When this genealogist thinks of military cemeteries overseas, the first one that comes to this RecordClick ancestry researcher’s mind is the Normandy American Cemetery not far from Bayeux, France. This is the final resting place for 9,387 servicemen who gave their lives during World War II.
The Normandy American Cemetery—on 172 acres– is an impressive place. Yet, a genealogist and other researchers, historians, family members as well as the general public must remember that this cemetery isn’t the only overseas location where our American veterans rest. There are 25 permanent America military cemeteries on foreign soil where over 200,000 military personnel have found their final resting places. There are also 27 federal memorials, monuments and markers in overseas cities and towns where our soldiers and sailors are remembered.
The job of caring for the graves and memorials is the responsibility of the American Battle Monuments Commission. It is also this Commission’s goal to remind us aboutn these individuals were and of the circumstances surrounding the deaths. The American Battle Monuments Commission website should be bookmarked by the genealogist. This web site is well organized for use by the genealogist. There is information on this Commission, its history and responsibilities here. Pictures and histories of the cemeteries and monuments are included. There is also the story behind the creation of each of these important burial and memorial locations.
The categories on this website’s home page show the genealogist the important information that is accessible there:
- About Us
- Cemeteries and Memorials
- Search ABMC Burials
- News and Events
- Learning and Resources
For this genealogist, I will take the a brief look at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France as an example. Located just east of the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon about 26 miles northwest of Verdun, this cemetery is near the site of 47 days of heavy fighting that began in September 1918. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was one of the most significant in American history. More than 14,000 Americans died in the conflict and are buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.
On the the American Battle Monuments Commission website, information is provided about each serviceman who is buried here, including those listed on memorials as missing in action.
The information that the genealogist will find includes:
- Military information, branch and unit
- Entered the service from
- Service #
- Date of Death
- War or conflict. This can include Korea and Vietnam.
- Buried, cemetery and grave location
- Military awards
The American Battle Monuments Commission website is good for the genealogist as well as the person who might be planning a trip to Europe. Both will find military history and maps of the various major battle sites near the cemeteries and monuments. The many sites are well maintained and help visitors learn about the events and the people involved in these conflicts.
Now that you know about the vast military information treasures, you can have a professional genealogist from RecordClick search the world’s military records, the National Archives and at the many repositories that house documents on your ancestors’ special stories.