NARA Records for the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Soldiers (RG15)

Have you been watching the recordings of the NARA Virtual Conferences on YouTube?

The Best National Archives Records Genealogists Aren’t Using presentation discussed Record Group (RG) 15, which is the records of the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Soldiers.

From the presentation, I learned that the files for the permanent residents have been retained, and are available from one specific branch of NARA. Some sample folders for temporary residents had also been retained.

Albert H. Tingue had been a temporary resident at the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Soldiers Home in Bath, NY, but he was not a permanent resident. I decided to contact NARA and check what records about him might be available in RG 15.

Here is the timeline of the request and the interactions for those considering contacting NARA about these records.



The first step was to go to the webpage for the Conference Session Schedule with Videos and Handouts.

Veterans Home Case Files were discussed on Day 1 in Session 2. The contact information for the NARA branch that holds the case files for your ancestor’s Veterans Home can be found in Handout 3 of 3.

From the handout, I learned that the National Archives at New York City holds the records for the Bath Home.



I sent the first message with my request.

Dear Archivist,

The 2016 Virtual Genealogy Fair had a presentation about the records in RG 15 for the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Soldiers.

Do you have a case file from the Bath branch of the U.S.National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers for:
Albert H Tingue

Please see the attached for his Bath registry entry from

Is there an online finding aid with an index for these files? I looked for access to a searchable index, but did not find one at:

Sample Case Files of Members, 1878–1933
Veterans Administration. National Homes Service. Bath Branch (Bath,New York).

Sample Case Files of Veterans Temporarily at the Branch,1880–1912
Veterans Administration. National Homes Service. Bath Branch (Bath,New York).

Thank you,
M. M. McMahon

The Bath registry entry from was attached to the e-mail request.



I received an automated response from the National Archives in New York City acknowledging my request.


The Archivist sent an e-mail acknowledging my request.

NARA does have an index for the Sample Case Files of Members, but there was no entry for Tingue.

They do not have an index for the Sample Case Files of Veterans Temporarily at the Branch. The files are a single box, stored offsite, so the Archivist requested that the box be delivered to the New York office. She informed me that when the box arrived, she would search it for a file about Albert Tingue.


I sent the Archivist an e-mail thanking her.

3 / 8 / 2017

The Archivist sent an e-mail with the results of her search of the box of Sample Case Files of Veterans Temporarily at the Branch. Unfortunately, it is a very small sample that contains a few files with names beginning with “A” or “B”. There was no file for Albert Tingue.

3 / 8 / 2017

I sent an e-mail thanking The Archivist for her efforts.


Less than a month after my initial request, an Archivist had searched an index for this ancestor, then had ordered and examined a box held offsite. If she had located a file, she would have informed me of the copying fees. Although NARA did not have retain any records for Albert H. Tingue in RG 15, it proved an interesting effort to learn more about this Record Group.

You can read more about the homes in the NARA Prolog article “Genealogy Notes: The National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.”












RootsTech 2017 Videos and Syllabi

Rootstech 2017 has come and gone, but we can all still enjoy it!

Have you wanted to watch the videos and download the syllabi from RootsTech 2017? Whether or not you attended this year’s RootsTech, watching the videos is educational and the syllabi can be a great resource.

To watch the videos for each day of RootsTech, go to:

You can also switch between the days by using the menu in the upper right corner of the webpage.

(2016 videos can be found at:

The syllabi are not posted on the RootsTech website; you will need to use an app to access them. The good news is that will stay available indefinitely on that app. The better news is that you can view the app on a webpage:



Click on Conference Schedule. From there, you can browse by Day or by Track.



After you select the way you want to view the sessions, you will see the lists of sessions.

Look at the star next to the title of the class. If there is a PDF icon to the right of the star, then the speaker did provide a syllabus for the class.



Click on the arrow to the right to view the information for the session and scroll to the bottom. At the bottom is a Resources section, you will see the “Handouts”. Click on the arrow next to Handouts to view the titles of the handouts.



Click on the title and the PDF opens up. You can read, print or save the handout (syllabus).



If there is more than one handout, use the browser’s back arrow to repeat the process, clicking on the second handout.



When I wrote to the folks at RootTech tech support, they responded that the handouts (syllabi) will be posted online soon. But you do not have to wait until they are!



National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

Are you looking for an easy way to learn about using the National Archives? Would you like to know more about researching your genealogy at NARA?

The 2016 National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair has come and gone, but the videos have been posted on YouTube, and the handouts are still available. You can learn directly from NARA personnel in the videos and have the handouts for reference.

Check out the 2016 National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair webpage for the topics and links to the videos and handouts. You can follow the links on that page to watch presentations from both days on YouTube.



You can also download the handouts.

But wait…there’s more! You can access the videos and handouts for the 2015 Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair.

From that webpage you can follow the links to view the Sessions Videos and Handouts. This page also contains links to information about the 2013 and 2014 Virtual Genealogy Fairs.

So, check out the presentations and attend sessions from a NARA Virtual Genealogy Fair right in your own home!



Family History Outing: U.S.S. Midway

If you have a U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps ancestor, the chances are he or she may have spent some time on an aircraft carrier. They might have been stationed on, landed on, refueled, resupplied or protected a carrier.



Touring the U.S.S. Midway Museum in San Diego, CA, brought some of our family’s history to life.
Our family has some carrier history. In addition to having an uncle and cousin who served on carriers, my husband landed on one.



My husband was a Naval Aviator in the USMC, flying A-4s. His service included qualifying to land on carriers. My son had seen videos, pictures and models of the A-4. Seeing a real one on the deck of the Midway was much more real. It was a chance for my husband to show him around the plane and put context to the stories of getting into the airplane without a ladder.



The experience included standing on a flight deck and climbing up to stand on vulture’s row, and sitting in the chairs occupied by the air boss and commanding officer.



The launch officer signals when to fire the catapult to send an accelerating aircraft from the deck.



The hangar deck was full of airplanes; airplane cockpits and ejection seats to sit in; and exhibits to explore.

The carrier is a city at sea. In addition to the sleeping accommodations from the lowest ranked seaman to the captain, the walking tour takes you through the chapel, medical offices, laundry, galley, eating messes and gedunk (ship store).

My cousin died on July 29, 1967 in the fire on the U.S.S. Forrestal (CV-59). He was one of the fifty men who died in the berthing space immediately below the flight deck. They had participated in night operations and had been given permission to sleep in. He was assigned to VF-11. He died in the berthing spaces, while he slept. You can view a Virtual Wall: A Memorial to the men who died in the Forrestal fire .
As part of my systems engineer certificate training, the video of the fire on the carrier’s deck was required viewing.



This berthing can be contrasted with where the Captain sleeps.




Strategy to make the most of your trip:

  • Research your U.S. Navy ancestors
  • Know their ranks
  • Learn their jobs on the carrier
  • Visit all the locations, but be sure to identify and photograph typical berthing, where they ate and worked
  • Share what you learned with your family in pictures, a pdf document or web page










Sales on DNA Tests and Our Books

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you have been waiting to do your Autosomal DNA, now may be the time! The atDNA tests are on sale. (I have not seen a Black Friday price for 23andMe, and although the database is large, it may be that the other people in it may be more focused on the health aspect of the testing rather than genealogy.)

Family Tree DNA Holiday Sale

The annual Family Tree DNA Holiday Sale is offering the Family Finder/Ethnic Percentages for $59. They are also offering  bundles that combine Family Finder and Y-DNA and mitochondrial tests. Holiday Sale

The Ancestry Insider Blog ( gives details about the test being on sale for $69 from 25 November to 28 November 2016. From 29 November to 14 December 2016 they are offering it for $89.

When Choosing A Company

Here are some things to consider when choosing a company for autosomal DNA testing

Testing at

  • The database has over 2,000,000 people (23andMe has 1,000,000 and FTDNA has almost 830,000)
  • You can attach your results to your tree
  • You can see your matches, but you cannot examine the details of the individual matching chromosomes
  • While you can transfer your results from to FTDNA, there is a fee to see the matches

Testing at Family Tree DNA:

  • The tools at FTDNA to see chromosomes are good
  • You can upload your family tree to the website

No matter where you test:

  • Consider transferring your results to to match with people who have tested elsewhere
  • GEDMatch has good tools for chromosome data

Our Books are on Sale for Black Friday / Cyber Monday

Our books “A Week of Genealogy” and “A Weekend of Genealogy” are on sale for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. To receive a 25% discount, use the links at and remember to use code 44RZVNZD when you check out.

A Week of Genealogy on Facebook

To get more frequent updates, please like our Facebook Page. Check it out at:

Get Your Irish Civil Records Online!

If you have Irish ancestors, you need to be using the Civil Records at This website will be a major boon to your research. Using this website, I was able to look up and download records that would have cost quite a bit to order from overseas.

The Civil Records that are online are:

  • Births: 1864 to 1915
  • Marriages: 1882 to 1940
  • Deaths: 1891 to 1965

A good place to start is the page about the Civil Records:




To search, go to




Give the simple search form a try. In fact, I found this form to be the most useful.

The first thing I did was to download the images for my Grandfather’s and his siblings birth records. I knew the Civil Registration District/Office, and their dates of birth. The children were born between 1882 and 1902.

When you begin to type into that field a drop down menu appears. You can always leave that field blank to search all the counties.




After pressing the Search button, I had to check a box to prove that I was not a robot.

Then I had to give my name to search the archives.




When I used 1894 with no end to the range, the results ranged from 1894 through to the last year of the database.




The records before 1900 did not have the Mother’s Birth Surname indexed. From 1900 on, the search results show the Mother’s Birth Surname.

You can select “More search options” to use additional search options.

The additional search options restrict the search.




I clicked on the result that was my Grandfather’s.




I clicked on the image button to see the whole page of the register.




My Grandfather was listed as entry number 59. The section on the right was used for comments in other entries.




For one of his siblings there was an image of the record, and the certified record.

Then I downloaded his Mother’s birth record.

Next came his parent’s marriage record. For the end of the session, I downloaded the death record for his Father and Sister.


A Broader Search

For some ancestors, their county of birth is not yet known. I left the District/Registration field blank. I can now search each record to see if I could find the ancestor.




I knew the ancestor’s mother’s name from her death certificate, so I searched a timeframe around her birth year. There were two birth records that matched the mother’s name. One of those two had a father’s name that matched the name of one of her sons. However, he son’s father had the same name, so it is not firm evidence.




There is more work to be done, but this is a good lead. I am going to review my atDNA test results to see if any clues are hiding in the matches.

An interesting article by John Grenham can be found here:

Give this a try, and let me know how you do!