Discovering Joseph Eschenlohr: How Linking Records Illuminated a Life

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During the U.S. Civil War, thousands of immigrants served in the military, many receiving pensions upon discharge from service. The Bureau of Pensions kept extensive service records, which are now held at the National Archives and Records Administration, and those records now serve as popular resources for research, particularly genealogical research. However, many soldiers, both immigrants and U.S.-natives, moved overseas, leaving behind a paper trail which can be traced if one knows where to look. This project examines records from four National Archives records groups which document the life of Joseph Eschenlohr, a German-born immigrant to the U.S. who served in the Union army during the Civil War and later returned to his home in Alsace, to examine how linking metadata can help archivists maximize the discoverability of historic records, both to the benefit of the institution and the public.


MARAC Spring 2018 Hershey, PA poster presentation