National Genealogical Society

Educational Courses

Introduction to Civil War Research

Craig Roberts Scott, cg*,  is a nationally recognized lecturer, educator, and genealogical and historical researcher with more than thirty years experience and specializes in the diverse military records at the National Archives.

In Introduction to Civil War Records, Craig introduces you to numerous records created for, during, and after the war and provides you strategies to identify and locate information on an ancestor living at the time of the Civil War.

What Will I Learn

In this seven-lesson course, students will learn how to

  • identify an ancestor living at the time of the Civil War;
  • locate information about an ancestor’s Civil War service;
  • locate information about an ancestor’s service unit;
  • understand a Compiled Military Service Record;
  • locate provost marshal records;
  • locate prisoner of war records;
  • understand the pension indexes and application files;
  • compile a post-war record;
  • locate information on death and burial; and
  • locate information on participation in fraternal and lineage societies.

Although using the Internet is not a course objective, this course does include links to websites that are relevant to the lessons. Some of these sites provide research aids, while others illustrate the information that can be found in the records discussed in the lessons.

To learn more about Introduction to Civil War Records, see the course syllabus.

Requirements & Fees

The course consists of lessons, examples, exercises, and self-graded exams that can be viewed or printed on a home computer. Students work independently and check their work with an answer key that immediately follows each self test. This course is available on a PC- or MAC-compatible CD. The tuition is $45.00 for members and $70.00 for non-members. Join today to receive the member price.

Register online for the Introduction to Civil War Research course now.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

All purchases of courses on CD are final. There are no refunds.

Certificate of Completion

Because Introduction to Civil War Records is a self-graded course, no certificate of completion is issued. The National Genealogical Society is not a licensing body, so no formal genealogical credential or accreditation is implied.

Want Something More?

NGS offers genealogists quality training and education. Other selections include:

American Genealogy: Home Study Course: This sixteen-lesson course is available on three CDs. It offers the more experienced genealogist an in-depth independent study course on American records. 

Census Records in Genealogical Research:
Long considered a basic building block for most family historians, federal population schedules provide a wealth of personal information about the family. This study covers individual censuses back to 1790. 

Introduction to Religious Records
Religious institutions provide useful family history resource. This study will discuss the different types of records available for various religious denominations.

Working with Deeds
Genealogists look at land records to solve many difficult relationship problems. This study will help you decipher the type of deeds and the information they contain.


Contact the NGS Course Administrator at

*Certified Genealogist, cg, Certified Genealogical Lecturer and cgl are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists® used by the Board to identify its program of genealogical competency evaluation and used under license by the Board’s associates.

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