Rhode Island Military Records
|Rhode Island Wiki Topics|
|Rhode Island Background|
|Local Research Resources|
- 1 Online Resources
- 2 Forts
- 3 Colonial Wars (1731-1774)
- 4 Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
- 5 War of 1812 (1812-1815)
- 6 Mexican War (1846-1848)
- 7 Civil War (1861-1865)
- 8 Spanish-American War (1898)
- 9 World War I (1917-1918)
- 10 World War II (1941-1945)
- 11 Korean War (1950–1953)
- 12 Vietnam War (1964–1972)
- 13 Additional Military Records
U.S. Military Records provides more information on federal military records and search strategies.
Many military records are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives and other federal and state archives. At the state level, the following sources are available.
The United States Military Records page provides more information on federal military records and search strategies.
- 1775-1783 - United States Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 at FamilySearch — index and images
- Rhode Island privateers in King George's war ($)
- Rhode Island Colonial War Servicemen, 1740-62 ($)
- Rhode Island in the colonial wars : a list of Rhode Island soldiers & sailors in King George's war, 1740-1748 ($)
- The Muster rolls of three companies enlisted by the colony of Rhode Island in May, 1746, for an expedition against Canada propo ($)
- The Rhode Island 1777 Military Census ($)
- Rhode Island Colonial War Servicemen, 1740-62, ($), index
- Death Seem'd to Stare: The New Hampshire and Rhode Island Regiments at Valley Forge ($)
- U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls for Rhode Island, 1775-1783 ($)
- Rhode Island Civil War Soldiers Service Records.
- U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards for Rhode Island, 1917-1918 ($)
- 1917-1940 - United States, Veterans Administration Master Index, 1917-1940 at FamilySearch — index
- U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards for Rhode Island, 1942 ($)
- U.S. Military Fatal Casualties of the Korean War for Home-State-of-Record: Rhode Island
- U.S. Military Fatal Casualties of the Vietnam War for Home-State-of-Record: Rhode Island
Fort Adams -- Textual records of this fort, 1851-1913, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).
One fort on Goat Island, Rhode Island, was given the following 5 names over a period of many years: Fort Liberty, Fort Anne, Fort George, Fort Washington and Fort Wolcott. See "Goat Island".
Colonial Wars (1731-1774)
Published rosters of soldiers include:
- Chapin, Howard. M. A List of Rhode Island Soldiers and Sailors in King George's War: 1740-1748. Providence: Rhode Island Historical Society, 1920. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.5 M2ch; film 1425647 item 11.)
- Chapin, Howard M. Rhode Island in the Colonial Wars; A List of Rhode Island Soldiers and Sailors in the Old French and Indian War 1755-1762. Providence: Rhode Island Historical Society, 1918. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.5 M2c; film 1425576 item 5.)
The Rhode Island Historical Society has additional military records of soldiers who served from 1731 to 1774 FHL films 953925-30).
The Rhode Island Society of the Colonial Dames has published several year books listing members and describing their lineage from Colonial soldiers and other prominent men.
- First Record Book of the Society of Colonial Dames in the State of Rhode Island..." published 1897 (Google Books)
- Second Record Book of the Society of Colonial Dames in the State of Rhode Island..." published 1898 (Google Books)
- Third Record Book of the National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of Rhode Island..." published 1908 (Google Books)
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
The Family History Library and the National Archives have the federal service and pension records and indexes for the Revolutionary War. See FamilySearch Historical Records for online digital images.
- The Rhode Island Historical Society also has military papers for 1774 to 1792 FHL film 953931-37; FHL film 954925-55)
- A published roster of soldiers is in Benjamin Crowell, Spirit of '76 in Rhode Island. . . .(Boston: A. J. Wright, 1850; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.5 M2cbe; fiche 6046885 An index is in Volume 12 of Vital Records of Rhode Island (see Rhode Island Vital Records). This volume also lists officers and pensioners living in 1820, 1835, and 1840 FHL book 974.5 V2a; film 908273 item 2; fiche 6046912 A digital version available through the FamilySearch Catalog entry.
The 1813 Pension List:
- 1813 Pension List (New Horizons Genealogy)
The 1818 Pensioners of the United States:
- 1818 Pensioners of the United States (New Horizons Genealogy)
The 1820 Pension List:
- 1820 Pension List (New Horizons Genealogy)
The 1835 Pension Roll
On June 5, 1834, the U.S. Senate required the Secretary of War to submit a statement showing the names of pensioners who were on the pension rolls or had previously been on the pension rolls. For more information on the 1835 Pension Roll see Revolutionary War Pension Records. The pension Roll for Rhode Island is available online.
- Report from the Secretary of War... Vol. I (Google Books)
- The Pension Roll of 1835, Vol. I (Ancestry) ($)
- Rhode Island Pensioners, 1835 (Ancestry) ($)
War of 1812 (1812-1815)
The War of 1812 between Britain and the United States confirmed the separate existence of the United States and the future Canada.
See the Wiki article, Rhode Island in the War of 1812, for information concerning military records, histories, links to relevant web sites, etc. for Rhode Island.
There are helpful nationwide records for soldiers of the War of 1812. For more information, see United States in the War of 1812.
Mexican War (1846-1848)
The Mexican War was caused by the annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845. Most volunteer regiments were from southern states. Records of Mexican War veterans might exist in a state where the veteran later resided.
- Mexican War Index to Pension Files, 1887–1926. (NARA T317). FHL films 0537000–13 Alphabetically arranged and includes the veteran’s name, rank, and unit; names of dependents; date of filing and application; certificate numbers; act filed under; and state from which application was made. Also available at:
- United States, Mexican War Pension Index, 1887-1926 (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. (Learn more.)
- United States, Mexican War Pension Index, 1887-1926 (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. (Learn more.)
- Robarts, William Hugh. Mexican War Veterans : A Complete Roster of the Regular and Volunteer Troops in the War Between the United States and Mexico, from 1846-1848… Washington, D.C. : Brentano’s, 1887. FHL book 973 M2rwh Digital version available at Internet Archive.
Civil War (1861-1865)Rhode Island in the Civil War for information about Rhode Island Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the Rhode Island regiments involved in the Civil War. The regimental pages often include lists of the companies with links to the counties where the companies started. Men in the companies often lived in the counties where the companies were raised. Knowing a county can help when researching more about the soldiers and their families.
The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System allows name searching for soldiers. The result set gives the regiments for the soldiers. Then you can check the Wiki regiment pages to determine counties. Often knowing the counties that had men in a regiment will help you determine if a soldier was your ancestor.
Spanish-American War (1898)
The Spanish-American War was largely fought in Cuba and the Philippines. Spanish-American War records might exist in the state from which the soldier served or in a state where the veteran later resided.
- United States, General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (NARA T288). (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. The index covers veterans of the Civil War, Spanish‑American War, Philippine Insurrection, Boxer Rebellion (1900 to 1901), and the regular Army, Navy, and Marine forces. (Learn more.)
- United States, Index to Service Records, War with Spain, 1898 (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. (Learn more.)
Click on the link to learn more about the Spanish American War.
World War I (1917-1918)
World War I was a global war fought on multiple continents with several nations involved. Over four million men and women served from the United States.
- Rhode Islanders in the Great War State Archives
- World War I Bonus Cards, 1921 State Archives
- World War I Statements of Military Service, 1917-1918
- World War I: RI Casualties (PDF) State Archives
- WW I: Red Cross Nurses(PDF) State Archives
- United States. Selective Service System. Rhode Island, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1509. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1987-1988. FHL films 1852212 (first film) Also available at:
- United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 at FamilySearch — index and images — free
- United States, YMCA World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919 at FamilySearch — index and images
United States World War I Draft Records provides additional information.
World War II (1941-1945)
On April 27, 1942, the Selective Service conducted the fourth of six draft registrations related to WWII. The "World War II Selective Service Draft Cards: Fourth Registration, 1942" is often referred to as the “Old Man’s Registration” or the “Old Man’s Draft" because it included men with a date of birth from April 28, 1877 to February 16, 1897. Since there is overlap in the WWI and WWII Selective Service registration, men born in the years 1877 to 1900 may have registered twice and have both WWII and WWI draft records.
- United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Image Browse) (FamilySearch) - free
- United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (images with partial index) (FamilySearch) - free
- Also available at:
World War II United States Military Records provides additional information.
Korean War (1950–1953)
The Korean War was a conflict between North Korea (and its communist allies) and South Korea (with support of the United Nations, primarily the United States). See the Korean War wiki article for information on records and their availability.
Vietnam War (1964–1972)
The Vietnam War was a conflict between North Vietnam (and its communist allies) and South Vietnam (with support of its anti-communist allies, including the United States). See the Vietnam War wiki article for information on records and their availability.
Additional Military Records
- FamilySearch Hisotrical Records online: United States, Index to Service Records, War With Spain, 1898
- The Rhode Island State Archives has a card index to military and naval records for the years 1774 to 1805. The Family History Library has a copy on 19 microfilms FHL films 934758 (first of 19)
- State records from the World War I to the present are at the Adjutant General's Office, Command Readiness Center, 645 New London Ave., Cranston, Rhode Island 02920- 3097, Telephone: 401-457-4102, Fax: 401-457-4338.