The benefits and importance of Michigan military records in genealogical research for ancestors who have been veterans are evident but Michigan military records can also be beneficial to researchers whose primary ancestors were not soldiers in any war. Mainly because of the amount of genealogical facts covered in several Michigan military pension records they ought to not be ignored throughout the research process.
Michigan’s military records are held at the State Archives of Michigan, which can be contacted by e-mail or through the regular postal service. Some of the Descriptive Rolls of Michigan Units (1838–1919) can be found there. Although, others are missing. The archives files also include records from Spanish-American War and Civil War fraternal organizations of veterans. Organization muster rolls list member names and their military backgrounds. Census records from the census of Civil War veterans taken in 1888 are also available there. They list important details about each veteran, such as their address, rank, and military unit. Records from the Soldier and Sailors’ Home, later renamed the Veterans’ Facility, can also be found at the State Archives of Michigan. It still exists today and serves all veterans from any war involving the United States. The records of that institution available at the State Archives of Michigan date from 1885 to 1986. Veterans, widows or wives of veterans, and ex-nurses at the institution are all listed in those records, along with mothers of veterans and a few other useful details, such as family relationship and military history information.
No Civil War pension records are available at the State Archives of Michigan. However, the Civil War Centennial Observance Commission created a listing of grave registrations, which is available there. Those forms are organized by county and alphabetically by soldier name. They list birthplaces, places of death, cemetery locations, service records, and other useful information. Grand Army of the Republic Post muster rolls can also be found at the State Archives of Michigan. Civil War Soldier portraits are also available there. They are indexed according to the surnames of the soldiers.
The “Civil War Manuscripts” collection at the State Archives of Michigan contains discharge papers, letters, diaries, journals, certificates, and other useful documents. Each of the following reference materials may also include helpful information:
- Archival 1, Records of the Michigan Military Establishment, 1838–1941
- Archival 15, Records of the Grand Army of the Republic, Michigan Department
- Archival 17, Records of the Michigan Veteran’s Facility
- Circular No. 20, Civil War Manuscripts
The State Archives of Michigan website also lists indexes of its holdings.
Many Civil War soldier records can be found in the Burton Historical Collection. Within that collection is a register of soldiers who were sick and wounded and taken to St. Mary’s. Harper, or the Detroit Post Hospital. That collection is called U.S. General Hospital (1864–65).
Michigan Soldiers and Sailors (Kalamazoo, Mich.: Ihling Brothers and Everard, 1903–15), which is also known as Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War, 1861–1865 was published by Adjutant General George H. Brown. It is a 46-volume collection that is indexed alphabetically. Alphabetical General Index to Public Library Sets of 85,271 Names of Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Individual Records (Lansing, Mich.: Wynkoop, Hallenbeck, Crawford, Co., 1915) contains an index of Civil War soldiers who were from Michigan.
Unpublished indexes from the Spanish-American War, as well as World War I, are available at the State Archives of Michigan as well.
- Michigan Military Records (Fold3.com) provides access to military records stories photos and personal documents of the Michigan men and women who served. Perfect for genealogists researchers historians and more.
- Michigan Military Records (ancestry.com) from Red Book: American State County and Town Sources.
- Michigan Military Records 1775-1836 (search.ancestry.com)
- Alphabetical general index to public library sets of 85,271 names of Michigan soldiers and sailors individual records (search.ancestry.com)
- Michigan Military Record Books (amazon.com)
Michigan in the Colonial War
Colonial War Website Links
- Colonial wars of the Northwest Territory (search.ancestry.com)
- Michigan Colonial War Books (amazon.com)
Revolutionary War Website Links
- Research in the Revolutionary War 1775-1783 (uswars.net)
- 1835 Michigan Territorial Pensioners (mifamilyhistory.org)
- Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Michigan (missar.org)
- Michigan Final Payment Vouchers Index for Military Pensions 1818-1864 (fold3.com) These slips serve as an index to final and last payments to over 65,000 veterans of the Revolutionary War and some later wars.
- Revolutionary War links from http://search.ancestry.com:
- Michigan D.A.R. Genealogical bible records
- Michigan D.A.R Genealogical notes.
- Family records DAR Jackson Michigan 1947
- Michigan D.A.R. Genealogical records (miscellaneous) Michigan 1965
- Michigan D.A.R. Genealogical records miscellaneous Michigan 1970-1972
- Michigan D.A.R. Genealogical records March 1 1947-March 1 1949
- Michigan Military Records
- Michigan Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (michigandar.org)
- Michigan Society of Sons of the American Revolution (michigansar.org)
- Michigan Revolutionary War Books (amazon.com)
Michigan in the War of 1812
War of 1812 Website Links
- Research in the War of 1812 1812-1815 (uswars.net)
- Battle of French Town 1813. (search.ancestry.com)
- War of 1812 correspondence. (search.ancestry.com)
- Michigan War of 1812 Books (amazon.com)
Michigan in the Civil War
Civil War Website Links
- Research in the Civil War 1861-1865
- Civil War links from fold3.com with original data from the National Archives:
- Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Michigan
- Civil War and Later Veterans Pension Index from Michigan
- Michigan Civil War “Widows’ Pensions”
- Barred and Disallowed Michigan Claims – The Southern Claims Commission denied these claims by Michigan citizens seeking compensation for property loss. They were barred or disallowed for a number of reasons. Original data from the National Archives
- Michigan Civil War Maps – Maps charts and atlases depicting battles troop positions and movements engagements and fortifications in Michigan during the Civil War 1861-1865.
- Michigan Civil War Infantry Regiments and Units
- Michigan Civil War Cavalry Regiments and Units
- Michigan Civil War Artillery Regiments and Units
- Civil War links from ancestry.com:
- Record of service of Michigan volunteers in the Civil War 1861-1865
- Michigan in the Civil War
- Michigan in the war
- A hundred battles in the West : St. Louis to Atlanta 1861-65 : the Second Michigan Cavalry with the armies of the Mississippi
- History of the Twenty-fourth Michigan of the Iron Brigade : known as the Detroit and Wayne County Regiment
- History of the Michigan organizations at Chickamauga Chattanooga and Missionary Ridge 1863
- History of the services of the First Regiment Michigan Engineers and Mechanics during the Civil War 1861-1865
- Personal and historical sketches and facial history of and by members of the Seventh Regiment Michigan Volunteer Cavalry 1862
- The story of the Twentieth Michigan Infantry July 15th 1862 to May 30th 1865
- Negroes in Michigan during the Civil War
- An historical sketch of the Seventh Regiment Michigan Volunteer Cavalry
- The First Michigan Infantry
- Roster of survivors of the Seventh Michigan Cavalry and muster out rolls of the regiment
- Reminiscences incidents battles marches and camp life of the old 4th Michigan Infantry in War of Rebellion 1861 to 1864
- Michigan’s brigade
- Michigan men in the Civil War
- Civil War Principals and Substitutes Index (michigan.gov)
- Michigan Civil War Books (amazon.com)
Michigan Modern Wars
World War I Website Links
- History of the 126th Infantry in the war with Germany (search.ancestry.com)
- The 32nd Division in the World War 1917-1919 (search.ancestry.com)
- The History of Ambulance Company 168 (search.ancestry.com)
- Michigan’s Polar Bears : the American expedition to north Russia 1918-1919 (search.ancestry.com)
- Guest Register of World War I Michigan Clubroom (located in New York City) (michigan.gov)
War Website Links
- War papers read before the Commandery of the State of Michigan Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States 1886-1898 Vols. 1-2 (search.ancestry.com)
- Michigan volunteers of ’98 : a complete photographic record of Michigan’s part in the Spanish-American War of 1898. (search.ancestry.com)
- Michigan men in the Spanish American War (search.ancestry.com)
- Index of Spanish American War Medal Recipients: State of Michigan (michigan.gov)
- Michigan casualties World War (search.ancestry.com)
- Roster of officers of Michigan state troops (search.ancestry.com)
- Michigan’s Medal of Honor men (search.ancestry.com)
- World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing: State of Michigan (michigan.gov)