You did not say which state your ancestor lived in either at the time they served in the military or when they were listed in the special state census in 1917. John J. O'Brien's service record may have been destroyed during the fire at the personnel records center in the early 1970's, but pension files were not destroyed and contain a lot more information about a person than the service record. If he lived in Maine at the time of the special census and later, this would be the index entry for his pension application record.
You will need these numbers (including the C # at the bottom) to obtain his pension file, which is at the National Archives in Washington DC. (To request go to https://www.archives.gov/research/order )
It appears that he was in and out of a veteran's home in Maine.
Thank you for your considered response.
My John Joseph O'Brien was born in Ireland, raised in Massachusetts then married and lived in the Connecticut.
I believe is military service would have occurred while he was still unmarried and living in Massachusetts.
By 1917, he was married and living in Connecticut with wife and young son (my dad).
I don't believe the gentleman ever lived in Maine. I have him documented as living in and around Hartford, Connecticut from the time of the birth of his first child (1916) up through his death (1954).
I'm very interested in taking a closer look at the records you posted. Unfortunately, my 'older eyes' cannot make out the text in this samples. Could you possible provide a URL to where I can view the documents a bit larger?
And, if you would. be so kind, where exactly did you find these records? I've never before seen them.
Thanks for your time.
Based on the information that you now have provided, the person that I found records for in Maine, would not be your ancestor, since this person was born in NJ not Ireland. I found these records on Ancestry.com. The service record card you had matches the person who ended up in Maine, so it also did not belong to your ancestor.
I think that you should follow up one the two possible John J. O'Brien's that Jason Atkinson showed in his reply.
The index card that I originally posted (JJ O'Brien / Spanish War / Company E 9th Massachusetts) was actually one of two that I'd thought might be my grandfather. Honestly, I forgot that I had more than one possibility.
The second index card is shown below. If you would be so kind as to instruct me on how you found all that information on the first card I'd posted, I would like to be able to do the same for this card which, I believe, is different even from the two that Mr. Atkinson posted.
Thanks once again for the generosity of your time.
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Dear Ms. O’Connell,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Indexes to the Carded Records of Soldiers Who Served in Volunteer Organizations During the Spanish-American War in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office (Record Group 94). The index card you located can be viewed at OBrien, John Joseph - State: Massachusetts - Regiment: 9 Massachusetts Infantry, Company E. The index card indicates that there should be a Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR) for this soldier in the record series Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Volunteer Organizations During the Spanish-American War in Record Group 94. While some of the records in this series have been digitized and may be viewed through the Catalog, the CMSR for John O'Brien of the 9th Massachusetts Infantry is not yet available online.
These records are in the custody of the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1), which may be contacted via email at Archives1reference@nara.gov. These records were unaffected by the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Missouri. NPRC’s Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs) for Army soldiers only include enlisted personnel discharged from on or after November 1, 1912 and Army officers discharged on or after July 1, 1917. Based on the information you provided, your grandfather would not have had an OMPF at NPRC.
To order records that have not already been digitized, please fill out a NATF Form 86 for the service records and a NATF Form 85 for the pension records referenced by Ms. Brooks and mail the completed forms to the address listed on the form. You may also attach copies of the index cards that you and Ms. Brooks located to expedite the search for the records. Currently the option for online orders using eservices.archives.gov is suspended. For more information see Requesting Copies of Older (pre-WWI) Military Service Records.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. Also, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has suspended non-emergency reproduction and digitization services until further notice due to COVID-19. Orders will not be serviced until operations can resume safely. Once operations resume, document reproduction requests will be filled in the order in which they were received. We apologize for any inconvenience.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
I truly appreciate your time and attention in crafting this response! However, I'm a bit confused. I think you are telling me that my grandfather would NOT have had an Official Military Personnel File at the St. Louis facility. In 2018, I submitted Forms 13075 and 13055 to the NPRC in St. Louis. Below is a scan of the response received by that office, which seems to bear out what you've just told me. However, are you saying that there may be another facility to whom I can write to obtain records information? If so, I will fill out the NATF forms indicated, with the hope that I may hear something back at some point in the future. Kindly confirm that this is the course of action you are recommending. As I get older, I find that I get confused easily! Thank you again for your time.
1 person found this helpful
Dear Ms. O’Connell,
Thank you for posting your follow-up request on History Hub!
Yes, based on his dates of service, his files should be at our DC facility rather than at our St. Louis facility. Therefore, you should submit the NATF forms to the DC facility. They will begin processing these orders when public health conditions permit. We do not yet have a date for when this will happen. Also, keep in mind that they will likely have a significant backlog to go through when they resume operations. Requests will be processed in the order they are received, therefore we advise you to submit the requests soon even if it may be some time until they can be processed.
Something that we should have mentioned in our previous reply is that given that he stated that he served in the Philippines and that he served for 2 years, there is a possibility that he also served in the Philippines Insurrection starting in 1899. We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Indexes to the Carded Records of Soldiers Who Served in Volunteer Organizations During the Philippine Insurrection in Record Group 94 which includes two index cards for soldiers named John J. O’Brien. We are attaching these to our reply. These index cards indicate that there should be a CMSR for these individuals in the Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Volunteer Organizations During the Philippine Insurrection in Record Group 94. These records are also at our Washington, DC facility and are ordered the same way as the Spanish American War records described in our previous reply.
See the articles Sailors, Soldiers, and Marines of the Spanish-American War - The Legacy of USS Maine, Part 2 and Researching Service in the U.S. Army During the Philippine Insurrection for more information about these records.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
Once again, I must thank you profusely for the time and attention to detail spent in crafting your response.
Based on this information, I will pursue submitting the NATF forms to the DC facility with the hope that I may hear something back once operations resume and the backlog is cleared.
If/when I do hear back, I will post a follow-up (assuming that this thread is still available at the time!).
Thanks for all of your good work.