Library of Congress

American Battlefield Trust Joins Forces with Ancestry® and Fold3® to Help Researchers Uncover Stories of Valor in Their Family Trees

Information regarding specific engagements from the American Battlefield Trust will integrate with records from Ancestry® and Fold3® to offer researchers new insight into the combat experience of past generations

Washington, D.C. – Ancestry® and Fold3® have been helping people understand their ancestors and the individuals who fought for causes large and small for decades. Now, they are joining forces with the American Battlefield Trust so that users can find the veterans in their family’s past and learn about their combat experience’s impact on the generations who followed.

“The American Battlefield Trust is thrilled to work with Ancestry® and Fold3® to help enrich the research being conducted by genealogists, both professional and amateur, around the world,” said Trust President Jim Lighthizer. “Our organizations are committed to offering opportunities to make the past relevant to modern audiences, and together we can now offer a deeper experience than ever before.”

Brian Hansen, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Emerging Businesses, added, “The historical information contributed by the Trust will contextualize the military service records that Ancestry users uncover when exploring the billions of historical records in our networks. This is an exciting step in our ongoing quest to create meaningful connections to the past generations.”

The integration has begun with data centered on the Civil War, and will expand with subsequent datasets related to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. Learn more at

“The Civil War may be the defining narrative in our nation’s history,” said Anne Mitchell with Ancestry. “But it isn’t just a single story — it’s more than three million! Each participant has their own story, one that impacted family, community and all the generations that came after them. Stitched together, these individual stories define who we became as a nation.”

The Trust will build upon the Ancestry® and Fold3® focus on the “who” of a given family tree, adding context as to the “where.” As the nation’s leading heritage land preservation organization, the Trust has protected more than 52,000 acres of battlefield land in 24 states. Its robust website,, offers information about hundreds of important battles fought during America’s first century.

When an Ancestry® or Fold3® user discovered that an ancestor fought in the Civil War, previously they just learned the regiment to which that person was assigned. Now, they will be connected with Trust content integrating information about the places that individual fought.

“It’s one thing to know your ancestor went to war,” said Larry Swiader, the Trust’s chief digital officer, “But something very different to know the battlefields on which they fought — and be able to walk in their footsteps. We want more people to experience the powerful connection of standing in the exact positions defended by their ancestors a century or more ago.”

To showcase the storytelling potential present in this effort, Ancestry has begun supplying a regular column in the Trust’s award-winning membership magazine, Hallowed Ground. Both organizations are also extending special offerings to existing members who join the other entity’s ranks.

About the American Battlefield Trust 
The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 52,000 acres associated with the American Revolution, War of 1812, and Civil War. Learn more at

About Ancestry®
Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, empowers journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. With our unparalleled collection of 24 billion records and over 16 million people in our growing DNA network, customers can discover their family story and gain actionable insights about their health and wellness. For over 30 years, we’ve built trusted relationships with millions of people who have chosen us as the platform for discovering, preserving and sharing the most important information about themselves and their families.