Your Confederate Family Tree
This is where to start looking
for the Confederate Veteran ancestor you
long to know about. The search is not easy and in some cases impossible it
seems. You must be willing to do the hard part of the research yourself. It is
much like having a large puzzle on the table with invisible pieces. It is often a
mystery awaiting a dedicated detective to solve.
To look for your Confederate veteran ancestor - start with yourself and go
back to your parents, grandparents, great grandparents and so on in that
order generation by generation.
You have 2 Grandfathers, 4 Great Grandfathers, 8 Great Great Grandfathers
and so on back doubling for each generation. When you consider the
Uncles and Cousins along with the Great Uncles and distant cousins - the
odds of you having a Confederate ancestor veteran, if any males in your
family lived in the South and were of military age at the time of the war, is
pretty good. So don't give up the search if you find nothing by looking up
one line of your family.
This is the way to locate your ancestor:
Get yourself organized.
On paper or in a computer file write down your vital information.
When and Where you were born.
Who your parents are and when and where they were born.
When and where they were married.
When and where they died and are buried, if deceased.
If you don't know any of that information you should obtain a copy of your
birth record from the County where you were born or from the State where
you were born.
That will give you information about your parents.
Repeat the process generation by generation, person by person, and obtain
birth, marriage and death records where needed to find information on the
That is not hard to do but it does take time and patience and perhaps a little
money to pay for the copies of records.
Ask older members of your family for information. Especially the older
women in your family such as grandmothers, aunts and even cousins.
Tell them exactly what information you need and be willing to listen to their
stories about the people. Record the stories, but pay attention to the details
of names, dates, and places.
NOTE ON DETAILS:
What you are seeking to do is to "fix" people in several ways:
1. Name ( All known names of a person and spellings used in their lifetime)
2. Dates (Birth, Marriage, Death, Move from place to place etc)
3. Place (Place where they were on the Dates known. Place is County and
State or Province and Country)
4. Names of other members of their immediate family who lived in the same
household at any particular time (see Dates) in their lives.
You need all of the above elements to 'fix' a person as your ancestor.
The reason is simply because many people may have had the same name or
lived at the same time and of the same name or even lived in the same place
at the same time with the same name.
NOW YOU GET TO TAKE A BREAK:
If you've traced your family back to at least 1930 you may consider having a
Professional Genealogist take over the search from there. It will cost some
but be worth it (shop around because prices vary greatly).
Uh Oh! Hit a Snag!:
The years from 1900 back to 1880 present a challenge in research due to the
loss of the 1890 Federal Census to a fire. If a person was alive and recorded
on both the 1880 and 1900 Census then there is no problem....but if not then
some sort of bridge, other than Census records, across those 20 years must
be found to keep track of the specific family line you are searching.
So where do you find the bridges? They may be in old family Bibles or other
family records. Your local library may have information or the library in the
area where those ancestors lived between 1880 and 1900. Church and
Cemetery records may have information needed to bridge those years.
Newspapers and City Directories from those years may have information.
Published Genealogy journals by local and State Genealogy Societies may
have information. There are other sources but the ones listed above should
be enough to know at this point for you.
Your search to bridge a snag will take time and great effort by you. The effort
is worth it even if it takes years.
The North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has
genealogists who can offer assistance as does the National Organization of
the SCV. The individual genealogists may charge a fee and the SCV National
Genealogy Committee does charge a modest fee of $25 for Genealogy
Research -but will search military records at no charge.
NOTE: When contacting a genealogist for assistance include your name and
a specific request the NC SCV provide genealogy assistance. To find a
camp in your area go to our camp locater pages