United States Military Cemetery Records

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United States  >  Military Records  >  Types of Military Records  >  Cemetery Records

Cemetery Records[edit | edit source]

Soldiers and veterans were often buried in private, public, church, national, and military post cemeteries. Others were buried on the battlefield or in prison or hospital cemeteries. The first national military cemeteries were created in 1862 during the Civil War.

The National Cemetery System has a card index that identifies nearly all soldiers who were buried in national cemeteries and other cemeteries under federal jurisdiction from 1861 to the present. The address is:

National Cemetery System
Department of Veteran Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20422
Internet: www.cem.va.gov This web site has administration news; national veterans cemetery addresses; information about burial, headstones, state veterans cemetery grant programs, and links to other sites for locating veterans; and military records.

To find microfilm numbers of cemetery records in the Family History Library Catalog, look in the Place Search under:


The National Archives also has applications for headstones for soldiers and veterans buried in private cemeteries between 1879–1964.

The following book provides descriptions of national cemeteries, state veterans’ cemeteries, soldiers’ lots, and abandoned military cemeteries:

Some states and counties have grave registration records that identify the graves of soldiers buried in local cemeteries. You can usually find these by contacting the state archives or state library or historical society. The Family History Library has statewide veteran grave registrations for the following states:

The American Battle Monuments Commission was created in 1923 to maintain memorials in the U.S. and foreign countries where American forces have served. They have the names of 124,913 World War I and II war dead and the names of 94,093 soldiers listed as missing in action or buried at sea from the World Wars, Korean War, and Vietnam War. For information you can contact:

American Battle Monuments Commission
Casimir Pulaski Building
20 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20314-0300
Telephone: 202-272-0533; 202-272-0532
Internet: www.usabmc.com This web site includes information about the purpose, composition, and history of the commission; details about individual ABMC overseas cemeteries; and the names of persons buried at many of their cemeteries.

The following publications can help you find overseas cemeteries:

  • American Memorials and Overseas Military Cemeteries. Washington, D.C.: American Battle Monuments Commission, 1970. (FHL book 973 Al no. 58; FHL film 928257.) Contains descriptions of cemeteries in Europe where Americans are buried who died in World Wars I and II.
  • Nishiura, Elizabeth, ed. American Battle Monuments: A Guide to Military Cemeteries and Monuments Maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission. Detroit: Omnigraphics, Inc., 1989. (FHL book 973 V3am.) Lists the public services offered by the commission plus a directory to their offices. It serves as a guide to cemeteries and memorials for the World Wars.