World War I Gold Star Database

This database is being developed from the Gold Star files of World War I Alabama service people who died during the war or who had been awarded distinguished service recognition. The name "Gold Star" was derived from the gold stars awarded to mothers of service people who lost their lives. These files were created by the Alabama Department of Archives and History in the 1920s. This information was collected from relatives of the deceased in preparation for the publication of a Gold Star book which was never published. The amount of information concerning each individual varies greatly. Information about individuals may include an entry from the Official U.S. Bulletin, entries from the "Alabamians in European War" index card collection, biographical sketches of the service men, photographs, newspaper articles, and correspondence from family members. No attempt has been made to validate the information in the files including spelling of names.


This collection was scanned using the following parameters: documents – 300dpi, photographs-600dpi, documents and photographs-RGB color.

The database is a work in progress, and should be checked periodically for additional entries and information.


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Search Instructions

The database may be searched in several ways:

The personal name field can be searched by last name, first name, middle initial, or any part thereof.
For example, if you enter "bag" in the field labeled Last Name, your search would turn up all of the following:

Names are often inconsistently spelled so different searches may be required. (i.e., Johnson vs. Johnston)

The branch field can be searched by the branch of service (i.e. Infantry, Navy, Marines, Stevedores).

The regimental unit field can be searched by the unit designation (i.e., 167th U.S. Regiment).

Search using "African-American" in the race field to find all of the African-American Gold Star families. If race was not mentioned, no race was listed in this field.

The researcher can also search for town/city or county.

All of these fields may be searched by using any or all of the characters (i.e., to find "167th U.S. Regiment" use: 167, Regiment, Reg, etc., as your search term).

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