Search Historical Documents & Records

(1789 - 1994)

Search this exclusive multi-volume record archive of government documents to flesh out your ancestor's life, especially where it coincided with the U.S. federal government.

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"We used this database to prove our ancestor, Captain William York, was a Revolutionary Soldier. Forming his own Troop of Horse, he was, initially, said to be a “mercenary”, but after being denied his pension in 1832, he asked his congressman to pursue it. After William's death in 1827, his son, Josiah Cowan York, kept this request alive, and it was finally approved in 1860. My cousins and I almost screamed when I found the page where the “heirs of Captain William York” are approved for his pension."
Diane Stark Sanfilippo
"Recently I was contacted by someone who had seen a photo I posted online. The photo was of a WWI unit, then stationed at Camp Crane prior to being sent to France. His grandfather was in that unit, though not in the photo. In the course of our correspondence, I offered to see if I could find anything on and searched for his ancestor. Turned out the man had written home telling of his experiences with life at Camp Crane and the letter had been posted in the local paper. It was a treasure trove for the grandson, who is writing a book about his grandfather's war-time experiences, but also for me as the details are likely very similar to what my own grandfather knew."
Kay King
"I subscribed to your site yesterday and forthwith found a very interesting 4th of July article concerning my Revolutionary War patriot ancestor. What a great find!"
Nancie Brunk

Historical Documents & Records Archive

At some point your genealogy journey may require you to access to historical documents closely tied to the Federal government itself. Was your ancestor a decorated military member, what wars did they serve in? Search U.S. historical documents in our online archives. Research your American military ancestry, family war history, and more with thousands of U.S. government documents including:

  • U.S. military records
  • Pension records including:
    • Revolutionary War pension records
    • Civil War pension records
    • World War I & World War II pensions
  • Widows' Claims
  • U.S. government land grants
  • New! Historical maps including:
    • Old land & property maps
    • Military & war battle maps
    • Burial & cemetery maps
  • U.S. Congressional serial sets
  • American state papers

All of this information is searchable using GenealogyBank’s database of historical documents and military records online. If your ancestor had major interactions with the U.S. government in these or most capacities, we can help you find out. And with that information your ancestry search goes to a whole new level of narrative and enriches your family tree with more than just dates. Uncover the stories which shaped your ancestors and your family to help preserve the legacy that you and you family want to carry forward.