copyright A Hopkins-Arnold 2012

Tracing Your Civil War Ancestors – Class Description:

Learn to trace your Civil War Ancestors with Genealogist, Anna Hopkins-Arnold of Rootfinders Genealogy Research. Our genealogist will demonstrate methods and show examples for searching for Civil War information on your ancestors and provide an opportunity for hands-on practice while Anna is available for help and advice.

We will learn to use census records and veteran’s schedules to identify civil war veterans and trace their families through time. Learn methods to find your veteran among others with similar names. Access Civil War muster rolls, and service, pension , and POW records and glean surprising information from them. Find regimental histories for your ancestor’s units. We will cover tips for both Union and Confederate Ancestors and give information on lineage societies for both. We may also touch on Civil War era records available for non-military ancestors including nurses, abolitionists, slaves, and spies, depending on the interests of the group.

Class taught:

  • 2 hr workshop taught at Durango Public Library Jan 2012
  • 1 hr lecture given to Southwest Colorado Genealogical Society May 2015

Downloads and Reviews

If you enjoyed the “Tracing Your Civil War Ancestors” Workshop or find these files useful, please leave a comment below.  To receive advance info on other classes or research services connect to us on facebook or twitter.  As always, if you have any questions, please email. THANKS

Files for the “Tracing Your Civil War Ancestors” Workshop: click on the link to open or download the pdf file:


This four page pdf (UPDATED 26 Jan 12) shows information and active links to useful websites for researching civil war era ancestors. Begin with the general websites (the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database should be your first stop). Then continue through the list to explore different aspects of your ancestors service.

Tracing Your Civil War Ancestors Worksheet

This four page “Tracing Your Civil War Ancestors” Worksheet provides a place to collect and record information from family stories (p1-2) and from records and documents (p3-4) including recording the sources for all information (p2 and p4).

It is laid out so that you can then lay pages 1 and 3 side by side to easily compare information from family stories (p1) to the corresponding information from records and documents (p3). Flip them over to compare facts from family stories (p2) to the facts from published obituaries or biographies (p4).

Record your sources on the Civil War Ancestor Worksheet:

While you record info from both family stories and from records and documents, note the source in a numbered list (p2 for family info and p4 for records and documents) then you can put that number next to each fact, then if you learn one source does not apply to your ancestor you can easily delete the erroneous information from that source. And when you transfer the information to an online tree or write it up, you will have the sources for each fact at your fingertips.

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