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United States, Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: United States Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records, 1775-1783 .
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Record Description[edit | edit source]

This is an index to compiled service records for approximately 80,000 soldiers who served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The records indexed are from the National Archives and Records Administration publication M881.

This index corresponds to the National Archives and Records Administration publication M881. Compiled Service records were kept for soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War. Each envelope/jacket contains information and cross references to original records relating to the soldier. 

This collection is an index to records for the years 1775-1783.

This index was created to provide quick access to compiled service records.

The information in this index is quite reliable. However, keep in mind that even though this index is very accurate it still may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings or misinterpretations.

Record Content[edit | edit source]

Compiled Service Record index entries usually include the following information:

  • Name of soldier
  • Rank, regiment and commanding officer
  • State from which served
  • Date of commission or enlistment
  • Term of enlistment
  • Pay records
  • Type of records in file
  • NARA publication number, title, and roll number

How to Use the Record[edit | edit source]

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • Name of your ancestor
  • State
  • Date of enlistment

Search the Collection[edit | edit source]

To search the collection by name:
fill in the requested information on the search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

Using the Information[edit | edit source]

When you have located your ancestor’s service record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • Use the estimated age to calculate a birth date.
  • Use the age and location of the military unit to find the soldier’s family in census, church, and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind[edit | edit source]

  • Continue to search the index and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have served in the same unit or a nearby unit.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Unable to Find your Ancestor?[edit | edit source]

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Search the records of nearby military units.

Known Issues with This Collection[edit | edit source]

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites[edit | edit source]

Related Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]

How You Can Contribute[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


Citations for This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"United States, Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records, 1775-1783." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing "Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War." Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d.


Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for United States, Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records, 1775-1783.