Do you have ancestors who were military veterans? Explore these records and discover where your ancestor is buried. Learn important facts about their lives, like their birth and death date and the unit in which they served.
Each record includes a transcript of the original burial records. The information contained in the records varies however you may be able to find out a combination of the following:
Spouse’s first name
Spouse’s last name
Father’s first name
Father’s last name
The United States, National Veterans Cemetery Index contains death records of those who served and are buried in various Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker.
Covering over a century of veterans, these veterans fought in various conflicts, from the American Civil War, and the two world wars through to the Afghanistan war.
This collection is especially useful for family historians who do not know specifics about an ancestor, such as birth dates, in which branch of the military the ancestor served, or rank of a veteran. This vital records collection may be used as a launching point to lead to other collections detailing a person's life.
On the 17 July 1862, Congress passed legislation that authorised the President to purchase cemetery grounds to be used as national cemeteries for soldiers who died in the service of the country. In the first year, 14 cemeteries were established.
By 1870, 73 national cemeteries had the remains of nearly 300,000 Union dead buried in them. Most of the cemeteries were located in the southeast, near the battlefields and campgrounds of the Civil War. After the war, Army crews scoured the countryside to locate the remains of soldiers who had died in battle. They were buried with honour in the new national cemeteries. In 1873, all honourably discharged veterans became eligible for burial.
To serve veterans living in major metropolitan areas such as New York, Baltimore, Minneapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Antonio new cemeteries were established in the 1930s. Several cemeteries that are closely associated with battlefields such as Gettysburg, were transferred to the National Park Service because of their value in interpreting the historical significance of the battles.
On November 11, 1998, the President signed the Veterans Programs Enhancement Act of 1998 changing the name of the National Cemetery System (NCS) to the National Cemetery Administration (NCA).
There are currently 150 national cemeteries, veterans of every war and conflict from the Revolutionary War to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan are honoured by burial in VA's national cemeteries. More than 20,000 acres of land from Hawaii to Maine, and from Alaska to Puerto Rico are devoted to the memorialisation of those who served the United States. More than 350 recipients of the Medal of Honour are buried in VA's national cemeteries.
More than 20 million living Veterans who have earned the honour of burial in a national cemetery. Veterans with discharges other than dishonourable, their spouses and dependent children may be eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery. Those who die on active duty may also be buried in a national cemetery.
Begin your search broadly with just a first and last name.
You can narrow your results if needed by adding a year, soldier number, or additional keyword.