1 Reply Latest reply on Jan 4, 2022 12:26 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking meaning of date on Veterans Administration Master WWI Index

    James Gotcher Newbie

      My ancestor has an enlistment date in 1915 and a discharge date in 1919 in the Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS death file and a "military date" in 1918 in the Veterans Administration Master Index. To what does the military date refer?    Thanks

        • Re: Seeking meaning of date on Veterans Administration Master WWI Index
          Jason Atkinson Guide

          Dear Mr. Gotcher,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Veterans Administration Master Index, 1917 - 9/16/1940? in the Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs (Record Group 15) that include dates such as date of birth, date of enlistment, date of discharge, and date of death. This index has been partially digitized and is available using the Catalog. We also located 4 series of deceased veterans claims files in Record Group 15 that include many of the claim files indexed by the VA Master Index. For information regarding the non-digitized records, please email the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL)  via email at stl.archives@nara.gov.


          Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RL-SL.  We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic. Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information.

          The Master Index is now available in digital form and may be viewed online via Ancestry. There may be a fee for using this service. Instead, please check for access at your local library as many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons. The Master Index is also available with a free account on FamilySearch. For more information, see United States, Veterans Administration Master Index - FamilySearch Historical Records.


          The term “Military Date” is one that is frequently encountered on Ancestry, and may not be original to the records. Please provide us with further information such as the name of the website where you located the record and the name of the person you are researching in order to provide you with further assistance. Also, if you located these records on Ancestry, you may wish to contact them directly to request an explanation of the term.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!