Delaware Military Records

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Fort Delaware painted by Seth Eastman, circa 1870-1875.

United States  Gotoarrow.png  U.S. Military Records  Gotoarrow.png  Delaware  Gotoarrow.png  Military Records

Many military records are at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. United States Military Records provides more information on federal military records and search strategies.
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State Manuscript Records for all Wars

The Historical Society of Delaware has military manuscripts for Delaware soldiers in their manuscript catalog. These include records of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, and World War I. Some militia units and veterans organizations are also included.

The Delaware Public Archives has original military records of the colonial wars, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, militia records for 1765 to 1841, Mexican Border dispute, some Adjutant General Civil War files, Spanish-American War, National Guard Card File, World War I, and World War II records. They have indexes to many of these records. Records to 1827 are described in:

  • Public Archives Commission of Delaware. Delaware Archives. Five Volumes. Wilmington, Delaware: [N.p.], 1911-16. (Family History Library book 975.1 M2d; Volume 1 is on Family History Library film 928150 item 1; Volume 2 is on Family History Library film 1033612 item 4; Volume 5 is on Family History Library film 599318 item 2; Volumes 3-5 are on Family History Library fiche 6051215.) This set contains colonial, revolutionary, and some post-revolutionary military records. The contents of the volumes are:

     Volume 1 - King George's War and Revolutionary War, 1746-1783

     Volume 2 - Revolutionary War militia and pensioners, 1780-1850s; index to Volumes 1-2

     Volume 3 - Revolutionary War militia and pensioners, 1776-1780s; index to Volumes 1-3

     Volume 4 - Militia; 1795-1813

     Volume 5 - Militia; 1813-1827, index to Volumes 4-5

Colonial Wars (1638-1776)

A useful publication is:

Peden, Henry C. Colonial Delaware Soldiers and Sailors 1638-1776. Westminister, Maryland: Family Line Publications, 1995. (Family History Library book 975.1 M2p.) This has an alphabetical list of names of soldiers who served between 29 March 1638 and 4 July 1776.


Fort Christiana (1638) now Wilmington,

Fort Delaware 1814-

Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

A man born between 1730 and 1765 who lived in Delaware is probably listed in some form of military record. If he supported the Revolution, he may be mentioned in records as a rebel, patriot, or Whig. Those who opposed the Revolution were Loyalists or Tories. For patriot records of the Revolutionary War see:

  • White, Virgil D. Genealogical Abstracts of the Revolutionary War Pension Files. Four Volumes. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing, 1990. (Family History Library book 973 M28g.) May include name, unit, service and application dates and places, age, birth date, marriage date, residences, and names of relatives. These abstracts are mainly from:
  • United States. Veterans Administration. Selected Records from Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty-Land-Warrant Application Files. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library films 840256-406.)
  • United States. Veterans Administration. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application Files. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library films 970001-2670.) 80,000 complete pension files alphabetical by surname.
  • White, Virgil D. Index to Revolutionary War Service Records. Four Volumes. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing, 1995. (Family History Library book 973 M22wv.) Shows the name, rank, and unit of over 390,000 patriots. Transcripts of:
  • United States. Adjutant General's Office. General Index to Compiled Military Service Records of Revolutionary War Soldiers. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1942. (Family History Library films 882841-98.)

The service records and pension files for Revolutionary War patriots are available at the Family History Library. For more information, see United States Military Records. You can also use NATF Form 80 to obtain copies of some records from the National Archives for a fee.

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 1835 Pension Roll for Delaware is available online:

War of 1812 (1812-1815)

The Delaware Public Archives and the Delaware Historical Society have records of soldiers who served in this war.

War with Mexico (1845-1848)

The Delaware Public Archives and the Delaware Historical Society have records of soldiers who served in this war.

Civil War (1861-1865)

See Delaware in the Civil War for information about Delaware Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the Delaware regiments involved in the Civil War. The regimental articles 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 the families of the soldiers.

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System allows name searching for soldiers. The result set gives the regiment for the soldiers. Then you can check the regiment page to determine counties. Often knowing the counties that had men in a regiment will help you determine if a soldier was your ancestor.

Civil War Pension Index Cards

An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. Other wars, of that time period, may be included.

A wiki article describing this collection is found at:

Delaware, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

World War I (1917-1918)

The Delaware Public Archives has a National Guard Card File and records concerning World War I soldiers. The Historical Society of Delaware has individual questionnaires filled out by or for returning veterans of World War I.

World War I draft registration cards for men age 18 to 45 may list address, birth date, birthplace, race, nationality, citizenship, and next of kin. Not all registrants served in the war. For registration cards for Delaware, see:

  • United States. Selective Service System. Delaware World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1987-1988. (On Family History Library films beginning with 1570621.)

To find an individual's draft card, it helps to know his name and residence at the time of registration. The cards are arranged alphabetically by county, within the county by draft board, and then alphabetically by surname within each draft board. Most counties had only one board; large cities had several.

World War II (1941-1945)

The Delaware Public Archives has a National Guard Card File, and records concerning World War II soldiers. A helpful source is:

  • Conner, William H., and Leon DeValinger, Jr. Delaware's Role in World War II. Two Volumes. Dover, Delaware: Public Archives Commission, 1955. (Family History Library book 975.1 M2c.) This book has brief biographical sketches about persons who died in World War II.


Delaware. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.Family History Department, 1998, 2001.

NOTE: All of the information from the original research outline has been imported into this Wiki site and is being updated as time permits.