The essential guide to Findmypast's global military records

3-4 minute read

By Niall Cullen | April 8, 2021

Findmypast military records

Findmypast has all the historical resources you need to trace your military ancestors and explore their remarkable life stories.

Many of us have family members who served in the armed forces. You may be aware of their military service through family stories from the two World Wars, or memorabilia and photos. Perhaps you want to reveal more about their regiment, rank or role, or where they were active. Maybe you're looking for other ancestors with a military past. Whatever the reason behind your quest for family heroes, with millions of online military records, Findmypast is, without doubt, one of the best places you can come to find them.

This guide shows you the main family records to look for and how to use them to enhance your family tree.

Findmypast's military records

Our armed forces & conflict records are divided into several distinct sub-categories:

Regimental & service records

These records are usually very detailed and can reveal information on your ancestor that you won't find elsewhere.

British Army Service Records can be extremely detailed

British Army Service Records can be extremely detailed.

You can delve into millions of service records from Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Ireland, United States and Canada within this category.

First World War

As most families have a link to the Great War, this record collection is undoubtedly one of our most popular categories. There are over 80 separate record sets from all over the world in this collection. Highlights include the poignant All Australia Memorial, America's World War 1 Draft Registration Cards, Ireland's National Roll Of Honour 1914-1921 and the fascinating WW1 Ships Lost At Sea, 1914-1919.

Second World War

Although many Second World War records are still inaccessible due to privacy laws, there are some resources available on Findmypast that can help fill the gaps in your family's World War 2 story.


Highlights include casualty lists, US enlistments, an Army Roll Of Honour 1939-1945 and our World War 2 Allies Collection. The latter brings all of our Second World War resources together in one giant, easy-to-search record set.

Service records

This category tends to contain service records from specific regiments or ranks including the British Royal Navy, Royal Artillery and the Women's Army, as well records of soldiers and sailors who fought in the American Civil War.

Other wars & conflicts

Our vast military collections feature records from history's most pivotal conflicts including the Korean War, Spanish Civil War, War of 1812, Falklands, Vietnam and the Napoleonic Wars.

Medal rolls and honours

If your military relative was awarded for their bravery, you could find them amongst Britain, Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards or The London Gazette, Supplements August 1914 - January 1920.

Be sure to rummage at home for old medals and family heirlooms. They often give clues on where to look next for your military ancestors.

Civil war & rebellion

This category includes fascinating records from Ireland's tumultuous history of rebellions including Easter Rising & Ireland Under Martial Law 1916-1921 and 1798 Claimants and Surrenders.

Boer Wars

You'll find military collections documenting the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 as well as a useful Anzac collection.


Explore Britain, Enemy Aliens and Internees, First and Second World Wars to find out if your ancestors were suspected of being spies or interned by the British Government during either World War.

How to search military records

You can access Findmypast's military records by logging in to the site, selecting 'Search' on the navigation menu and then 'Armed forces and conflict'.

Search Findmypast military records

From there, you'll be taken to the dedicated armed forces and conflict category search page where you can enter information about your relative and search our vast military resources for their records.

Findmypast military record search

Our search page filters allow you to focus your search on a specific country or on any of the above sub-categories.

Findmypast's world military records

Where will your military discoveries take you? Whether your ancestor died fighting for their country or lived to tell the tale, their sacrifices and bravery deserve to be remembered forever.

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About the author

Picture of Niall Cullen - Content Marketing LeadNiall Cullen