February 2008, V7#2: Genealogy Wednesday, Jan 7 2009 

Pre-1946 Military Personnel Files Made Public

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis announced the release of all pre-1946 official military personnel files to researchers.

Documents found in a typical personnel file include assignments, evaluations, awards and decorations, training, demographic information, limited medical information and disciplinary actions.  Some files contain the soldier’s photograph.

To request a copy of a file, submit standard form 180 to NPRC, 9700 Page Ave., St. Louis, MO 63132.  The veteran or next-of-kin of a deceased veteran may use eVetRecs at www.archives.gov.veterans/evetrecs.index.html.

Copies of the personnel files are $15 for 5 pages or less and $50.00 for over 6 pages.  Most files contain over 6 pages.  Files of “persons of exceptional prominence” are $.75 per page.

Files may be viewed at the NPRC Archival Research Room in St. Louis.  The research room is open Tues-Fri, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Call 314-801-0850 for a reservation.

Additional information concerning the opening of these records is found in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) press release at http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2008/nr08-14.html.

The National Personnel Records Center is the repository for the 20th century service records.  The files consist of personnel, health and medical records of discharged and deceased solders from all the services.  The repository holds over 57 million individual files.  Every year additional records will be released for public use.

Pre-World War I military records are available from the National Archives in Washington DC.  For further information, visit the NARA webpage at http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/military.

This information was taken from Paul Follett’s column Tree Tracers published in the Lawton Constitution on November 5, 2007.

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May 2003, V2#5: Genealogy Saturday, Jan 3 2009 

If you have a family story stating you are related to a certain person (Daniel Boon, Thomas Jefferson, King Henry VIII, etc.). but have not been able to get your research back in time past a certain ancestor, don’t fall into the “missing link” trap.  Many genealogists, especially those who have taken up research without any training or guidance will simply skip this lost ancestor and pick up research with who they “are sure” is this ancestor’s parents.  People have done untold research on other people’s families in this manner – not their own.  While it is tempting to try and “reverse engineer” the pedigree in this manner, it rarely works.

March 2004, V3#3: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Look to local organizations, senior/ethnic/church centers, colleges, libraries, trade schools, etc. to see what type (if any) computer instruction/teachers they have and/or offer.  You may be surprised at what is offered (many times reasonably priced) within your community.