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United States, Union Provost Marshal's File of Papers Relating to Civilians - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Revision as of 19:20, 9 October 2013 by DataAdmin (talk | contribs) (multiple titles bulletted in citations)
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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Individual Civilians, 1861-1866  and United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866.

Record Description[edit | edit source]

The collection was digitized from microfilm and is arranged alphabetically by the first two or three letters of the surname. It consists of correspondence, provost court papers, lists of transportation permits, claims for compensation for property used or destroyed by military forces, affidavits, oaths of loyalty and other lists. Although the records were kept by the Union Army, they primarily deal with information about confederate citizens and union citizens who were suspected of supporting the confederate cause. itary police of the Union army. They dealt with a wide range of individuals including those who were suspected of disloyalty or of giving aid to the enemy, who violated military orders, were prisoners, were authorized to travel in or to enter the Confederate states, and others. During the war each division, brigade, and corps of the Union Army had a provost marshal.

This collection covers the years from 1861 through 1866.

  • Provost marshals kept records of their activities as the military police
  • Provost courts were established to try civilians who violated military orders as well as military personnel suspected of committing civil crimes

These records are usually reliable.

For a list of records by document type currently published in the United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866 collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Citations for This Collection[edit | edit source]

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

"United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Individual Civilians, 1861-1866." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publication M345. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content[edit | edit source]

The records contain a variety of facts which vary by the individual record. Those most often found in the collection are listed below:

  • Name of civilian
  • County and/or state of civilian’s residence
  • Reason why civilian was brought into question
  • Current residence
  • Occupation
  • Legal findings
  • Resolution of matter

How to Use the Record[edit | edit source]

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name of your ancestor
  • Residence
  • Occupation

Search the Collection[edit | edit source]

To search the collection
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select "Select a surname range" which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

  • 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.

Using the Information[edit | edit source]

When you have located a document about your ancestor, 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 residence or locality listed to find the family in census, church and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind[edit | edit source]

  • Provost marshal records can be used to place an individual in a specific location at a specific time.
  • They can show how individual citizens were involved in the Civil War.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • These records may give initials rather than full names so you should use caution in determining if the record is for your ancestor.
  • If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.

Related Websites[edit | edit source]

Related Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]

Contributions to This Article[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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections[edit | edit source]

Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box:

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.