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Research Protocol

Research Protocol: Steps to Answer the Question: Qui Proderant? Who Served?


Getting Started:

Go the spreadsheet, Who Served? VPI Soldiers in the Great War, to find an individual to research. This link will take you to a spreadsheet which can be sorted by name, V.P.I. year, or rank (if available). Select a name that is not being researched by someone else. Add your name and email to the appropriate columns on the spreadsheet. Go to the V.P.I. in World War One: Data Collection survey form, using this link. Enter your name and email. Enter the name of the V.P.I. man, along with V.P.I. year and rank, if available. Using the name and estimated birth year, start researching following the steps listed below. Enter all relevant information into the survey, along with citations and url's as appropriate.

Research Materials:

I. Genealogical Records

Go to the library homepage: www.lib.vt.edu. In Addison, type ancestry.com into the database search box. Open up ancestry.com. Start by searching by name, date of birth, location (Blacksburg), or other event (military service). These searches will likely return many results, so the main challenge is refining the search to find the individual you are researching. Materials relevant to American service in World War One are likely to include: 1) Draft Cards, World War One era 2) The Bugle, the VPI Yearbook (full text searchable) 3) Census records from 1890, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 4) Birth, marriage, and death records 5) Genealogies created by users Use these materials to fill out additional details about the individual, including military service, family relations, life after World War One, and other interesting information.

II. Library of Virginia Database

The World War I HIstory Commission surveyed veterans in the early 1920s. These surveys have been scanned are available from the Library of Virginia at this link. Search by last name. A TIF viewer is needed to view the image files. These surveys provide information on date of birth, parents’ names, dates of service, training camps, service record, and reflection on impact of war experience.

III. Newspapers, from Chronicling America and Library of Virginia

Use the digitized newspapers collections below to search by last name, within date parameters, by event, or by location. Newspapers most relevant to soldiers from V.P.I. could include: Alexandria Gazette: available from Virginia Chronicle Richmond Times available from Chronicling America Big Stone Gap Post available from Chronicling America Clinch Valley News available from Chronicling America Evening Star (Washington) available from Chronicling America World News (Roanoke) available from Virginia Chronicle.

IV. Virginia War Commission Books

Virginians of Distinguished Service in the World War contains an alphabetical list of Virginians earning decorations during the war. Check with the research coordinators to review this book.

Questions? Look for one of the research coordinators at the research events, or send an email to: virginiafirstworldwar@gmail.com.

All done? Add a comment to the site, if you found something interesting about your research subject. Contact one of the research administrators who can add a posting to the site.

Send a tweet using the hashtag #VPIWWI. Start over with a new V.P.I. man who served.