Monday, May 28, 2007

Military Records Go Online At

KXL Tech Expert Segment for May 28, 2007

The genealogy website has completed a project to digitize 90 million US military war records -- making them available online for the first time. The records, dating back to the early Jamestown settlement and covering every major conflict, include war-time images, draft cards from both World Wars, information from military yearbooks, prisoner-of-war records, military rosters, civil war pension records, and more. The information is free until June 6, the anniversary of D-Day.

I spent some time researching the website for today's radio report and learned some interesting details about my own past. For example, I was able to find an original marriage certificate from my mother's parents and details about my paternal grandfather's WWII draft. The site is a fascinating look at information that has long been "public record" -- but never as accessible to the general public. It is free to sign up and creating your own "tree" takes just a few minutes (once you get used to the interface). Adding detail about each of your relatives is as simple as clicking "Attach" and some of the artifacts are fun to review.

Will you find that you're a second cousin of Bill Gates and hit him up for millions? Probably not. Is there information about your family's history you'd care not to know? Likely. Is the site a good way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon? Indeed!

Did you find interesting history about your family? Learn something you didn't know about your ancestors' military past? Share your experiences with others in the comments.

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