Documentation CSA Ancestor & Joining SCV
After my recent post on SHNV concerning the requirements and procedures for documenting a Confederate ancestor and joining SCV, I have received several requests for assistance. The information posted below explains the procedure I use to document a Confederate Ancestor so that one may join SCV.
Documentation of Confederate Ancestor and Joining the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) Organization
A male descendant age 12 or older can join the SCV (Sons of Confederate Veterans) organization upon documentation and proof of an ancestor who was a Confederate veteran. He may join under a direct line (example-great great grandfather) or a co-lateral line (example-a brother of your great great grandfather who was a great great great uncle) by documenting CSA (Confederate States of America) military service.
When I document a Confederate ancestor for a person to join SCV I get info. on their parents, grandparents or great grandparents (names, exact or approximate birth and death dates, places of residence etc.) in 1930.
Then I find these individuals on the 1930 Federal U.S. census (the latest available to the public) and trace back 10 years at a time to 1860. As you search backwards an ancestor (example-Great grandfather) may be an adult in 1930 and a child or younger person in 1900 who may be still at home with his parents. Then you take the parents name and go backwards until you find him or her listed as a child perhaps 1880 or 1870 and you get the names of his or her parents and find them on an 1850 or 1860 census. Be aware that spelling of names, age, etc. sometimes varies from census to census and census takers sometimes missed individuals or families who were moving to a different location etc.
Unfortunately the 1890 census burned and is not available. I check the names of all males that are of age to be CSA soldiers in 1850 and 1860 against the CSA records. Your number of ancestors doubles with every generation as you go backwards (example-2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents and on & on). So I usually find one or more CSA ancestors from both the father’s and mother’s several family lines.
You have to pay and join one of the genealogy sites like ancestry.com or archives.com (the lowest cost) to have access to the U.S. Federal Census records.
Basic Confederate records (name, Regiment, Company) by state can be accessed by anyone at no cost. Do a Google search on a computer–enter "Soldiers and Sailors System National Park Service". Then open that NPS site and click on soldiers. Select Confederate then enter a surname and you can select a state or view a listing by surname and first and middle names or initials for all CSA states. The names of CSA soldiers are listed alphabetically A thru Z. There is some duplication because soldiers sometimes changed regiments. This site has about 6 million total names (more than actually existed due to duplication) for CSA and Union soldiers. Also some soldiers had the same first or middle names and/or initials. On common names like Smith etc. there are often many soldiers with the same or similar names so it is often impossible to tell which one was your CSA ancestor that you are searching for. Sometimes already knowing the state, county, city or town, your ancestor was from and the regiment an ancestor was in solves this dilemma.
Since CSA records involving discharge, parole, surrender etc. during the confusion at the time of surrender are often unavailable, inaccurate, or unknown, I deem the documentation of the CSA ancestor’s name and regiment as sufficient proof to join SCV in my camp.
Some complete CSA military records for a soldier are available from other sources such as Fold3 and national and state archives. Also some post war CSA state pension applications can provide greater details of a soldier’s service. The CSA infantry and artillery records are more complete than cavalry records.
SCV members receive the national magazine The Confederate Veteran" every 2 months. Members of the Georgia SCV Division also receive a newspaper "The Georgia Confederate" every 2 months. Most camps also send a camp newsletter to members every month. A member also receives a color SCV certificate suitable for framing that includes the members name and his ancestors name, regiment, and company with the SCV emblem at the top.
The 3 primary purposes of SCV is 1.-preserve the memory of CSA enlisted men and officers, 2.-preserve CSA graves, monuments, historical markers, battle sites, flags, artifacts, mementos, and place new monuments and markers, and 3.-present the history, heritage, and culture of the Old South, the Confederate war years, and post-war reconstruction accurately. Since the victor of a war writes the history that which is presented in American history is at best a highly biased New England perspective and at worst no more than Yankee lies and propaganda.
The National SCV, State SCV Divisions, and many local SCV camps host one or more of the following events–a yearly Lee-Jackson Banquet, a yearly CSA memorial service, Christmas Banquet, CSA balls, CSA grave headstone decorations, erections, dedications, placement of CSA flags, and other events and some SCV members participate in reenactments. The national SCV and many SCV state divisions have annual reunions.
Anyone who meets the requirements to join SCV may join their local camp, national headquarters camp, or my Albany Georgia camp. Those who have no Confederate ancestor may join my camp as an associate member with all benefits except voting rights. The SCV organization currently has approximately 30,000 members, the majority in Southern states with a limited number in Northern and Western states and Europe.
James W. King
SCV Camp Commander Albany Georgia
Col. Thomas M. Nelson-Nelson’s Rangers Camp 141