MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY LAUNCHES VETERANS GRAVE REGISTRATION INDEX ON NOVEMBER 11, 2005

For immediate release

Release dated: 
October 19, 2005
Media contacts: 

Marjorie Nugent, 651-296-9108

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY LAUNCHES VETERANS GRAVE REGISTRATION INDEX ON NOVEMBER 11, 2005

The Minnesota Historical Society will launch a new web site, the Minnesota Veterans Grave Registration Index, on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2005. The index, located at http://people.mnhs.org/vgri will provide a searchable online index to Minnesota veterans’ grave registrations.

The veterans grave registration reports contain significant information of interest to families or military historians. When completely filled out, the reports give an outline of the veteran’s military service, including the date and place of enlistment; serial number, rank and military organizational unit; and the date and place of discharge. In addition to military information, the registration report also includes the deceased’s legal address; date and specific place of birth; and the date, cause and specific place of death. The date and place of burial and the location of the grave also may be listed, and the name, relationship and address of the next of kin is frequently included.

Information contained in the grave registration reports can lead researchers to many other sources of information. Requests to state and federal archives that hold military records can yield greater details about the veteran’s military service. Using the birth and death data, specific searches for official birth and death certificates that may yield more biographical information also can be made.

The bulk of the veterans grave registration reports were compiled by the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department between 1930 and 1969 and cover veterans who died during those years. Some data for veterans who died much earlier, including veterans of the War of 1812 and the Civil War, is also included. The first date listed is 1838, and some reports were submitted as late as 1975.

More than 72,000 records are included in the index, including 15,257 for those buried at Fort Snelling. More than 37,000 veterans listed served in World War I, and nearly 16,000 veterans registered in the index served in World War II. The index is free to search online; copies of records may be purchased online for $8 each. Researchers who come to the library may search the index and print a record themselves for a nominal charge. For more information, visit http://people.mnhs.org/vgri or call the Minnesota Historical Society Library at 651-296-2143 or 1-800-657-3773.

The Minnesota Historical Society Library is located at 345 Kellogg Blvd. W. in St. Paul. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Admission to the library is free.