The military history of the United States dates back more than 300 years, if you include colonial times. Almost all of those conflicts were with the British, the French, the Spanish, or the Native Americans. The main exception was, of course, the Civil War. With each new conflict, American soldiers became better fighters, thanks to both training and technology. They started out using primarily hunting and wilderness survival tools. However, by World War II they were using sophisticated weaponry, aircraft, ships, and submarines.

It’s clear that military records can be useful for tracking ancestors who were in the military. However, they can also be useful for finding information about ancestors who were not in the military at all. That’s because military records for close relatives, such as fathers, sons, or brothers, can lead to information about the ancestor in question. Not only that, but military records may list wives, widows, and children of the person who served, which can allow the researcher to pinpoint multiple family members and their relationships to each other. Some military records are also useful purely for their historic value, since they may describe specific military battles, locations, or procedures. So, they should never be overlooked by researchers.

There are at least some records still available from every war involving the United States or the colonies. However, many records are damaged or missing. Also, the records were not always recorded in a uniform way.

Early US Military Wars

The wars considered here are grouped as follows:
1600 - 17001700 – 18001800 – 1865
Pequot War 1637-1638Queen Anne’s War 1702–1713Tripolitan War 1801-1805
French and Iroquois Wars 1642-1698Tuscarora War 1711-1715Tecumseh's War of 1811
King Philip’s War 1675–1676Dummer's War 1723-1726War of 1812 1812–15
Pueblo Rebellion 1680King George’s War 1744–48Creek Indian War 1813-1814
King William’s War 1689–98French and Indian War 1754–63The First Seminole War 1818-1819
Pontiac's Rebellion 1763-1766Texas Revolutionary War 1835-1836
Lord Dunmore's War 1774Second Seminole War 1835-1842
Revolutionary War 1775-1783Mexican War 1846–48
Civil War 1861–65

The wars considered here are grouped as follows:

State Military Records

Military Patriotic Societies & Organizations

General Military Links

Indian War Links

Revolutionary War Links

Civil War Links