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South Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society: Researching Pennsylvania’s Civil War Draft Records
March 5, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Researching Pennsylvania’s Civil War Draft Records
Presented by Jonathan R. Stayer, President, South Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
Although thousands of men from Pennsylvania served in the Civil War, many others had no military service during that conflict. Some even purposely avoided service for religious or other reasons. Nevertheless, most males between the ages of 18 and 45 living in the Commonwealth between 1862-1865 were subject to conscription at some point. The resulting draft records can provide additional documentation of an ancestor’s life during that period. From a researcher who has been immersed in these records for almost forty years, learn about the implementation of the state and federal Civil War drafts and the records they produced. This program will review the available sources and provide suggestions for accessing them to uncover hidden details about your nineteenth-century ancestors.
Retired from the Reference Section of the Pennsylvania State Archives, Jonathan Stayer is the president of the South Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, and he is a member of the boards of the York County History Center and of the Friends of Camp Security. A direct
descendant of Civil War conscientious objector Adam Stayer of Bedford County, PA, he has been researching Pennsylvania’s Civil War conscientious objectors for almost forty years. In the spring of 2022, he received a Kreider Fellowship from the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College to study the questionable claim of the Brethren in Christ denomination that it registered as a Peace Church during the Civil War in response to the Union draft. More recently, the Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, Wesleyan Studies at Messiah University, Grantham, PA, awarded him a Sider Grant to continue his research on this topic.
Attorney Richard K. Konkel is Vice President of the South Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society.