Located in the Sycamore Public Library
103 E. State Street
Sycamore, IL 60178

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Certificate of Burial of U. S. War Veterans

This is a collection of certificates required by the State of Illinois and issued by the County Clerk for U. S. War Veterans who died in DeKalb County.  The intent of the State was,  "to provide for the registration of burial places of soldiers and sailors serving in all United States Wars and for locating such burial places and reporting them to the Federal Government and transporting to such burial places and setting up headstones provided by the Federal Government".  The collection is not complete.  The information on the certificates is similar to that information on a death certificate. 

Click here to see sample and list of names.

Soldiers of the War Of 1812 Buried in DeKalb County

HistoryCentral.com describes the War Of 1812 as "one of the forgotten wars of The United States". The war lasted for over two years, and  while it ended much like it started; in stalemate; it was in fact a war that once and for all confirmed American Independence. The offensive actions of the US failed in every attempt to capture Canada. On the other hand, the British Army was successfully stopped when it attempted to capture Baltimore and New Orleans. There were a number of American Naval victories in which American vessels proved themselves superior to similarly sized British vessels. These victories coming after victories in the Quasi War (an even more forgotten war) launched American Naval traditions. 

Papers of Civil War Soldiers from DeKalb County

This is a collection of papers related to an individual's service in the Civil War.  The collection includes receipts, enlistment papers, discharge papers or general correspondence of some other sort.  Some of the papers are written in the hand of the commanding officer or soldier and may contain the soldier's signature. Copies are available. 
Click here to request a copy.

Grand Army of the Republic Potter Post No. 12 Pictures

Potter Post No. 12 was the name given the DeKalb County branch of an organization of survivors of the Civil War.  The Potter Post assembled a collection of photographs of it's members in 1892.  These photographs were originally on the rotunda wall of the Sycamore Public Library.  Obituaries and other historical information have been added to the collection.  Information about the individual careers, locations and ancestors of these men is also included in this collection. 

Click here to see the list of names.

Grand Army of the Republic Potter Post No. 12 Reunion Encampment Database

After the Civil War had ended and the soldiers who survived the war had gone home, some of these veterans began to miss the friendships and camaraderie that they had shared during the war. Veterans’ clubs began to spring up all around the country. Many were local and most did not last very long, but a few went on to become nationwide organizations. One of these was the Grand Army of the Republic. 

The Grand Army of the Republic, often referred to as the GAR, was founded at Decatur, Illinois on April 6, 1866. Dr. Benjamin Franklin Stephenson founded the organization on the three cardinal principles of Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty and these principles guided the GAR throughout its existence. To become a member of the Grand Army a man must have served in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Revenue Cutter Service (today’s United States Coast Guard) between April 9, 1861 and April 12, 1865. He must have been honorably discharged from the service and have never taken up arms against the United States of America. 

Local organizations were called Posts and it was to a Post that a man applied for membership in the G.A.R. The Comrades or members of the Post would vote to accept or reject each applicant and if a man was rejected from one Post he was banned from joining the organization. Posts from a state or region joined together to form Departments and the Departments formed the National Organization. Departments and the National Organization held conventions called Encampments each year. Encampments were the ruling bodies of the GAR and delegates would decide the business of the organization at these meetings.What started as a veterans and fraternal organization evolved into a potent political force. The process started when Gen. John A. Logan was elected Commander-in-Chief in 1867. Gen. Logan is best remembered as the man who established May 30 as Memorial Day. His General Order Number 11, which created Memorial Day, is still read every year during many communities’ Memorial Day services.
Source: http://garmuslib.org/

DeKalb County had an active GAR post.  Hand written attendance records span the years 1886-1908.  Not all years were recorded.  The organization appears to have been very popular with county Civil War veterans as the names of 19 men who had never attended a previous encampment were recorded in 1908.  The database contains 859 names of soldiers and guests, the soldier's company and regiment, the GAR post they were associated with at the first reunion they attended and the years of attendance. 

The Joiner History Room has no other information on these encampments other than some newspaper articles.  The original record cannot be photocopied. 

Spanish American War

Approximately 30 men from DeKalb County served in Company M of the Third Regiment.  

Click here to see Company M's roster and a picture of the men from DeKalb County.

Discharge Records of World War I Soldiers

Discharge records of the men and women who served in the World War I have been indexed and archived.  Because supplying the information to the County Clerk was voluntary, the collection is not complete. 

Click here to see the list of names.

World War I Soldiers Buried in the Cemeteries of Europe

On March 2, 1929 the U. S. Congress passed a resolution to determine the widows and mothers of servicemen buried in Europe who wished to make a "pilgrimage" to the burial site during 1930 or later and the probable cost.  On November 15, 1929, the investigation showed the following results: (1) Total numbers of mothers and widows entitled to make the pilgrimages, 11,440.  (2) Number of such mothers and widows who desire to make the pilgrimages, 6,730.  (3) Number of such mothers and widows who desire to make the pilgrimages during the calendar year 1930, 5,323.  (4) Probable cost, $5,653,200. 

Click here to see those from DeKalb County.

"Honor Roll" Book  of World War I Soldiers

Described in the book, "containing a pictorial record of the gallant and courageous men from DeKalb County, Illinois, U. S. A., who served in the Great War 1917-1918-1919. Information possibly available includes a picture of the soldier, his service history, pictures of other individuals who served in other capacities such as nurses, war bond drives, etc.  There are a number of instances in which neither the photograph nor the information could be secured.  These names will have a page number of 165-169.  Contact the Joiner History Room for copies of this material.


World War II Army Enlistment RecordsDocumenting the Period ca. 1938-1946

Check this website provided by the National Archives and Records

World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Armyand Army Airforce Personnel from Illinois

Check this website provided by the National Archives and Records Administration 

Korean War

This is a list of DeKalb County servicemen who died from hostile action (including missing and captured).  The source of this list is the National Archives and Records Administration online at 

The Joiner History Room does not have any more information. 

Click here to see the list.

Vietnam War

U.S. Military Fatal Casualties of the Vietnam War for DeKalb County (National Archive List)

Coffelt Database of Vietnam Casualties


From their webpage: "The Coffelt Database of Vietnam War casualties has its roots in an effort begun by Richard Donham Coffelt. A Korean War era soldier and later an attorney in Hays, Kansas, Richard became aware that the government had not made public a central source of information regarding the servicemen and women who died as a result of service in Vietnam. In 1980 Richard set out to determine the unit of assignment for each Army soldier who died in Vietnam. As this was two years before the IBM PC (personal computer) came on the market, the work necessarily was done the old-fashioned way: by library research, travel, and in hand-writing.

In 1993-94, after PCs had become commonplace, Tom Holloway (Emory University, Atlanta) changed the landscape by obtaining the Department of Defense's casualty database and the Army Adjutant General's database in digital form. Using the university's mainframe computers to read the reel-to-reel computer tapes, Tom integrated the two databases and converted the information into a commonly used small-computer format. The "Holloway Database" effectively became the public's sole source of information regarding all our Vietnam dead. 

In the late 1990s, others joined Richard's effort, contributing information and collating the collected material into digital form using the Holloway database as a baseline. The additional resources allowed the project's scope to expand to include unit of assignment information for all service branches. In 2002, an early version of the Coffelt Database was deeded to the National Archives, which made it available on-line as a searchable database. 

In late 2006, the project scope was extended further by including circumstances of death information in the Coffelt Database - the "how and where" of their deaths. As before, emphasis was placed on obtaining hard documentation, a task made easier as material became available on the Internet from governmental and private organizations. The Internet cannot and has not replaced on-the-spot investigation, though; in example, one member of the Coffelt Group has photographed over 80,000 documents at the LBJ and Nixon Presidential Libraries and in the National Archives. These photographs have become a part of the Coffelt Database. 

U.S. Military Fatal Casualties of the Vietnam War for DeKalb County (National Archive List)This is a copy of an article from the November 1988 DeKalb County Magazine talking about the DeKalb chapter of the VietNow organization.  It includes a list of names of the men from DeKalb County who died in Vietnam during the Conflict.  Click here to see the article.  U.S. Military Fatal Casualties of the Vietnam War for DeKalb County (National Archive List)

This is a copy of an article from the November 1988 DeKalb County Magazine talking about the DeKalb chapter of the VietNow organization.  It includes a list of names of the men from DeKalb County who died in Vietnam during the Conflict.  

Click here to see the article.