Military records kept by the United States government about soldiers and sailors who served their country can be a major source of information about individuals. The four major wars of interest to genealogists are the following:
American Revolution (1775-1783): Approximately one out of every 7 Americans fought in the American Revolution
Civil War (1861-1865): Approximately one out of every 10 Americans fought in the Civil
War World War I (1918-1919): More than 4.8 million served in World War I
World War II (1942-1945): More than 16 million served in World War II
Because of these statistics, it is worthwhile to investigate the possibility that adult males (age 13 and up) who were alive during these wars may have fought in them.