I'm trying to find out if my great-grandfather was in the Italo-Turkish War 1911-1912.
Service records for the war may not be available to you online, but these are some things you could do online.
Research the war itself
- Do background reading about the war that would put everything you find in context. (See: Wikipedia: Italo-Turkish War) Look at the bibliography and citations for any site you visit for further reading.
- Learn about the structure of the army at that time, so you will be able to understand the military units talked about in war reports, newspaper articles, etc.
- Do you know who was required to serve? Were soldiers volunteers, or were they conscripted? Think of specific research questions that you could answer.
Review all your prior research about your great-grandfather.
- Create a list of sources you already have on hand that mention your great-grandfather.
- Thoroughly research your great-grandfather's life and create a timeline.
Examine all the information you have in the period just before the war and make a list of identifiers that you can use to distinguish him from soldiers who have similar names. (See Determining what records are available about a individual? for suggestions.) Think about which relatives might appear in records if your great-grandfather was asked to name next of kin or his nearest relatives.
Review what records exist and what might be online
Find out more about what records are online (one place to start: The FamilySearch Wiki's article: Italy Online Genealogy Records )
- Search to see if military records survive and which repository might hold them. (See Determining what records are available in a particular locale? for suggestions.)
- Follow military historians who are interested in that war on Twitter or Facebook, and read their blogs
- Look for professional genealogists who have expertise in the area and read their blogs or follow them on social media. Look at member directories for ICAPGen, APG, and other organizations for professional genealogists.
- Search on Google or other search engines to find message boards, RootsWeb mailing lists, and other forums to find other researchers.
If you prepare thoroughly before you begin your research, you'll be able to search any records you find more effectively, and you'll have more understanding of what you do find.