Dayton Soldiers and Sailors Home, written By Flora L. VerStraten - I contacted Carolyn Burns from the Dayton Soldiers and Sailors Home awhile back for records on my great-grandfather, John Barrett. Upon emailing Carolyn at carolynjburns@woh.rr.com for my veteran search, she replied that she had located the records of my great-grandfather. The following is the information given to her to make her search for his records more complete:

  • John Barrett Ė Born 18 December 1842 in Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio. He was married to Harriett Atkinson (of Brooke County, Virginia) 19 April 1864 in Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio. He died 26 December 1912. His parents were John Barrett and Sarah Cole. His Civil War pension file listed him as a private in Co. F. 25th OVI, enlisted by John T. Oliver, at Camp Chase, Ohio 13 June 1861 to serve three years. His declaration of pension was made in Montgomery County, Ohio 20 February 1907, at that time 64 yr. old and a resident of the National Military Home, Montgomery, Ohio. He was honorably discharged August 1, 1862 in Baltimore, Maryland. He died at Dayton, Ohio and his widow is listed as Harriett Atkinson. He is buried in the Steubenville Union Cemetery, St. Paulís Section, and has a Civil War tombstone, a shared headstone with his wife and a GAR marker. He is listed on the 1860 census as 18 yr., no father, living with his mother, Sarah, and 6 other siblings. I have two obituaries, one the week of his death and the other a week after, which was quite lengthy and includes information that there were seven Barrett brothers enlisted in the Civil War.

From that email query, Carolyn located John Barrettís records and photocopied them and sent them to me via U.S. mail. The file includes details of his illnesses and shows him living at the home on two different dates. It also includes his injuries, recovery, and pay he was receiving from his pension. The file included the dates of admission and discharge and most importantly, I was able to finally prove that my great-grandfather resided at the Dayton Soldiers Home just prior to his death and he was buried in the Steubenville Union Cemetery. That was very helpful information because I really never knew if he died at home, at a local hospital, or the Dayton Soldiers Home.

History about the Dayton Soldiers Home, written by Carolyn Burns - I have been a genealogist in the Dayton area for nearly ten years. Long before there was an official web site from the Dayton VA Medical Center, I had done a lot of research on the Soldiers Home and created my own web site, which you will find at http://www.carolynjburns.com/soldiers/index.html. As a result of my digging for records about the Soldiers Home, I found that there was a person on staff at the Dayton VA Medical Center who, according to some sources, "had records."

After much persistence, I finally met Jeff Hull, who was historian at the Dayton VA Medical Center, and he informed me that he had "the records." Still I had never seen these records, so I didnít know if they were books, files, microfilm, etc. Coincidentally, at that same time, Jeff and the Dayton VA Medical Center were trying to launch their own historical web site, now located at http://www.dayton.va.gov.museum/index.cfm.

These are records for the years 1867 Ė 1935. Records beyond 1935 for the Daytonís Soldiers Home were never filmed, nor have I ever been able to find any information beyond 1935. I have been told by numerous sources that records for a period of year in the 1935-1950 time frame were accidentally destroyed. There are three rolls of indexes and 80 rolls of register pages. The indexes are handwritten and are in alphabetical order by the first two letters of the last name (no order beyond that). So searching the indexes is a real challenge. The indexes contain the veteranís name, his unit and regiment, the register page number, and in some rare cases the date of death in a comments column. I cross-reference the register number with a paper index of the 80 rolls to find the correct roll. The register pages themselves, as you have seen from your own example, contain the veteranís military history, his personal information, and his Military Home history, including date of death and burial information if he died in the Home. Some register pages contain a wealth of information while others have very little.
The American Veteranís Heritage Center was created with the mission to "increase awareness of veteransí issues, recognize veteransí contributions, endorse patriotism, promote tourism, and enhance the neighborhood by preserving and developing the Dayton Ohio Veterans Affairs Historic District." The organizationís web site can be found at http:www.americanveteransheritage.org/index.html and their headquarters is located in the Putnam Library, one of the historic buildings that is being preserved.
In the Putnam Library is a card index file of veterans. I am not sure who put this together and what it is ever used for. It is not by any means complete, but I have found that there are veteranís names in this card file for which I can find no register page on the microfilm. These cards contain very little information (name, unit, regiment, and dates of service, pension information).

Dayton Soldiers and Sailors Home link† is -http://www.carolynjburns.com/soldiers/index.html

Contact person†Carolyn Burns - carolynjburns@woh.rr.com for a veteran search.