Memorial Day in the United States, a time when many people will visit the graves of those you have passed. As part of this families will place flags on the graves of those who served the country in the Armed Forces. This event may be the first time that the younger members of families learn about their ancestors and hopefully they will be copying the information as a foundation of their own genealogical journey.
It is very timely that FamilySearch has recently updated a database that will help provide additional information to the headstone itself. That database, United States Headstone Applications for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1949, includes the images, which have been indexed, of over 621,000 applications. These applications were received by the Cemetery Division of the Quartermaster General and are now held at the National Archives.
The more recent applications, such as the one below for Maurice Cohen, tend to give a little more information than the earlier ones. However, because of the years involved it is possible to search for the families in the Federal Census records. While relationships are not given, the applicant is usually a family member. That combined with the address of the applicant and the name of the cemetery may help identify them in other records.
Below is the application, dated 14 Aug 1934 for Moses Cohen who died on 19 Feb 1934. This earlier application lacks a couple of pieces of information that are on the later applications. Both give the name, date of death and cemetery where the burial will be, however the earlier application is missing the date of birth and the date of enlistment.
These records can be a great way to find out more about our ancestors who served their country and the headstones provide a nice tribute to their service. May we all take a moment and remember our loved ones and their heroic service.