Genealogy & Historical Alumni
Researching Your VMI Ancestor
Searching for a VMI Ancestor?
Our online historical rosters database is the best place to start your search.
The database includes the names of all students who were enrolled at VMI-- whether or not they graduated-- from opening day on November 11, 1839 through the World War II era. In addition, you will find biographical and genealogical information, including a summary of military service during the Civil War, for many individuals who attended in the 19th century. The database also includes some historical Faculty and Board of Visitors members, as well as U. S. Army students sent to VMI for training during World Wars I and II. The latter group were not VMI cadets. If you locate a name in our database and would like more information/copies of available documents, please contact us.
Looking for your ancestor's photograph?
Search our Online Photographs Collections.
Important note to researchers: we release historical student records only. We do not release information about living alumni or other nonhistorical student records.
What's in Our 19th & Early 20th Century Biographical files?
One of our most popular and valuable resources is our collection of 19th and early 20th century biographical files. A file exists for every early alumnus--both graduates and non-graduates, as well as for early faculty and staff members. A typical cadet record consists of correspondence from parents regarding a cadetship; correspondence from the alumnus; alumni questionnaires, often containing genealogical information; and obituaries and other clippings. Family historians can frequently locate a wealth of information about VMI ancestors.
About Our Civil War Alumni Files
In addition to the items listed above, the files of Civil War veterans may include documents pertaining to war service, often in the form of letters or biographical information submitted at the request of the Institute. For examples, view this letter from Edward Fant, Class of 1856; and this memoir by Cyrus Benton Coiner, Class of 1864.