Casefile Clues

02 November 2011

Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010

Ancestry.com released on their website today Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010.

The screen shot below is the result screen for a search on my Grandmother's brother, Edward Habben.


It appears the bulk of these veterans are from World War II, but the database does contain other entries.

Entries for career men probably contain more detail--the image that follows is for my Grandpa Neill's brother, Herschel.



The Ancestry.com site provides the following information about the

Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010

This database contains information on about 8.3 million men and women who enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. While this database contains information on the majority of the men and women who served in the Army during this war, it is not complete and does not represent the entirety of the U.S. Army servicemen. Information found in this database comes from the WD AGO Form 317 (used from 1941-45), WD AGO Form 372 (used from 1945-46), and Enlisted Reserve Corps Statistical cards.
Information included in this database about includes:
  • Name of enlistee
  • Army serial number
  • Residence (county and state)
  • Place of enlistment
  • Enlistment date
  • Grade
  • Army branch
  • Component
  • Term of enlistment
  • Birthplace
  • Year of birth
  • Race and citizenship
  • Height and weight*
  • Education
  • Marital status
  • Box and reel number of the microfilmed records
Please note that not all of this information may be available for each individual.
*Some enlistment cards included fields for height and weight. However, sometimes these fields were used to indicate Military Occupational Specialty or other items, instead of the person's actual height and weight. Regardless of its intended purpose, the data that was entered into these fields on the cards, is displayed in the height and weight fields in this database. This is because it is unknown in which cases the data was actually meant as height and weight and in which cases it was not. It is up to the researcher to determine this.