Do you have ancestors who served as officers in the U.S. Navy between 1829 and 1924? Come explore Fold3’s collection of Naval Officers Service Records!
This collection is composed of abstracts of individual officers’ naval service, covering the dates February 1829 to July 1924. Officers’ records are included in this collection if their service in the Navy (from earliest commission to end of service) roughly falls between these dates
There are 38 volumes, arranged by time period. Within each volume, organization is chronological by date of appointment. There is also an index, which lists the officers in alphabetical order by last name and provides the volume and page number on which that individual’s information can be found.
Many officers’ service record abstracts span several pages, though the number of pages often depends on the length of their service. Their abstract information is recorded on a form entitled “Record of Officers, U.S. Navy.” This form contains columns for date of service, name of officer, time devoted to sea service or unemployed, and remarks, though not all forms have these columns filled out. However, the forms do reliably list a date and a description for milestones and events in an officer’s career, including appointments, orders, promotions, leave, retirement, and more. It also includes the individual’s birth and death dates, if known.
These service record abstracts can provide a wealth of information about the officers listed. An example of a typical form is that of Martin Augustus Anderson, who served from his appointment to cadet engineer in 1877 until he was relieved from active duty in 1919 at the age of 62. His service record abstract is 5 pages long and lists the dates and details for the ships he served on, his other assignments, his promotions, the leave he took, and more. We also learn from the abstract that he died in 1926 in Washington DC from a cerebral hemorrhage. In the remarks section of the form, his next of kin and address are listed.
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