New Military Burials Feature Lincoln, Custer, a Well-Disguised

New Military Burials Feature Lincoln, Custer, a Well-Disguised Jilted
Lover and More Than 100 Years of History and Remembrance Partners With U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and
National Archives and Records Administration to Create a New
Collection of Online Military Burial Ledgers and Headstone
PROVO, UT -- (Marketwire) -- 11/09/12 --  Going beyond name, rank and
regiment, a new collection of military burial registers on provides insight into some of America's greatest
historical figures -- including Abraham Lincoln, General Custer and
others dating to the Civil War. The online, searchable collection
launches today courtesy of a partnership between, the
world's largest online family history resource, and the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the National Archives and
Records Administration (NARA). 
"These began as around 60 amazing, handwritten burial registers --
more than 9,000 pages of American heroes, where they are buried and
other details," says Dan Jones, Vice President of Content for "And today they can be searched by individual names and
viewed online on, allowing family historians everywhere
greater insight into the military experience of ancestors as well as
notable personalities."  
Highlights of the collection include: 

--  President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln's honorific entry in an Arlington
    National Cemetery register is framed with a hand-drawn black border.
    Under cause of death it reads "Assassinated; pistol shot by John
    Wilkes Booth the ball entering 2 inches below and behind the left ear
    and lodged in the brain."
--  General George Armstrong Custer. Custer is among those officers "taken
    up on Custer's battleground" and brought to Fort Abraham Lincoln by
    steamer in 1877. Custer's brother Thomas and brother-in-law James
    Calhoun, who were killed at the Little Big Horn, are in the collection
    as well.
--  Captain Charles William "Charley" Paddock, USMC. Paddock, winner of
    the gold medal in the 100 meter at the 1920 Summer Olympics, and whose
    1924 Olympic appearance was portrayed in the movie Chariots of Fire,
    died in a World War II plane crash near Sitka, Alaska, where 
he is
--  Vivia Thomas. According to legend, Thomas was a jilted fiance who
    left home to exact revenge on an army officer who broke off their
    engagement. Thomas traveled west dressed as a man and joined the army
    at Fort Gibson, her ex-fiance's post. She eventually shot and
    killed him, before dying herself. When the soldiers of Fort Gibson,
    who knew her as Private Thomas, learned of the story, they honored her
    courage by interment in the cemetery Officers' Circle.

From the 1860s until the mid-20th century, in some places, U.S. Army
personnel tracked burials at national cemeteries and military posts
in registers that included name, rank, company/regiment, date and
cause of death, age, grave number, and original place of burial in
the case of re-interments. The U.S. Army was responsible for all
national cemeteries from the 1860s until the early 1930s, and they
were responsible for depositing most burial registers at NARA. In
1973, the Army transferred 82 national cemeteries to what is now VA,
where the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) oversees them. 
Concerned for the fragility of these documents and wanting to expand
public access to the contents, NCA scanned about 60 handwritten
ledgers to produce more than 9,344 pages of high-quality digital
images. Then in 2011, NCA initiated a partnership with
to index the ledgers so users can search them easily. At no cost to
the government or taxpayers, spent close to 3,000 hours
indexing NCA's ledgers records to make them searchable by name. 
The ledgers are one of two new collections, U.S. Burial
Registers, Military Posts and National Cemeteries, 1862-1960 and U.S.
Headstone Applications, 1925-1963, both launching for Veterans Day
2012. More than 500,000 individuals are included in these records. 
"We are excited to be able to share this wealth of primary
documentation," said VA's Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Steve
L. Muro. "With the help of, we have opened the doors to
thousands of service members' histories through the information
contained in these burial ledgers." 
The partnership supports NCA's commemoration of the
Civil War 150th anniversary (2011-2015). More than 72 of NCA's 131
national cemeteries originated with the Civil War. More than 3.7
million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict --
from the Revolutionary War to the Global War on Terror -- are buried
in VA national cemeteries in 39 states.  
About Inc. (NASDAQ: ACOM) is the world's
largest online family history resource, with approximately 2 million
paying subscribers. More than 11 billion records have been added to
the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than
40 million family trees containing approximately 4 billion profiles.
In addition to its flagship site, offers several
localized Web sites designed to empower people to discover, preserve
and share their family history. 
For media inquiries:
Heather Erickson
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