Friday, August 05, 2005

Revolutionary War Resources

Recently several readers wrote to describe the process of reviewing Revolutionary War pension & bounty land warrant files through HOQ See:
DearMYRTLE. HeritageQuestOnline has some Revolutionary War Files (not OCLC)

Martha explained frustration about doing research where the ancestor did not receive a pension. Indeed pensions for the Revolutionary War time period were not as common as, for instance, US Civil War Union soldier pensions. Perhaps this was due to the fact that our fledgling federal government didn't have a lot of financial resources. Indeed, that was the idea behind bounty land warrants: the exchange of land for service.

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF REVOLUTIONARY WAR (recommended by the National Archives)
The American Revolution: Military History: Bibliography compiled in 1996 by Janet L. Seymour, Air University Library. Its located on the web at:

See: for information about how records at the National Archives can be useful to your ancestral quest. Many of the microfilm collections are available not only at the main branch on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, but at regional archives branches located strategically throughout the county. Additionally, the Family History Library, and its 4,000 local Family History Centers may have a copy of the microfilm group you require, though the FHL Catalog number is different from the NARA microfilm collection number.

-- National Archives - Revolutionary War Links:

Microfilm Record Group # & Titles:
-- M880 Compiled Service Records of American Naval Personnel and Members of the Departments of the Quartermaster General and the Commissary General of Military Stores who Served During the Revolutionary War.
-- M881 Compiled Service Records of Soldiers who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War.
-- M2079 Final Revolutionary War Pension Payment Vouchers: Delaware
-- M1746 Final Revolutionary War Pension Payment Vouchers: Georgia
-- M860 General Index to Compiled Military Service Records of Revolutionary War Soldiers.
-- Z3 Index to Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary War Military Services. 1840.
-- M879 Index to Compiled Service Records of American Naval Personnel who Served During the Revolutionary War.
-- T516 Index to Compiled Service Records of Revolutionary War Naval Personnel, 1775-1783.
-- M920 Index to Compiled Service Records of Revolutionary War Soldiers who Served With the American Army in Connecticut Military Organizations.
-- M1051 Index to Compiled Service Records of Revolutionary War Soldiers Who Served With the American Army in Georgia Military Organizations.
-- M257 Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the Revolutionary War in Organizations From the State of North Carolina.
-- M926 Letters, Returns, Accounts, and Estimates of the Quartermaster General's Department in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, 1776-1783.
-- T817 Lists of the Adjutant General's Office for Carded Records of Military Organizations: Revolutionary War through Philippine Insurrection ('The Ainsworth List').
-- M859 Miscellaneous Numbered Records (The Manuscript File) in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, 1775-1790's, 1775-1790.
-- M853 Numbered Record Books Concerning Military Operations and Service, Pay and Settlement of Accounts, and Supplies in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records.
-- M1786 Record of Invalid Pension Payments to Veterans of the Revolutionary War, and the Regular Army and Navy, March 1801-September 1815.
-- T1008 Register of Army Land Warrants Issued Under the Act of 1788, for Service in the Revolutionary War: Military District of Ohio, 1788.
-- M804 Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files.
-- M162 The Revolutionary War Prize Cases: Records of the Court of Appeal in Cases of Capture, 1776-1787.
-- M246 Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783.
-- NRHS I14 Selected NARA Photographs Related to the Revolutionary War.
-- M805 Selected Records From Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files.
-- M847 Special Index to Numbered Records in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, 1775-1783.
-- M829 U.S. Revolutionary War Bounty Land Warrants Used in the U.S. Military District of Ohio and Relating Papers (Acts of 1788, 1803, and 1806), 1788-1806.
-- M910 Virginia Half Pay and Other Related Revolutionary War Pension Application Files.
-- M904 War Department Collection of Post-Revolutionary War Manuscripts.

Another point to consider is that individual states were more likely to give recompense for Revolutionary War service than the federal government, since more men served on state lines rather than in the Continental Army. Here are a few examples:

-- CONNECTICUT. Johnston, Henry P., edit. The Record of Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service During the War of the Revolution 1775-1783. Volumes I-II. Hartford, CT: 1889.
-- CONNECTICUT. Johnston, Henry P. and Iris Rose Guertin, eds. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society Revolution Rolls and Lists, 1775-1783, Vol. VIII. Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1901, 1999.
-- MAINE. Maine Revolutionary War Bounty Applications, 1835-36 [database online]. Provo, Utah:, Inc., 2000. Original data: Names of Soldiers of the American Revolution Who Applied for State Bounty under Resolves of March 17, 1835, March 24, 1836, and March 20, 1836, as Appears of Record in Land Office. n.p., 1893.
-- MARYLAND. Maryland Revolutionary War Records [database online]. Provo, Utah:, Inc., 2000. Original data: Newman, Harry Wright. Maryland Revolutionary Records. Baltimore, MD: Maryland Archives, 1938.
-- MASSACHUSETTS. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War [database online]. Provo, Utah:, Inc., 2004. Original data: Massachusetts. Secretary of the Commonwealth. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War. Volumes 1-17. Boston: Wright & Potter Printing, 1896-1908.
-- NEW YORK. Muster and Pay Rolls of the War of the Revolution, 1775-1783: Miscellaneous Records. [database online] Provo, UT:, 2002. Originally published as Volumes XLVII and XLVIII of Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the years 1914 and 1915 (New York: 1916).
-- NEW YORK. New York Military in the Revolution. [database online] Provo, UT:, 2000. Electronic reproduction of New York in the Revolution as Colony and State, Vol. II, originally published in 1897.
-- NORTH CAROLINA. North Carolina Revolutionary War Soldiers [database online]. Orem, Utah: Ancestry, Inc., 1998. Original data: Roster of Soldiers from North Carolina in the American Revolution, Durham, NC: The North Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution, 1932.
-- VIRGINIA. Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War [database online]. Orem, UT:, 1997. Original data: McAllister, J.T., Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War, McAllister Publishing Co., Hot Springs, VA: 1913.
-- VIRGINIA. Virginia Navy in the Revolution [database online]. Orem, UT:, 1998. Original data: Stewart, Robert Armistead. History of Virginia's Navy in the Revolution. Richmond, VA: Mitchell & Hotchkiss, Printers, 1934.
-- VIRGINIA. Virginia Revolutionary War Records [database online]. Orem, UT:, 1998. Original data: Brumbaugh, Gaius Marcus. Revolutionary War Records, Volume 1, Virginia. Washington D.C.: 1936.
-- VIRGINIA. Virginia Soldiers of 1776, Vol. 1 [database online]. Orem, UT:, 1997. Original data: Burgess, Louis Alexander. Virginia Soldiers of 1776. Richmond, VA: Richmond Press, 1927.

If not a soldier or sailor, your ancestor may have provided patriotic service by sharing food or horses in support of the troops. Additionally, he or she may have been honored by having a descendant join one of the following lineage societies. It would prove useful to search the lineage society's database to determine a relationship to that descendant's line. Documentation of patriotic service is required for an application to be approved.

-- NSDAR (DAR) National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
1776 D Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20006, Telephone: 202-628-1776, Fax: 202-879-3252

-- (SAR) Sons of the American Revolution 1000 South Fourth Street, Louisville, KY 40203, Telephone: 502-589-1776.

-- NSCAR National Society Children of the American Revolution

-- Society Of The Cincinnati 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008-2810, Telephone: 202-785-2040.

-- Daughters of the Cincinnati, 122 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022, Telephone: 212-319-6915.

-- DAR Local chapters of the DAR National Society Daughters of the American Revolution may have compiled a cemetery listing of veterans who were buried within the boundaries of their particular county or state. See the catalog at to see if anything is available. While the DAR library does not lend its materials, at least you know the item exists. A copy may also have been placed in a local library. Check or (through your local library access) to determine where else to locate a copy of the title in question.

-- SAR The National Society Sons of the American Revolution has provided a CD of known Revolutionary War Graves. See:

-- Illinois Revolutionary War Veteran Burials (searchable at

-- CyndisList - US Military

-- FamilySearch's US Military Research Outline particularly the section subtitled "Revolutionary War, 1775 To 1783" including information about how to use:
---- Service Records
---- Pension Records And Bounty Land Warrants
---- Unit Histories
---- Census Records
---- Cemetery Records
---- Veterans’ And Lineage Society Records

-- Graden, Debra, ed. Revolutionary War Pension Index. [database online] Provo, UT:, 2000. Taken from a book in the collection of the Leavenworth County Genealogical Society titled Letter from the Secretary of Way, communicating A Transcript of the Pension List of the United States showing the Number of Pensioners in the Several Districts. Also, The Amount Allowed to each Pensioner dated June 1, 1813, Referred to the Committee of Claims, Washington: A. and G. Way, Printers, 1813.

-- Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution. Rev. ed. Washington, D.C.: The Rare Book Shop Pub. Co., 1914. (searchable at

-- Neagles, James C. Summer Soldiers, A Survey & Index of Revolutionary War Courts-Martial, Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1986. (in book format, and also searchable at )

-- Rejected or Suspended Applications for Revolutionary War Pensions. Washington, D.C.: n.p., 1852.

-- DAR EARLY AMERICAN GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH SEMINAR October 15-16 at DAR Headquarters. See: From this site we read: "During this extensive two-day program at DAR Headquarters in Washington, D.C., experts from the DAR and the National Archives will discuss genealogical research spanning the Colonial period through the pre-Civil War era." Topics include:
* Research methods and best practices
* Using technology to maximize search results
* Avoiding mistakes in genealogical writing
* Historical events and military records

-- NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR GENEALOGICAL STUDIES has a variety of classes in US research, including military records. There isn't a class specifically concentrating on Revolutionary War era records.

-- GEORGE K. SCHWEITZER. If you get a chance to attend seminar on the Revolutionary War given by this talented genealogical lecturer, don't pass it up. He literally "dresses the part" and brings new understanding to life in the mid to late 18th century American colonies. You'll also want his book on the subject. See his website:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207

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