The first thing we learn about federal records is that very few of them are indexed by name. To make progress, we usually need to know the military unit or the federal department involved. But there are so many federal records that the exceptions themselves can be numerous. Sometimes National Archives employees have created helpful name indexes in certain record groups. Here are a dozen online name indexes from records held at the Chicago (Great Lakes) branch. Visit their page of on-line finding aids for more clues as to the wealth of information cached south of Midway Airport.
RG 15, Records of the Veterans Administration
Records of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers and the National Homes Service of the Veteran Administration:
- Records of the Danville Branch, Danville, IL, Sample Case Files of Veterans Temporarily at the Branch, 1918-1932.
- Records of the Marion Branch, Marion, IN. Sample Case Files of Veterans Temporarily at the Branch, 1890-1930
RG 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Lac du Flambeau Agency, Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, Surveys of Indian Industry, 1920-1922
- Mt. Pleasant Indian School and Agency Student Case Files, 1893-1946 (RG 75)
- Tama Agency (Sac and Fox), Tama, Iowa, Surveys of Indian Industry, 1921-1926
RG 85, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
- List of Chinese Exclusion Case Files for District No. 9, Chicago, 1898-1940 (RG 85)
- List of Chinese Exclusion Case Files for District No. 10, St. Paul, 1906-1942 (RG 85)
- Farm Ownership Case Files for Region 2, for Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, 1937-1946 (RG 96)
- Farm Ownership Case Files, Region 3, for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Ohio, 1937-1946 (RG 96)
RG 147, Records of the Selective Service System
- Application by Alien for Relief from Military Service (DDS Form 301), and Alien's Personal History & Statement (DDS Form 304) for Illinois
RG 276, Records of the United States Courts of Appeals
- The Modern Civil Rights Movement: Federal Records in NARA's Great Lakes Region and in Related Archival Institutions, Records of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (RG 276) Note: This finding aids name cases which include names of plaintiffs and defendants.
Harold Henderson, "Name indexes at the National Archives Branch? Sure!," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 23 September 2013 (http://midwesternmicrohistory.blogspot.com : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]