Website Offers Free Peek At Trove Of US War Records

Website Offers Free Peek At Trove Of US War Records
May 25th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: Website Offers Free Peek At Trove Of US War Records

Website Offers Free Peek At Trove Of US War Records
Boston Globe
May 25, 2007 4 centuries of data draw genealogists
By Donna Borak, Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- For every generation in this country there has been a war. And with wars come millions of records that can shed light on family history, detailing everything from the color of soldiers' eyes to what their neighbors may have said about them.
Yesterday, unveiled more than 90 million US war records, from the first English settlement at Jamestown in 1607 through the Vietnam War's end in 1975. The collection includes the names and gravestone details of 3.5 million deceased US soldiers, including 2,000 who died in Iraq.
"The history of our families is intertwined with the history of our country," Tim Sullivan, chief executive of, said in a telephone interview. "Almost every family has a family member or a loved one that has served their country in the military."
The records came from the National Archives and Records Administration and include 37 million images, draft registration cards from both world wars, military yearbooks, prisoner-of-war records from four wars, unit rosters from the Marine Corps from 1893 through 1958, and Civil War pension records, among others.
The popularity of genealogy in the United States has increased steadily alongside the Internet's growth. Specialized search engines on sites like,, and, along with general search portals like Yahoo and Google, have helped fuel interest., which is owned by The Generations Network, spent $3 million to digitize the military records. It took nearly a year, including some 1,500 handwriting specialists racking up 270,000 hours to review the oldest records.
The 10-year-old company, based in Provo, Utah, doesn't have every US military record. Over the past four centuries, some have been lost or destroyed. Some records remain classified.
As for public records that contain what family members might not want the rest of the world to see, there's little recourse involving records on the deceased.
Online accessThe records are available at at no charge until the anniversary of D-Day on June 6. After that, users can pay $155.40 a year for unlimited access to thousands of US record databases.

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