If you prefer to learn on your own, Family Tree University independent study courses are perfect for you.
These courses are self-guided, "offline" versions of our online courses. You receive the same curriculum and supplemental materials, but you do the work completely on your own, making them an ideal choice for students who truly want to work at their own pace.
In contrast to our online courses, where class is "in session" for a specified four-week period, there's no set time line for an independent study class, you could approach it as an intensive crash course, pick it up on weekends over several months, or whatever works best for you.
A digital download gives you instant access to the materials to your computer. After downloading a ZIP file of the materials, unzip it, and you'll be able to access all the course materials, which are in Word and PDF format.
US Military Records: Trace Your Ancestors' Service
Developed by Diana Crisman Smith
With so many military conflicts throughout America's history, it's likely your ancestors were involved. Finding records of their service will help you round out the portraits of their lives and honor their memory. Military files also can reveal information about widows and childrenÑand even ancestors who didn't serve might have left behind draft records. This course will teach you what to look for and how to locate the records you seek.
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
- Definitions and terminology used in military records
- Service records
- Pension records
- Bounty land records
- Draft records
WHO SHOULD TAKE THIS COURSE
- Genealogists with known military veteran ancestors
- People with ancestors who lived during the time of major wars
WHAT YOU'LL NEED: REQUIREMENTS & SUPPLIES
- Access to records in the National Archives is ideal for military records research, since most (federal) records are in the National Archives in the original form. Only a minor portion have been microfilmed; even a smaller portion are available in digitized form. For this course, examples will be provided for many records, but it will be helpful to have access to practice and search through one of the following sources:
- Footnote.com has partnered with NARA to digitize military records. There are several options for viewing these images: a free seven-day trial; a $11.95 monthly subscription; and a $79.95 annual subscription. Access is also available at Family History Centers.
- Ancestry.com also has some NARA military records available to US package subscribers. A 14-day free trial is available, or a one-month subscription is $19.95; a three-month subscription is $16.95/month; and a 6-month subscription is $14.95/month.
- Access to the Bureau of Land Management/Government Land Office website is free and no registration is required.
- This course assumes you understand the basics principles of genealogy and have done some investigation into your family history. If you are a total beginner, consider taking the Discover Your Family Tree course before enrolling in this class.