New Jersey Military Records
Many military records are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. The state archives has many military records from before World War I. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of most of these records. The archives will make copies from indexes and muster rolls for a fee.
This section of the outline lists sources arranged chronologically by conflict.
Camp Washington -- Textual records of this post, 1839, 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).
Colonial Wars (1668-1775)
Muster rolls and officer commissions are recorded in:
- Military Officers Recorded in the Office of the Secretary of State, Trenton, New Jersey: Colonial Wars, 1668-1774. Typescript at the state archives. (Family History Library film 573334.) Military commissions are also in the Index to Powers of Attorney, Surveyors' Reports, Commissions (see the "Land and Property" section of this outline).
Muster rolls for 1673, 1690, and 1715 were published in the:
- Second Annual Report of the State Historian of the State of New York. Albany, New York: Wynkoop, Hallenbeck, Crawford, 1897. (FHL book 974.7 M2ne v.1; film 924818.)
A transcript of muster rolls for the French and Indian War is found in:
- New Jersey Records: French and Indian War, 1757- 1764. Typescript at the state archives. (Family History Library film 573334 item 4.)
The lineage records of the General Society of Colonial Wars often contain birth, death, marriage, lineage, and source information. See: General Society of Colonial Wars. Lineage Records. (209 Family History Library films beginning with 528677.)
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
A man born between 1730 and 1765 who lived in New Jersey is probably listed in some form of military record. If he supported the rebellion, he may be mentioned in records as a rebel, patriot, Whig, or signer of the Continental Association. Those who opposed the rebellion were Loyalists or Tories.
There were 238 battles and skirmishes in New Jersey, more than occurred in any other state. At least 18,000 New Jersey men fought in either the Continental Army or militia units.
For records of the Revolutionary War, see:
- White, Virgil D. Genealogical Abstracts of the Revolutionary War Pension Files. 4 vols. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing, 1990. (Family History Library book 973 M28g.) Includes names, dates, places, battles fought, and some personal and family information. These pension files are also on Family History Library films 970001.
If you find a serviceman listed in this index, you can use NATF Form 80 to obtain copies of the original records from the National Archives for a fee.
- White, Virgil D. Index to Revolutionary War Service Records. Four Volumes. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing, 1995. (Family History Library book 973 M22wv.) Contains the names of soldiers and has service information.
Index. For an incomplete but helpful list of about 15,000 Revolutionary soldiers, refer to:
- Campbell, James W.S., Compiler. Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War, 1872. Revised 1911. Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1967. (Family History Library book 974.9 M23n 1967; film 908526; fiche 6046724.)
An index prepared by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) is:
- Index of the Official Register of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War. 1941; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1965. (FHL book 974.9 M23n index 1965; film 1550807 item 2; fiche 6051278.)
State Service and Pension Records. The following records will help you document Revolutionary War service. Collectively, they provide more complete information than the published Official Register described above. The originals are at the New Jersey State Archives, and the Family History Library has microfilm copies.
- Revolutionary War Index: A Compilation of Revolutionary War Slips and Documented Materials. This card index has summaries of service records and gives references to original manuscript sources; lists soldiers, doctors, wagon masters, clergy, and others who assisted in the war. May give the name of the person's father or son. (On 31 Family History Library films beginning with 568699.)
- Revolutionary War Slips, Single Citations of the New Jersey Department of Defense Materials. This card index abstracts and indexes account books, indents (certificates issued for the principal or interest on public debt), quartermaster vouchers, pensions, council of safety records, and miscellaneous manuscripts. There may be several cards for the same person; the cards often give the county where the person joined the militia. (On 120 Family History Library films beginning with 569426.)
- Revolutionary War Records of New Jersey. This large collection of original records includes tax receipts, records of forfeited and confiscated loyalist estates, contracts and certificates received to pay for taxes, treasurer's accounts, militia and minuteman returns, correspondence, continental line lists, muster rolls, and compiled war records (on 27 Family History Library films beginning with 573061). The index is on Family History Library films 573061-62.
- New Jersey Revolutionary War Pension Claims. This file has the adjutant general's alphabetically arranged pension claims (Family History Library films 573321-32).
- Revolutionary War Records of New Jersey. Contains information arranged by county. Includes property tax payments from credit slips for Revolutionary War service, confiscated estates information, tax records, militia lists, men enrolled by county, wagon masters, and pension papers (Family History Library films 573061-62).
- Federal Service and Pension Records. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of almost all Revolutionary War service, pension, and miscellaneous records at the National Archives. Most are also on film at the National Archives — Northeast Region. Some of the names and information from lists of pensioners sent to the United States Senate are abstracted in:
- Waldenmaier, Inez. Revolutionary War Pensioners Living in New Jersey before 1834. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Inez Waldenmaier, 1983. (Family History Library book 974.9 M2r.) This often gives the soldier's age, residence, state where he served, and death date.
Burial Records. The Family History Library has the DAR book Graves of Revolutionary Soldiers in New Jersey, typescript, not dated. (Family History Library film 868777). Additional, more comprehensive indexes are described in the United States Research Outline.
Loyalists. The New Jersey Volunteers was the largest Loyalist regiment in the colonies during the war. It mustered six battalions (about 5,000 soldiers, many of whom came from Monmouth County). Original muster rolls of this unit, 1777 to 1783, are available at the National Archives of Canada in British Military and Naval Records. Muster Rolls (RG 8, Ser. I, vols. 1852-1860). The last two volumes of this set are on Family History Library film 928940. The state archives has two valuable unpublished indexes to Loyalists:
- Listing of Loyalists in the King's Army, 1776- 1783 (Family History Library film 900370 [A-E, and 900371 [F- Z]]). These records give service information and may give death date and place.
- Officers and Men of the New Jersey Loyalists. The first part of this collection consists of four large volumes of muster rolls (Family History Library films 493684-85). The second part is a card index to petitions to the governor, petitions to the legislature, and records of confiscated estates (Family History Library films 493679-83).
The two most important published books about New Jersey Loyalists are:
- Jones, Edward Alfred. The Loyalists of New Jersey: Their Memorials, Petitions, Claims, etc. from English Records. 1927. Reprint. Lambertville, New Jersey: Hunterdon House, 1988. (Family History Library book 974.9 C4n v. 10; film 1036367 item 3.) The names of parents, wife, and children may be given. May also give birth town or county and death information.
- Stryker, William S. The New Jersey Volunteers (Loyalists) in the Revolutionary War. Trenton, New Jersey: Narr, Day & Narr, 1887. (Family History Library film 1550592; fiche 6045993.)
- See also the following records:
- Damages in New Jersey by the British and American, 1776-1782. (Family History Library films 888698-700.) Family History Library film 888698 has the index and films 888699-700 have records of the damages. Gives the county where the person lived and often mentions the town.
War of 1812 (1812-1815)
A published roster of soldiers is found in:
- Records of Officers and Men of New Jersey in Wars, 1791-1815. 1909. Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1970. (Family History Library book 974.9 M25no; film 874048 item 3; fiche 6045829.)
This book lists the full name, rank, and dates of enrollment and discharge of over 10,000 soldiers in the War of 1812 and other minor conflicts. An index to this book and Stryker's Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War is found in:
- Jackson, Ronald Vern, et al. Index to Military Men of New Jersey, 1775-1815. Bountiful, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1977. (Family History Library book 974.9 M22j.)
The state archives has New Jersey in the War of 1812. (On 16 Family History Library films 573337-51; index on Family History Library film 573337.) These are the original adjutant general pension records. They give each soldier's name, rank, unit, and enrollment and discharge dates. The records often include marriage dates and places, information about widows, and the nature of disabilities.
The Family History Library has microfilm copies of service and pension indexes and bounty land warrants found at the National Archives.
Mexican War (1846-1848)
Five New Jersey companies served at Veracruz and Matamoros, Mexico. Lists of the soldiers that served are in: New Jersey Adjutant General, Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the War with Mexico, 1846-1848. Trenton, New Jersey, 1900. (Not available at the Family History Library). A copy of this book is at the state archives.
The Family History Library has microfilms which list the soldiers who fought in this war. (Family History Library films 1205336-357.) An index to the pension records is on Family History Library films 537000-013.
Civil War (1861-1865)
Federal Records. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of the federal indexes to service and pension records of Union Army soldiers. The actual service and pension records have not been filmed and are available only at the National Archives.
About 88,000 men from New Jersey served in the Union armed forces during the Civil War. About 6,300 of these died during the war. Important published rosters from the adjutant general's office are:
- Stryker, William S., Compiler. Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War, 1861-1865. Two Volumes. Trenton, New Jersey: John L. Murphy, 1876. (Family History Librarybook 974.9 M25nr; film 1425002; on 21 Family History Library fiche 6045830.)
- New Jersey Adjutant General. Register of the Commissioned Officers and Privates of the New Jersey Volunteers in Service of the United States. Three Volumes. Jersey City, New Jersey: John H. Lyon, 1863-1865. (Family History Library book 974.9 M2re; film 1036758 item 2.) The Family History Library has only the first volume.
- New Jersey Adjutant General. Annual Report of the Adjutant-General of the State of New Jersey for . . . 1861-1865. Four Volumes in one. Trenton, New Jersey, 1862-1865. (Not available at the Family History Library.)
State Records. The state archives has:
- Alphabetical Roll of New Jersey Volunteers in the Civil War. (Family History Library film 579863 [A-H; 579864 [I- P]; 579865 [Q-W]]; names W-Z were not filmed.)
- Civil War Pension Claims, New Jersey Soldiers, Alphabetical. (Family History Library film 579866 item 1.) This is a list of invalid soldiers or their widows who applied for pensions from 1880-87.
- New Jersey Civil War Records, Books 1-829. Trenton, New Jersey: State Library of Archives and History, 1969. (On 121 Family History Library films starting with 579872.) Film 578155 has an inventory of the contents of the books.
Books 1-106 contain pension claims to the year 1907. They are in alphabetical order.
Books 107-108 contain pension claims after 1917.
Books 109-152 contain correspondence with the New Jersey Adjutant General's office.
Books 153-200 contain lists of all men ages 18-45. They are listed by county and township.
Civil War Record Books. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of the first 290 volumes of pension claims, veterans' correspondence files, and militia enrollments from the office of the adjutant general. Volumes 291-829, which contain mostly muster rolls and discharges, were not microfilmed and are available only at the state archives.
Burial Records. The New Jersey Historical Society has an 11,000-card Index to Civil War Soldiers' Graves in New Jersey.
- Jackson, Ronald Vern. Civil War Veterans Listed in the 1890 Census. New Jersey 1890. Salt Lake City, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1990. (Family History Library book 974.9 X22j 1890.) This contains the names of Civil War veterans and their widows for the special census taken along with the Federal 1890 census (Family History Library films 338200-2). The soldier's rank, company, regiment, date of enlistment, date of discharge, length of service, P. O. address and often street address, disability incurred, and remarks such as death date and place are given. If the soldier died before the 1890 census, his name is given with the name of the widow.
For a helpful reference, see:
- Sinclair, Donald A. A Bibliography, the Civil War and New Jersey. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Friends of the Rutgers University Library, 1968. (Family History Library book 974.9 M2s.)
Spanish-American War (1898)
New Jersey mustered four volunteer infantry regiments and lost 40 men as a result of disease and accident during the Spanish-American War. The state archives has 122 volumes of Spanish-American War records, most of which are not microfilmed. They contain rosters, muster rolls and returns, correspondence, enlistments, and orders. The Family History Library has a microfilm copy of the archives' index to the entire collection (Family History Library film 579874-75) and volumes containing pension applications, requests for commissions, and abstracts of discharges.
For a published volume relating to Spanish-American service, refer to:
- McNally, Bernard, Compiler. Soldiers and Sailors of New Jersey in the Spanish-American War, Embracing a Chronological Account of the Army and Navy. Newark, New Jersey: Bernard McNally, 1898. (Family History Library film 1550808.) The Family History Library also has microfilm indexes to service and pension records found at the National Archives.
World War I (1917-1918)
Over 150,000 New Jerseyans served in the war, and of these, 3,836 died. The state archives has a card index to Mexican border service in 1916, microfilm copies of unofficial service records for World War I, and an index to the unofficial service records. World War I draft registrations for the 762,000 New Jersey men who registered are on microfilm at the Family History Library.
- World War I draft registration cards for men ages 18 to 45 may list address, birth date, birthplace, race, nationality, citizenship, and next of kin. Not all registrants served in the war. For New Jersey's registration cards, see:
- United States. Selective Service System. New Jersey, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1987-1988. (On 127 Family History Library films beginning with film 1711811.)
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 alphabetically by surname within each draft board.
Most counties had only one board; large cities had more. Finding an ancestor's street address in a city directory will help you determine the board number if he lived in a large city. A map of Jersey City (with Hoboken) has been prepared which shows the draft board registration district boundaries. For a copy of this map, see:
- United States. Selective Service System. List of World War One Draft Board Maps. Washington, D.C.: National Archives. (Family History Library film 1498803.)
Militia and National Guard Records
The names of 30,000 men, ages 18 to 45, are listed in:
- Norton, James S. New Jersey in 1793: An Abstract and Index to the 1793 Militia Census of the State of New Jersey. Salt Lake City, Utah: J. S. Norton, 1973. (Family History Library book 974.9 M2n.) The original lists are at the New Jersey Bureau of Archives and History. The state archives has the New Jersey militia and National Guard records, 1789 to 1925. These have not been microfilmed.
New Jersey Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.