United States Naval Enlistment Rendezvous (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, Naval Enlistment Rendezvous, 1855-1891 .

Collection Time Period

The registers are for the years 1855 to 1891.

Record Description

The records consist of registers of men who enlisted in the United States Navy. The original records are located in the National Archives Record Group 24 (NARA publication M1953): Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel. The records were microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 2003. They are arranged in the following order:

  • Volume
  • Chronologically by week
  • Name of naval rendezvous
  • Date of enlistment

Record Content

United States Naval Enlistment Registers Weekly Returns (10-0223) DGS 4172591 19.jpg
The registers include the following information:
  • Name of naval rendezvous
  • Name of sailor
  • Date and term of enlistment
  • Previous naval service
  • Place of birth
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Personal description

How to Use the Record

To search for your ancestors in the index you will need to know their full names. If you are having difficulty finding your ancestor, look for variations in the spelling of the name. If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

When you have located your ancestor’s 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. This information will often lead you to other records. For example:

  • Death dates may lead to death certificates, mortuary, or burial records.
  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records.

You may also find these search tips helpful:

  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased, this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been seeking the pension.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

For additional information see the wiki article: Steps for research in United States Military Records

Record History

 A rendezvous was the recruiting station where the men signed up to enlist in the Navy. Officers at the rendezvous kept a record of each man enlisted and reported the information weekly to the Navy Department. These documents are known as the “weekly returns of rendezvous reports.”

The largest number of enlistments occurred during the Civil War. The number of men in uniform for these years is estimated at between 26,000 and 51,000.

The indexes to these records, both arranged alphabetically, are available on microfilm from the National Archives in the following publications:

  • T1098, Index to Rendezvous Reports, Before and After the Civil War, 1846–1861, 1865–1884
  • T1099, Index to Rendezvous Reports, Civil War, 1861–1865.

Why This Record Was Created

 These records were created to form a permanent record of men enlisting in the United States Navy.

Record Reliability

The records are generally reliable.

Related Websites

National Archives Publication: “Navy”

Related Wiki Articles

United States Military Records

Contributions to This Article

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

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should also 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.

A suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

"United States, Naval Enlistment Rendezvous, 1855-1891'" FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org;) accessed 8 June 2011).  entry for Henry Newman, age 21;  Citing Naval Records, FHL microfilm 00,276;  National Archives, Washington D.C., United States.

Sources of Information for This Collection

“United States Weekly Returns at Naval Rendezvous ("Enlistment Rendezvous"), Jan 6,1855-Aug. 8,1891,” index and images, FamilySearch; (http://www.familysearch.org); from the National Archives in Washington, DC, NARA publication M1953. FHL microfilm, 71 reels, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.