Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Indiana Veteran Enrollments, 1913-1922: A Hidden Gem

By Ron Darrah

The Indiana State Legislature passed law S. 113 on February 28, 1913 that required every township school trustee in the state to enumerate annually all veterans living in their district. The law was classified as an emergency measure for some unknown reason. This was a year before World War One started and four years before the U. S. entered. What emergency?

For the early years this meant veterans of the Mexican, Civil, and Spanish-American wars, plus anyone who served a term in the Army, Navy, or the Indiana National Guard. The later lists added World War I. The law was canceled in 1922.

The Indiana State Archives has seven 16mm rolls of microfilm containing filmed record cards that the trustees completed and turned in to the state. The cards, arranged alphabetically by county then by township and by year, contain some great information.

Some years are missing for various townships, so perhaps some trustees did not uniformly follow state law. Does that sound familiar?

The cards additionally list the veteran’s age, state from which served, the company, regiment, and battery, and a remarks column with varying notes. All of this information was as of May 1st of each year. The Indiana State Library does not have the film and the State Archives states that the Family History Library does not either.
Sample of a Veterans Enrollment record

(This article by Ron Darrah originally appeared in the IGS June 2010 Newsletter. It has been updated. If you'd like access to more articles like this, join the Indiana Genealogical Society. The newsletter is just one of the many member benefits!)

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