United States, Revolutionary War Rolls - FamilySearch Historical Records
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United States Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783
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|Record Type||Muster and Pay Rolls|
|Record Group||RG 93: War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records 422|
|Microfilm Publication||M246. Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783. 138 rolls.|
|National Archives Identifier||602384|
|National Archives and Records Administration|
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
The United States Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 collection contains an index for and images of muster rolls, payrolls, strength returns, and other personnel, pay, and supply records of the American Army during the Revolutionary War. The main function of the many Revolutionary War rolls kept by the American Army was to provide basic information about the identities, numbers, condition, equipment, and pay status of the men and units of the Army to make administration easier. This collection was obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) from microfilm publication M246 which is part of Record Group 93 War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records. The collection is arranged by type of service, military unit, and jacket or folder number. The microfilm publication pamphlet may be downloaded from NARA’s Microfilm Catalog.
General Information about Revolutionary War Records=[edit | edit source]
After the French and Indian war ended 1773, the British Parliament imposed a series of taxes on their American colonies in an attempt to recover some of the cost of the war, to have the colonies pay for their own defense, and to assert authority over the colonies. The taxes were not well received by the colonists, who felt that as they lacked representation in the Parliament, their rights as Englishmen were being violated and the taxes were unlawful. The colonists attempted to gain representation in the British Parliament without success. When gaining representation failed each colony began to form their own parliaments or governments. These colonial government bodies would then overturn British laws that they felt were unlawful and created an undue burden. In response, Britain sent in more soldiers, and the colonies were occupied by a standing army. The already overburdened colonists were required to feed and clothe the army. This series of events led to the outbreak of war on April 19, 1775. The colonists’ original aim was to restore their rights as Englishmen; however, by early 1776 the idea that the American Revolution was a bid for independence began to form and take root, and by July the Colonists had declared their independence from the rule of the British Empire.
In 1775, when war seemed like a possibility, a congress was formed with delegates from all 13 original colonies. This congress, the Continental Congress, was a loose confederation of the colonies soon to become states. As part of their duties, the Continental Congress formed an army originally of enlisted men of short duration, but over the course of the war became a standing army of both enlisted men and conscripts, soldiers who were drafted into service. In addition to the Continental Army formed by the Congress, states, counties, and towns formed militias who fought and protected around their local area or for with the Continental Army. Revolutionary War records are the enlistment or muster roles both for the local militias and the Continental Army, pension files, and bounty land warrants. These records may include information on leave, mustering out or separation from the army, and any pension or benefits received as part of service or upon separation from the army or the militia. Military Rosters and Enlistment or Muster Rolls provide a record of when a soldier or sailor served, where they served, and for how long. They also provide details of who they served under, rank, promotion, leave information, and when their service ended. These records tell where a soldier or sailor lived and where the enlisted which were not always the same place.
- Rosters of State and Continental Troops. Roll 14 in Record Group 93 Numbered Record Books, Microfilm Publication M853
- List of Connecticut Troops NAID 600983
- List of Delaware Troops NAID 600984
- List of Massachusetts Troops NAID 600985
- List of New Jersey Troops NAID 600986
- List of New York Troops NAID 600987
- List of North Carolina Troops NAID 600992
- List of Pennsylvania Troops NAID 600998
- List of Rhode Island Troops NAID 600999
- List of South Carolina Troops NAID 601002
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
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To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for United States, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
- Name of soldier
- Rank, company, and battalion
- Terms of service
- If service was in the field
- Event place
- Age or estimated birth year
- Date of enlistment
- Possible injuries, illness, hospitalization, or furloughs
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Image[edit | edit source]
Inventory[edit | edit source]
A table showing the contents of each folder in this collection can be found at United States, Revolutionary War Rolls - Inventory. This table identifies which regiments are in each folder.
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of the soldier
- The state and county of residence
- The approximate dates of military service
- Military Unit
Search the Index[edit | edit source]Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
View the Images[edit | edit source]
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page
Select the NARA Roll Number, Type of Service, Jacket Number Range to view the images.
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at United States Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Add any new information to your records
- Use the age or estimated birth date to determine an approximate birth date to find church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage and death records
- Use the information in each record to find additional family members in the censuses
- Use the information found in the record to find land or probate records
- Repeat this process with additional family member’s records to find more generations of the family
- Church records were kept years before counties began keeping records. They are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. You could browse through the original record collection at the  which may help you find who you are looking for or provide additional leads
- If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
- If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county
- Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
- Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.
- US Military Basic Search Strategies
- Beginning Research in United States Military Records
- Finding Your Revolutionary War Ancestor
- United States Guided Research
- United States Record Finder
- Research Tips and Strategies
Related Family History Library Holdings[edit | edit source]
- Compiled service records of soldiers who served in the American Army during the Revolutionary War; compiled index
- Numbered record books concerning military operations and service, pay and settlement of accounts, and supplies in the War Department collection of Revolutionary War records. M853
- Revolutionary War rolls 1775-1783
- Rhode Island State Archives. Rhode Island Revolutionary War names index, 1776-1780
- Fred Anderson Berg. Encyclopedia of Continental Army Units.
Related FamilySearch Historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]
- United States Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records, 1775-1783
- United States Rosters of Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors, 1775-1783
- United States Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Applications, 1800-1900
- United States Revolutionary War Pension Payment Ledgers, 1818-1872
Related Digital Books[edit | edit source]
- Robert K. Wright. The Continental Army
- Francis Heitman Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army.
- Mabel E. Deutrich, comp. Preliminary inventory of the War Department collection of Revolutionary War records : record group 93.Washington, D.C. : National Archives and Records Service, 1962
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
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The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.