by Kristin Battestella
Many armchair researchers have become interested in ancestry and family trees thanks to the increasingly available access to genealogical resources, and the Freedom of Information Act can be valuable source for obtaining a relative’s military records. Several years ago, we requested my grandfather Anthony L. Battestella’s file– a surprisingly easy process, yielding a boon of research.
Here are a few tips to begin your research through the Freedom of Information Act.
Have as much of your family member’s information as possible.
The mail-in request form from the National Archives includes not only the basics such as name or maiden name, birth date, and address, but also social security number and military information such as branch and time of service. Simply writing ‘World War II’ or ‘Korea’ is too broad a search. Just listing ‘Army’ or ‘Marine’ is also too basic, especially when the branches have changed. Relatives must also realize such generic hear-tell may also be incorrect, and not being specific may lead to…