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Researching Family Military History: How to Start

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Wondering what your grandparent or ancestor did during wartime? Which regiment they joined? What their job was? Where they served? What they experienced?

This session explains the research methods, tools and resources used by the Canadian War Museum’s Military History Research Centre to help people learn more about family members by exploring their military service.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 1 p.m. (EST) – In English only (register here)
Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at 1 p.m. (EST) – In French only (register here)

Register on Zoom (In English)

Many genealogical researchers who contact the Museum only have a sliver of information to start with. Most have only a name. Sometimes, there is a bit of family lore. Others may have additional clues — such as a photograph, a uniform, badges and medals, or a piece of military equipment.

Through examples from four time periods — pre-First World War, First World War, Second World War, and post-Second World War — this session demonstrates how to research a family member’s military service and experiences. Attendees will be guided through the types of information they may be able to find for each time period, as well as how to read and understand official documentation and historical records. Official, informal, online and traditional documentation and research resources will all be explored and explained.

If you are looking to enhance what you already know about a family member by exploring their military service and experiences, this session is for you!


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Photo at top of page:
CWM 19860180-031
George Metcalf Archival Collection
Canadian War Museum


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