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Research Tip #22

War Service Records and Searches

Military records in the New York State Archives document the service of many New Yorkers who served in state and federal armed forces during conflicts prior to World War II. The records contain summary data on military service, usually taking the form of financial claims, summary cards, registers, or one-page abstracts. The Archives holds no military case files (service, pension, or bounty land warrant) like those created by the federal government.

The New York State Archives will search selected record series for documents relating to the war service of a named individual. The Archives searches only those record series that are accessible by name and comprehensive in their coverage. The amount of service information available varies according to the war. You can request a war service search by printing out and mailing a War Service Records Request Form. You must send one form for each name to be searched. For each search request you must enclose a separate check or money order for the appropriate amount.

For a complete description of records, arranged by conflict, that State Archives staff will search, see the War Service Records and Searches page on the State Archives website.