Step One: The Name Index

 

New York Soldiers in the Civil War
Richard A. Wilt
Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1999
Vol. 1: A-K Vol. 2: L-Z

or

The Roster of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865
Janet Hewitt
Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing Co., 1997
4 Volumes

Both sets contain an index to Civil War Soldiers in the Civil War, however the two volume set by Wilt covers New York exclusively. The volumes will give you the name of your Civil War ancestor and their regiment. The Hewitt volumes also list the company in which the soldier served.

Names are ordered LAST, FIRST.

Search:

McOmber, Otis - 0 results

This means we should check alternative spellings for the soldier's last name. A researcher usually will already have an idea of possible spellings for their ancestors last name.

McUmber, Otis - 0 results
McComber, Otis - 0 results
McCumber, Otis - 0 results
MacOmber, Otis - 1 result

The Result:

MacOmber, Otis - 76th N.Y. Inf.

For the time being, we can only assume that this is the Otis McOmber that we are looking for. The next step will help us determine if it is.