Researching Your World War I Ancestors

Researching Your World War I Ancestors

Course Overview

Researching Your World War I Ancestors introduces you to numerous records created for, during, and after the war. You will learn strategies to identify and locate information about ancestors living at the time of the war. The course includes how to find sources of information and records about the organization of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, which will help to trace a soldier’s unit’s activities during the war.

Author: Craig Roberts Scott, CG, FUGA
Prerequisites: None
Course: Online, cloud based
Price: NGS Members $60 Non-members $85

Course Description

This course will teach you how to use a pedigree chart and other sources of information to identify an ancestor who served in the war. You will learn how to locate an ancestor’s serial number, units, and personnel records, including for those who served in the US Army divisions, American Expeditionary Forces, the US Navy, and the Red Cross. It includes instructions on how to request an Official Military Personnel File. Additionally, it explains how to locate and obtain copies of death and burial records, including burial in US military cemeteries.

The course is divided into ten modules, which include readings, web links, and self-correcting quizzes as well as a reading and reference list. A full syllabus is provided to course registrants. The course modules are as follows.

  • Module 1—Read Me First
  • Module 2—Introduction to World War I Research
  • Module 3—Army Organization
  • Module 4—Identify an Ancestor Living at the Time of the First World War
  • Module 5—Locate Information about the Service of an Ancestor in the First World War
  • Module 6—Locate and Understand the Records of Units that Were Created during the War
  • Module 7—Serial Numbers and Unit Identification
  • Module 8—Tracing a Soldier’s Unit’s Activities in France
  • Module 9—Obtaining Copies of World War I Personnel Records
  • Module 10—Locate and Understand Death and Burial Records in both the Service and Post-Service

About the Author

Craig Roberts Scott, CG, FUGA, 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.


Continuing Genealogical Studies Members Non-Members
Researching Your World War I Ancestors $60 $85
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Since the online courses under the Continuing Genealogical Studies category are cloud-based, you can take the course from home or anywhere at any time. You need either a computer or tablet with an internet connection to access the lessons, examples, exercises, and quizzes. No software or material is loaded onto your computer or tablet.

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NGS grants a license to an individual to take the course shown above. This grants the individual a personal, nonexclusive, nontransferable right to the course materials for that student’s personal educational use only. All students work independently.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Course?

The Continuing Genealogical Studies series courses have no set time or date for attendance. These online courses are geared toward individuals who have schedules that are varied and may include work, volunteer, and personal demands. You prioritize your time management and your learning, so your course work can be scheduled at your own pace.

Upon registration, you have access to the course for six months from the date of registration. If you need extra time, a one-time extension of three months is granted by contacting the NGS Course Administrator.

When Can I Start the Course?

Within three business days, you receive two separate emails, one that confirms your registration and one that provides log in instructions.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

All purchases of courses are final. No refunds or credits are available.


Here is a link to the Continuing Genealogical Studies: FAQs. If you have further questions, please contact the NGS Course Administrator.