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Veteran Genealogical Resources in Chautauqua County

Good Evening. My talk tonight is about genealogical resources on veterans in Chautauqua County. Probably the best way to discuss this topic is by the various wars

For the Revolutionary War there are several sources locally:

Rev. Frederick Kates’ 2 volume set Revolutionary Soldiers of Chautauqua County has information on the soldiers of this war who resided in the County and data on their families. Also useful are the DAR Lineage Books and Listing of Revolutionary War Soldiers which can be found in the Barker Museum. Also useful are a series of books which list the burial places of Revolutionary Soldiers. This set can also be found in the Museum. Checking with the Registers of the DAR Chapters in the County (Benjamin Prescott, Major Benjamin Bosworth and the Jamestown Chapter can be helpful. Books on the Pension Records for Revolutionary War Soldiers which was compiled in 1830 can be helpful. Barker Museum has a copy of this book.

For the War of 1812:

Rev. Kates’ booklet on the Town of Hanover 1812 Veterans is useful. The New York State Adjutant General’s Office published an index of awards for New York Soldiers of the War of 1812. This index can be found in the Barker Museum. Young’s History of Chautauqua County and The Biographical Cyclopedia of Chautauqua has some information on soldiers who served in this and other wars. These books can be found in the Barker Museum. The July/August issue of Family Tree magazine has an article on researching soldiers of this war. This magazine in the past has had articles on researching soldiers of other wars.

I’m not familiar with any references for the Mexican War.

For the Civil War:

The 1865 New York State Census has a listing of soldierís service and those killed in the War for each town in the County. The 1890 Special Federal Civil War Veterans Census is very useful. This Census was not affected by the fire that destroyed the 1890 Census. George Graham compiled a listing of the veterans of the Civil War from Chautauqua County with much information on their service. This can be found in various places in the county including the Barker Museum. Regimental Histories of the various military units can be very helpful. These can be found in many libraries/museums in the county. Various other books, often prepared by various state offices are helpful. The Barker Museum amongst other repositories have these. Very useful are the GAR post books which list the military service and personal information of the various post members. These can be found in the Barker Museum, Dunkirk Historical Society and the Fenton Museum amongst other places.

I’m not familiar with any reference materials for the Spanish American War.

For World Wars One and Two

The Barker Museum has several albums with pictures and information on service men from the local area who served in both wars. I believe the Fenton Museum has similar materials.

There are many other sources that are useful: The Barker Museum has many books on the various wars. There are many veteran memorial with information such as the Dunkirk Lighthouse, Memorial Park in Dunkirk, The Memorial in Forestville at the center of town, Memorial Park in Jamestown. The GAR Memorial and burial site in Forest Hill Cemetery in Fredonia. The 2 Veterans Circles in Mayville Cemetery. Online FamilySearch.Org and Ancestry.com have copies of Draft Cards. Each contain a lot of individual information. John. Fedyszyn has written articles on various veterans from the area which have been printed in the Dunkirk Observer over the past few years. The Barker Museum has copies of these articles.

Discharge papers for veterans in the County are often on file at the County Clerkís Office. However due to State Privacy Regulations these records can be viewed only by the individuals who filed them. Many veterans buried in the various cemeteries either have headstones with information about their military service or a bronze plaque provided by the government with similar information. Information on various veterans can be obtained by contacting the national archives to obtain copies of their files. Obituaries in the Dunkirk Observer and the Jamestown Post Journal often have information on the military service of the deceased. American Legions, VFWs, DAVs, Amvets posts often have information on their members military service. Heritage Quest.com has information on peopleís military service. The Cemetery Books printed by the Genealogy Society often have information on a personís military service that is found on the headstones or blares. Another useful way to get such information is to talk to the individual, their relatives or people who knew them. There are a number of copies of some of the references I mentioned in my talk here on the table for you to examine.

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