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A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)

Article about: I have seen many members on our forum going above and beyond in helping others with limited resources to help research particular items in their collections. From Soldbuchs to Soviet Red Ban

  1. #1

    Default A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)

    I have seen many members on our forum going above and beyond in helping others with limited resources to help research particular items in their collections. From Soldbuchs to Soviet Red Banner Awards to named US and British Medals.. The research knowledge of many members is extremely high and many benefit from those with research capabilities.

    I came to the conclusion of wanting to start this thread after our very own member MAP had requested some information about a paratrooper grouping. I posted on his thread that I would design a tutorial for members and some replied that it would be helpful. (I hope that it is)...

    I thought I may share with the members a process to obtain information for US service members records from the National Archives Records Administration or simply NARA. The tutorial I have developed will focus on US Army Soldier's serving during WW2. This tutorial will help you navigate through the many pages that NARA has to offer. I encourage everyone to go to the National Archives link and explore all the possibilities and records that are available for research. There are millions of files and records that may hold that missing link of information for a particular item in your collection.

    Before I go any further I want to add: THIS IS THE WAY I NAVIGATE THROUGH NARA TO OBTAIN RECORDS. OTHER MAY HAVE DIFFERENT METHODS AND APPROACHES. But the end state is to help someone find information. Professional researchers charge to conduct this research and now members here will know how to conduct their own research without paying fees.

    There are some instances where professional researchers may be able to get deeper into records for individuals so please do not think I am dismissing their invaluable services.. Some professional researchers were instrumental in closing some gaps on some research projects where I simply ran into a dead end on.

    I broke the tutorial down into two different segments. (I had to convert from PDF to JPEG due to size limitation). The first part (9 pages) Tutorial will take you step by step into NARA once you select the website. Each page has a description on what to look for and what you will see and what the next step in the process is. THIS IS FOR THE BASIC SEARCH TO CONFIRM A SOLDIER'S NAME OR ARMY SERIAL NUMBER (ASN)

    The second tutorial will cover the process of obtaining the service members records from the National Archives itself. (Some individuals may find their answer with the first tutorial and will not want to or need to proceed).

    You may be able to download the pictures and print out the pages so you have this as a quick reference on your work table...

    I do encourage everyone to once again navigate through each of the sub categories in NARA and you may find some very interesting information. There are categories that list Prisoner's of War, US Navy, Marine and Coast Guard Casualties form WW2 and there are hundreds of records for Vietnam, Korea, WW1, Spanish American War, Revolutionary War, so if WW2 is not your area of collecting but other conflicts are then you can conduct hours of research.

    Will you be able to find all of what you are looking for just through NARA??? That is a tough question, based on your research needs. If you are looking for Genealogy records and family tree history then NARA is a good place to trace military service of relatives but I would suggest in addition to NARA any good researcher will have available to them other sites such as Ancestry.com and Fold3.com..

    I hope these tutorials will help members here and all who stop by our forum. Perhaps if this is a successful posting, some of the members could request that this topic gets pinned to the top of the page so that it will be easy to find.

    Please don't hesitate to ask for assistance and help or if you have any questions. I thoroughly enjoy doing research and it is part of my job as a museum curator to conduct research and find answers to inquires.

    If others wish to add their suggestions and methods, please feel free to contribute to this topic..


    HAPPY COLLECTING AND RESEARCHING...

    Smitty
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)   A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)  

    A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)   A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)  

    A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)   A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)  

    A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)   A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)  

    A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)   A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)  

    A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)   A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)  

    A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)   A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)  

    A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)   A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)  

    A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)   A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA)  


  2. #2
    MAP
    MAP is offline
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    Thanks Smitty. I've bookmarked this thread for future use
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  3. #3

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    Thanks MAP,

    The only thing I noticed is that the top 2 pages reversed. The page on the right is page 1 and the page on the left is page 2.... All the other pages are in order from left to right as you would read a book. Since this was done in power point I didn't add pages but when I converted to jpeg so it would upload I didn't think about adding page numbers.. My apologies folks...

    Smitty

  4. #4

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    Great thread Smitty and thank you for all that you do.

    Marty
    Fortune favors the brave 644th td

  5. #5
    ?

    Default

    Thank you Sir!!!!

    Mods & Admin, I request that this get "STICKY" status please.

    Semper Fi
    Phil

  6. #6

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    I don't research usa soldiers but do appreciate the time and trouble you have taken to compile this to help others, well done.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  7. #7

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    Thank you
    gregM
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

  8. #8

    Default

    I really appreciate all the feedback everyone...

    I want to help where I can..

    Smitty

  9. #9

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    Great work, i have a few dog tags to research.

  10. #10

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    I can not stress how simple yet effective this guide is. Teaches you how to navigate yourself through the complex website. If you need or want to send a SF180, this guide makes it a piece of cake. Thanks for the guide!!
    Last edited by SirCaleb; 05-04-2019 at 08:12 PM. Reason: add

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