865
  • What We Are Looking For: enlistment/draft information, regimental history, personnel record, newspaper articles (including obituary/death notice,) and pension record(s)

Enlistment/Draft Information

Book: The Roster of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865
Volumes 2 & 3 (Vermont & Massachusetts) are located in Bates Hall, other volumes must be requested at the reference desk.

What this record tells us:

  • Mil.- He was in a state militia, which were raised by the state or by individuals with the permission of the state and were comprised of volunteers.
  • 49th Inf. Co. B- he was in Company B of the 49th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

Enlistment/Draft Information, cont'd

Book: Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War (index)
8-volume set organized by regiment containing basic information about each regiment along with the name, rank, residence, age, occupation, enlistment and discharge information for Massachusetts residents who served in each unit. Includes alphabetical index by name.
Also available online.

There is only one index for this set, taking up it's own separate volume. If you do not know which unit an ancestor served in you can find out where they are listed in this set by checking the index.

What this record tells us:

  • IV, 479.- His entry in this set appears in volume 4 on page 479.

Enlistment/Draft Information, cont'd

Book: Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War (vol. 4, page 479)
8-volume set organized by regiment containing basic information about each regiment along with the name, rank, residence, age, occupation, enlistment and discharge information for Massachusetts residents who served in each unit. Includes alphabetical index by name.
Also available online.

There is only one index for this set, taking up it's own separate volume. If you do not know which unit an ancestor served in you can find out where they are listed in this set by checking the index (see previous tab.)

What this record tells us:

  • Priv.- His rank upon completion of his service was Private.
  • Res. West Stockbridge- He lived in West Stockbridge at the time he enlisted.
  • 45- He was 45 years old when he enlisted.
  • farmer- His occupation when he enlisted was farmer.
  • enl. Sept. 8, 1862- This is the date that he enlisted.
  • must. Sept, 19, 1862- He "mustered in," or began his service, on this date.
  • died Aug. 24, 1863, of disease, at West Stockbridge, Mass.- He died of disease on this date in West Stockbridge, which means he likely died at home.

Regimental History

Book: Life With the Forty-ninth Massachusetts Volunteers
Published in 1890 and written by Henry T. Johns, a Private in Company C in the 49th
Available in hard copy at the Book Delivery Desk and online.

Many regiments have their own histories, some are held by the BPL and are listed in our catalog. Others can be located by searching Google.

What this tells us:

  • He died at home
  • The cause of death was some kind of intestinal disease that caused diarrhea
  • He was 47-years-old when he died
  • His fatal illness was one that was contracted by many other people

Personnel Record

Personnel records for people who served in the Civil War can be requested from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C.
More information about NARA is available in the Military Records section of this guide.

The records that NARA sends will vary depending on factors such as length of service, rank, manner of discharge, etc.. In the case of Hosea Wheeler, NARA sent copies of six muster slips.
See the next two tabs for more information.

Personnel Record, cont'd (click on image to see full-size)

What do these tell us (from left to right):

  • Company Muster-In Roll
    • He enlisted in Pittsfield, MA on September 8, 1862
    • He mustered-in with Company B on September 19, 1862
    • The term of his enlistment was to be 9 months
  • Company Muster Roll
    • He was present for a company roll call on December 31, 1862
  • Company Muster Roll
    • He was present for company roll calls in January & February of 1863

Personnel Record, cont'd (click on image to see full-size)

What Do These Tell Us (right to left):

  • Company Muster Roll
    • He was present for company roll calls in March & April of 1893
  • Company Muster Roll
    • He was absent from company roll calls in May & June of 1863
    • He was absent due to being sick in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Company Muster-Out Roll
    • Company B mustered-out on September 1, 1863
    • He was last paid on February 28, 1863
    • He was advanced $41.41 of his pay for clothing
    • He died of chronic diarrhea on August 24, 1863 in West Stockbridge, MA

Newspapers: Articles

The Civil War was widely reported on throughout the U.S. Many local newspapers would have special coverage of units and people from their area, including information about troop movements, illness, injuries, and deaths.

This is just one of the many articles from the Pittsfield Sun (which the BPL has access to on microfilm) about the 49th. This article was published on August 20, 1863.

What Does This Tell Us:

  • Many of the wounded and sick members of the 49th traveled back north via steamship and went home
  • Many other people in the 49th had chronic diarrhea

Newspapers: Death Notice

Obituaries as we know them today did not really exist until later in the 19th century. Up until that time most people got simple death notices, if information about their deaths was published in newspapers at all. For more information about searching for death notices and obituaries, check out the Obituaries section of this guide.

This death notice for Hosea Wheeler was published in the Berkshire Eagle (which the BPL has access to on microfilm) on August 27, 1863.

What This Tells Us:

  • Corroborates information gleaned from other records including:
    • Date and place of death
    • Age at time of death
    • Cause of death
    • Unit he was part of

Pension Record

Available online via Ancestry Library Edition (which is currently available to use from home!) Pension records were created when a veteran or their next of kin (i.e. spouse or child) applied for benefits from the U.S. government after the war ended or after the veteran died. Because he died before the war ended, Hosea Wheeler's next of kin would be the one to apply for benefits.

What This Record Tells Us:

  • Hosea's widow, Catherine Wheeler, applied for benefits
  • Her application was made on November 4, 1863

Bonus: Headstone

For many years, the next of kin of deceased veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces have been able to apply to the U.S. Government for a standard headstone for their deceased loved one. In some cases many years passed between the death of the veteran and the placing of a U.S. Government-provided headstone.

As time goes on, more information is included in these records. In the case of Hosea Wheeler, the record does not include the name of the person who applied for his headstone.

What This Record Tells Us:

  • He was buried in the village cemetery in West Stockbridge
  • His headstone was supplied by a D.W. Whitney in 1899
  • Corroborates information from other records including:
    • Date and place of death
    • Unit he belonged to

Useful Websites

Local Archives:

Massachusetts Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
Phone: (617) 727-2816
Email: archives@sec.state.ma.us
Website: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/archrs/hrsidx.htm
Holds Muster, clothing, and descriptive rolls, lists of assignments of recruits totown quotas, correspondence from recruiters, substitution records. Useful collections include State Military Agent, Gardiner Tufts and Governor John Andrew's letterbooks (1861-1866).

National Archives at Boston (Waltham)
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452
Toll Free Telephone: (866) 406-2379
Telephone: (781) 663-0144
E-mail: boston.archives@nara.gov
Website: https://www.archives.gov/boston
Holds military records pertaining to New England-based installations and units.

Genealogy Research and the World Wars

Genealogy Research and the World Wars


WWI Memorial, Belmont MA

WWI & WWII Memorial, Watertown MA

What We Are Covering

  • Military records researching basics
  • World War I overview
  • World War II overview
  • World Wars Records
    • National Archives fire
  • Alternate record sources
    • Draft Registration Cards
    • Headstone Applications
    • Navy Muster Rolls
    • Prisoners of War Records
  • Useful Websites
  • Local Archives

WWI Memorial, Marlborough MA

What You Should Have Before You Start Searching

  1. The name of the person you are researching
  2. The state in which they enlisted or were drafted from
  3. The approximate dates of their service
  4. A clear idea of what kind of records you are looking for (i.e. a complete personnel file, an enlistment record, a draft card, etc...)

WWI Memorial, Winchester MA

Useful Things to Know

  • For conflicts taking place on U.S. soil, cities/towns with any significant ties to military action will often have their own collections related to the conflict. It may be worthwhile to try contacting local libraries or historical societies in such places to see what they have.
  • Depending on the time period you are researching, you may or may not be able to access certain records. Access to records for anyone who is still living are generally restricted to the person who served and their next of kin.

The National Archives

The National Archives can in many cases be the best place to get military records for those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • Some records are available on their website.
  • Physical records are kept in two different locations:
    • Washington, D.C. (service prior to 1917)
    • St. Louis, Missouri (service from 1917-present.)
  • Requests for records can be made online, via mail, or in person.
  • A fire at the St. Louis facility in 1973 destroyed millions of personnel files, including most records for those who served in the Army in WWI and WWII.
  • Links to useful sections of their website are available in the BPL’s Genealogy LibGuide

How to Get to the Military Records Section of the Genealogy LibGuide

WWI Memorial, Woburn MA

World War I Overview

  • Originally referred to as The Great War or The War to End War or The War to End All Wars
  • Originated in Europe in 1914
  • The United States entered the war on April 6, 1917
  • 4.7 million people from the U.S. served in the war, with 2.8 million serving overseas
    • 53,402 were killed in action
    • 63,306 died from disease
    • 116,708 died altogether
    • 204,002 were wounded
    • 4,120 were held as prisoners of war
  • The 1918 Influenza Pandemic caused many of the deaths by disease, the spread of which may have been quickened by troop movements

WWII Memorial, Lawrence MA

World War II Overview

  • Also called The Second World War
  • Involved most countries in the world, with only a few remaining neutral for the entire war
  • Deadliest conflict in human history (50-85 million died)
  • Began in Europe in 1939 (war in Asia had been ongoing since 1931)
  • The U.S. entered the war on December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor
  • 16.1 million served in the War
    • 291,557 were killed in action
    • 113,842 died from other causes
    • 405,399 died altogether
    • 670,846 were wounded
    • 124,000 (approximately) were held as prisoners of war

WWI & WWII Memorial, Jamaica Plain

World Wars Records

Good Things to Know:

  • Due to the fire at the National Archives in 1973 (see next tab for more info), most of the records of those who served in the Army during the World Wars were destroyed
  •  There is no comprehensive listing of what records were lost, so the only way to determine whether or not a record still exists is to request a copy of it
  • The BPL does not itself hold any published records for the World Wars
  • Many alternate records are available via the database Ancestry Library Edition

The National Archives Fire: July 12, 1973

  • The fire resulted in the loss of 16-18 million records including:
    • 80% of records for those discharged from their service in the U.S. Army between November 1, 1912 and January 1, 1960
    • 75% of records for those discharged from their service in the U.S. Air Force between September 25, 1947 to January 1, 1964 whose names come alphabetically after James E. Hubbard
  • There was no index of these records and no back-up copies
  • About 6.5 million records were rescued from the wreckage, these are referred to as the “B-file
  • After the fire, alternate records were collected from other sources to form the Auxiliary and Organizational Records collection
  • The fire started shortly after midnight on the sixth floor of the Military Personnel Records Center in St. Louis
  • 42 local fire departments responded, providing a total of 381 firefighters
  • It burned uncontrolled for 22 hours
  • It took 5 days to put out the fire
  • The cause of the fire has never been determined

WWI & WWII Memorials, Fitchburg MA

Alternate Records

  • Some useful alternate sources are:
    • Draft registration cards
      • Useful even if person did not serve
    • Headstone Applications
      • Includes service information as well as birth & death dates
    • Navy Muster Rolls
      • Includes records of status changes (i.e. illness, disciplinary action)
    • Prisoners of War records
      • Will include name of the camp where the person was held

Draft Registration Cards

World War I Draft Registration Card for Mike Garvan, completed on June 23, 1917 (click on images to see full-size)

What Does This Tell Us:

  • He lived in West Stockbridge, MA
  • He was born in February of 1888
  • He was an "alien"- not a citizen
  • He was born in Austria
  • He was still a citizen of Austria
  • He worked as a laborer at West Stockbridge Lime Co. in West Stockbridge
  • He was married and had one child
  • He said he was 32-years-old and should be exempted from the draft
  • He was of medium height and build
  • He had blue eyes and light hair
  • He was not physically disabled
  • He was illiterate
  • In 1915, he said he was 25-years-old

Headstone Application

Application to the U.S. Government for a standard headstone for the deceased U.S. Army soldier Robert T. Lindsay, filed by Albert L. Lindsay on January 7, 1948 (click on image to see full-size.)

What Does This Tell Us:

  • He enlisted on March 24, 1943
  • His serial number was 31 287 530
  • He was a Christian
  • He was from Massachusetts
  • His rank was Private First Class
  • His unit was Company G of the 82nd Airborne Division in the 508th Infantry Regiment
  • He was born on January 11, 1923
  • He died on December 27, 1944
  • He was buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Pittsfield, MA
  • Albert L. Lindsay lived at 15 Rhode Island Ave. in Pittsfield, MA

Navy Muster Roll

Navy muster roll listing including Martin F. Herman on July 5, 1943 (click on image to see full-size.) Muster rolls would include those that were present for duty but also those that were absent, and the reasons for their absences.

What Does This Tell Us:

  • Herman was absent on the date this muster was taken
  • His serial number was 205 50 47
  • His rank was Seaman 2nd Class
  • He was in the U.S. Navy Reserve
  • He was absent due to being confined to the brig
  • He was subject to a Summary Courts-Martial (SCM)
  • He was at the U.S. Navy Frontier Base in Tompkinsville, NY
National Archives (click on image to see full-size);
Ancestry Library Edition (click on image to see full-size):

Prisoners of War Records

Records for Prisoners of War for World War II can be found in the in the National Archives' World War II Prisoners of War Data File, 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946. as well as in the database Ancestry Library Edition.

Prisoner of War records for William F. Herman

What Do They Tell Us:

  • His serial number was 201 557 56
  • He was a Sergeant in the Army Air Corps
  • He lived in Rhode Island
  • He served in the European Theatre
  • He was freed from imprisonment
  • He was imprisoned by Germany
  • He was held at Stalag 17B in Brunau [Gneixendorf], located near the town of Krems in Austria

Useful Websites

Local Archives

National Archives at Boston (Waltham)
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452
Toll Free Telephone: (866) 406-2379
Telephone: (781) 663-0144
E-mail: boston.archives@nara.gov
Website: https://www.archives.gov/boston
Holds military records pertaining to New England-based installations and units.


Military Records Branch
Office of the Adjutant General

50 Maple St.
Milford, MA 01757
Phone: (508) 233-7780
Fax: (508) 233-7785
Holds State military records from 1940 forward