Make a Veteran Pedigree for Veterans Day

Here’s a neat way to honor your military veteran ancestors on Veterans Day: a veteran pedigree chart.

  • You can go back just to the World Wars if you like, or to the Civil War, or to the American Revolution.
  • You can even include foreign military service, if, say, one of your ancestors fought for France or Germany in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.
  • You can use software like Legacy Family Tree or Family Tree Maker to create your pedigree, or you can simply download and print off a blank pedigree chart from Google and write the names in yourself.  For my veteran pedigree, I simply used the “Smart Art” function in Microsoft Word to create a Hierarchy Chart.
  • Chart a full pedigree (which might get kind of cumbersome once you get back to the 4x or 5xgreat grandparents) and highlight the military veterans, or simply make a pedigree with lines only going back to known veterans, as I did, in the example below:

Documenting a Revolutionary War or War of 1812 veteran ancestor is not always a simple task.  There were often men of the same name in the same geographic area, therefore it usually takes some work to confidently verify that your ancestor served in wars that far back.  There are undoubtedly many more veteran ancestors in my family tree, but I just have not yet had the time to look in to every one of the hundreds of branches of my ancestry to verify their service with original sources.  It will be an evolving project, and in years to come, the pedigree will grow larger and longer, as yours can too.

In my ancestry, I currently have:

  • 1 parent who served during the time of the Gulf and Iraq Wars
  • 1 grandparent who served in the Vietnam War
  • 2 great grandparents who served in World War 2
  • 5 known ancestors (three 3xgreat grandparents and two 4xgreat grandparents) who served in the U.S. Civil War (4 on the Union side, and 1 on the Confederate side)
  • 1 known 5xgreat grandparent who served in the War of 1812
  • 8 known ancestors (two 5xgreat grandparents, five 6xgreat grandparents, and one 7xgreat grandparent) who served in the American War for Independence

If you decide to create a military pedigree for Veterans Day, please post a link to yours in the comment section below!

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