HOW TO JOIN
Those eligible for Active Membership are women no less than sixteen (16) years of age who are blood descendants, lineal or collateral, of men and women who served honorably in the Army, Navy, or Civil Service of the Confederate States of America, or who gave Material Aid to the Cause. Also eligible are those women who are lineal descendants of members or former members of the UDC. Adopted children are not eligible for membership by virtue of the adoptive parents’ bloodline, but solely by virtue of the natural or biological parents.
No applicant whose ancestor took the Oath of Allegiance before April 9, 1865, shall be considered eligible. If further proof of service is available, therefore nullifying the Oath of Allegiance, the applicant shall be considered for membership.
Next step is determining who your Confederate Ancestor is, if you don't know. He/she could be a lineal (gggfather) or collateral (ggguncle).
If you do know your ancestor:
Then it's a matter of obtaining proof of honorable service and documenting each connection in your family tree back to your Confederate ancestor. If you have a lady in your family that was in the United Daughters of the Confederacy or a family member that was in the Children of the Confederacy, the paperwork is shorter!
We'd be pleased to answer any questions you have, and once you get the hang of this, it is rewarding to view the old records and find out more about your Confederate and Southern heritage. Join today as a prospective member: Click Here. More Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don't know your ancestor: (we'd love to have you as an associate member while you're looking)
1. First, find out what you can from family members. Generally someone in the family is the “keeper” of this information and will be glad to share it. If you’re lucky, someone has already researched your family. Calls to family members (aunts, distant cousins, etc.) might even turn up a published family history with everything you need to know (except the actual Confederate service). Simply leaf through the book and trace your line back to a likely man and then skip to #4 to focus on his Confederate service.
If you’re not so lucky, gather as much that you can of the following: full names, birth dates and places, marriage dates and places, death dates and places, brothers and sisters, places lived for generations back to early 1800s. When I started on my father’s family, there was no one to ask, so the process was difficult—but not impossible. My mother had a few pieces and with what she knew about my father’s family, and I was able to work backwards.
2. Put the info in an organized fashion. I suggest a length-wise un-ruled piece of paper. Start with your name on the top left and then work to the right of the page. Then fill in as much as you can with dates of birth, death and marriage and places of these. Only trace ONE parent, grandparent, etc. on a page….too confusing otherwise. When you run out of space on the first line, continue about ½ way down on the page (space for details).
3. Armed with this information, you can start looking farther back:
a. Hopefully, someone in cyberspace has researched your family and will have a grandparent or great grandparent listed in their research. You can access the most common repositories of this research from the “research source” listed on the bottom of this page. On the right hand side of this page are some of my favorite research sites (rootsweb, ancestry.com, etc.). If not, you’ll have to do more original research (see “b”— below).
b. Order death certificates for the oldest family member you have or check the census records for when they might have been at home (less than age 18). For example, for me to find out Nellie Butler’s parents, to see if her father or grandfather was a Confederate, I’d look her up in the 1900 or 1910 census Georgia Census, or better yet, I’d order her death certificate from Georgia.
4. Ok, you have found a name and he is of the age to have served (born before about 1845 but after about 1820)….how do you find out if he served? The Camp web site is a great starting point. On the left side of the of the "research sources" below is the National Parks Database. This is the most comprehensive list I know. It is not COMPLETE, no lists are, but it is very good. Start here with a ‘soldier search’ unless your ancestor is from a coastal area, then you might want to start with ‘sailor’ search. Key in the last name, the State you BELIEVE he served from (where he lived) and of course “Confederate” and ‘let ‘er rip’. You will see display a list of potential candidates. Let’s say you have a very common name, like in my case, James Butler in Georgia. You can narrow it down by the unit. This particular database shows the unit, and in most cases, when you click on the unit, a regimental history will be displayed. It will mention the counties the unit was recruited from. Get out your atlas and compare this list to where your ancestor lived. For example, there is a James listed from a county in North Georgia - I can pretty much rule that James out because my family was from Southwest Georgia…..get the picture? Some regiments are not listed, but you can at least narrow it down from the ones that are.
To REALLY know for sure is hard, especially if he had a common name. One way is to research if he or his widow drew a Confederate pension. The pension will include genealogical info, like where and when the man was born, where he lived, etc. His widow’s pension will also list marriage and death dates of the veteran…..great stuff! You can really rule out the wrong ones and know for sure the right one! If your ancestor is from Florida, you’re in luck…you can search the Florida Confederate pension database (right from the “research sources" below) and see if it is your man. Some other states have pensions on line, others you have to order – all on line ones are linked to the camp web site.
Another way to rule out duplicates is the census. By searching a county in 1860 (the year before the war), you can tell if there are any other men with your ancestor’s name from the same county. Again, the camp web site “research sources” page has two excellent census resources. Get a library card— with this you can access “Heritage Quest” (best census database) from the Tampa-Hillsborough Library (top link on the right side of the ‘research sources" below.
YOUR CONFEDERATE ANCESTOR
Do you know your ancestor?
Here are some resources to search him out:
Fold3 - subscription service - but SCV members get discounts (in case you know any)
National Parks Database - search on-line by name, state, unit, etc. Based on the National Archives Database
National Archives - order up the service record here
Broadfoot Publishing - let them do the searching for you. Also, obtain ancestor's National Archives Service Record here.
Florida Index (CSA & USA)
SC SOLDIER'S INDEX
State Pension Applications:
Valuable resource. Awarded by individual States after the War. These provide unit info and sometimes service record. Also many include genealogical info, particularly widow pension, i.e. birth, death and marriage dates, children and some personal info like physical characteristics and injuries incurred.
States with on-line index listed below:
Arkansas - order form only
Florida - complete on line with images
Georgia - complete on line with images (hard to print)
Kentucky - order form only - check "Index of Confederate Pension Applications, Commonwealth of KY" this volume at downtown Tampa John Germany public library
Missouri - call or write
Tennessee - index only no images
Broadfoot Publishing also has some pension records and can be ordered in a package with the service record.
YOUR PEDIGREE & PROOFS
Have a Tampa/Hillsborough Library Card? Access , Heritage Quest, and more FOR FREE! (census files)
www.familysearch.com - Mormon Church excellent free database to find clues
www.rootsweb.com - another excellent free database to find clues
www.usgwarchives.net - free great source of indexes and lists (marriage indexes, death, cemetery indexes)
www.findagrave.com - free lookup of headstone pictures
www.ancestry.com - Excellent source - but some documents are accessible by subscription only.
www.genealogy.com - Excellent source - must subscribe