Saturday, December 27, 2008

Military Markers for ALL Veteran Graves

Logan County has six known Revolutionary War veteran burials, more than two dozen War of 1812 veteran burials and a massive number of Civil War Veteran burials. There are even some Spanish American War veteran burials. Those are just the ones we are aware of. There could be more.

According to new laws of the Veterans Administration, ANY SOLDIER with proven military service can have a free military stone or marker EVEN IF THEY NOW HAVE A PRIVATE MARKER. In 2009 they anticipate having a marker that attaches to the private marker as an option. I couldn't locate a picture and don't know if that is on schedule.

This means Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish American War, etc. vets can have markers if the proper procedure is followed. There are special markers for some pre World War I wars like the Civil War. Confederate graves may also obtain markers.

Detailed information is available at

The form for the marker request is available online. It is not a snap but not terribly difficult either. Proof of service is required. "Service prior to World War I requires detailed documentation, e.g., muster rolls, extracts from State files, military or State organization where served, pension or land warrant, etc."

They want copies of the actual documents which prove service. Often these documents will come from the National Archives.

It appears you do not have to actually be a descendant to request the marker.
This might be a project for the local genealogical and historical societies and/or the Eagle Scouts, to mark all the graves. In a rural county it is not likely to be expensive if you already have copies of the records -- they may already be in local society files or available from a descendant.

Actual copies of Revolutionary War pension records are available at, a subscription service. They also have the Pennsylvania Archives free. Pennsylvania is a state which produced a lot of Revolutionary War vets. Some records are available through which may be free at your local library. There are other sources.

Many Revolutionary War veterans did not receive a pension but they may have used their benefits to buy land. I have not noticed a lot of that in Logan County but it is something to check. Those who bought land using their military benefit are noted in the record book in Springfield.

Both the State of Illinois and the National Archives have Civil War military records and initial land purchase records. The information the state has is online but it appears you will still need a copy of the federal record.

The person who is going to receive the marker, someone local to the area of the cemetery such as the genealogical or historical society, must sign the application. The cemetery must also sign off that they will allow the marker. Someone must pay to install the marker. Neither requirement is a big deal in rural areas like Logan County but could be major in metro areas.

I know in 2009 we are looking for Lincoln but I know where he is and his grave is already quite well marked. Pick a cemetery and mark the early veteran graves.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Most Useful Stone

This stone is not in south Logan County but rather in Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Cook County, Illinois. These people immigrated from southern Italy to Chicago. Anna and Leonardo Mallano married in America. Cesare and Antonia Tristano were married in Italy. They came later. Anna Marie and Cesare were siblings.

It's not an unusual story. It's not that unusual a stone in Chicagoland.

In south Logan County you very rarely see a picture on a stone. When you do the story is generally tragic.

These four are my husband's grandparents. Anna died before he was born. He never saw the others looking so young. He never saw these pictures of his grandparents. The stone with pictures is the only view of his ancestors in their youth.

It makes me wish my ancestors' pictures had been placed on their stones to give a face to their history.

Photo by Kim Kasprzyk