United States Rosters of Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors - FamilySearch Historical Records

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United States Rosters of Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors, 1775-1783
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
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Flag of the United States of America
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Location of the United States of America
Record Description
Record Type Published Rosters
Collection years 1775-1783
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
  • U.S. Compiled Revolutionary War Military Service Records, 1775-1783 (Ancestry) ($) Note: Records on Ancestry are not indexed by name. See the index mentioned below under indexes or use Fold3 or FamilySearch to first determine what state the individual fought under, then use the browse option on Ancestry to locate an individual in the records.
Various published state rosters, United States

Why Should I Look at This Collection?[edit | edit source]

After the French and Indian war ended 1773, the British Parliament imposed a series of taxes on their American colonies in an attempt to recover some of the cost of the war, to have the colonies pay for their own defense, and to assert authority over the colonies. The taxes were not well received by the colonists who felt that as they lacked representation in the Parliament, their rights as Englishmen were being violated the taxes were unlawful. The colonists attempted to gain representation in the British Parliament without success. When gaining representation failed each colony began to form their own parliaments or governments. These colonial government bodies would then overturn British laws that they felt were unlawful and created an undue burden. In response, Britain sent in more soldiers, and the colonies were occupied by a standing army. The already overburdened colonists were required to feed and clothe the army. This series of events lead to the outbreak of war on April 19, 1775. The colonists original aim was to restore their rights as Englishmen; however, by early 1776 the idea that the American Revolution was a bid for independence began to form and take root, and by July the Colonists had declared their independence from the rule of the British Empire.

In 1775, when war seemed like a possibility a congress was formed with delegates from all 13 original colonies. This congress, the Continental Congress, was a loose confederation of the colonies soon to become states. As part of their duties, the Continental Congress formed an army originally of enlisted men of short duration, but over the course of the war became a standing army of both enlisted men and conscripts, soldiers who were drafted into service. In addition to the Continental Army formed by the Congress, states, counties, and towns formed militias who fought and protected around their local area or for with the Continental Army. Revolutionary War records are record the enlistment or muster roles both the local militias and the Continental Army. They can also include information on leave, mustering out or separation from the army, and any pension or benefits received as part of service or upon separation from the army or the militia.

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

United States Rosters of Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors, 1775–1783 records are digital images of published state rosters of Revolutionary War soldiers from the states of Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia. For Massachusetts volumes 2 Bes-Byx, 9 Kab-Lsu, and 16 Tra-Whe, are not currently available in this publication.

The following is a complete bibliography for the published rosters included in this collection:

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

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To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for United States Rosters of Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors, 1775-1783.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

  • Name of soldier or sailor
  • Estimated birth year
  • Age at enlistment
  • Date of enlistment/muster
  • Place of enlistment/muster
  • Death date
  • Place of death
  • Age at death
  • Name of spouse/widow
  • Residence
  • Military unit, rank, and length of service
  • Event type
  • Page number
  • Volume

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The soldier or sailor's full name
  • The state where your soldier or sailor resided

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
  1. Select State to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Use the age or estimated birth date to find church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage and death records
  • Use the information found in the record to find land or probate records
  • Repeat this process with additional family member’s records to find more generations of the family

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. You could browse through the original record collection at the [] which may help you find who you are looking for or provide additional leads
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.

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Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

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Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
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