United States Muster Rolls of the Marine Corps (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

This collection consists of an index and images of muster rolls of the United States Marine Corps located at the National Archives.The records are arranged chronologically by month, then by post, station or ship, and are part of Record Group 127 Records of the U.S. Marine Corps The muster rolls are from National Archive microfilm publications T1118 1798-1892 and T977 1893-1940. The muster rolls from 1893-1940 are not complete in this publication. The following rolls and dates are not available: rolls 100-121 Jan 1914-Apr 1917; rolls 124-132 Jun 1917-Jan 1918; roll 134 Feb 1918; rolls 161-162 Feb 1919; rolls 181-186 Oct 1919-Mar 1920; rolls 401-460 Apr 1937-Dec 1940.

For a list of records by dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Record Content

Muster Roll volumes include indexes to ship names, stations, and units. A muster roll generally shows:

  • Name of officer or enlisted man
  • Rank and unit in which served
  • Date of enlistment
  • Date of re-enlistment
  • Name of ship
  • Notes regarding promotions, etc.

In some cases, muster rolls also contain the following:

  • Injuries or illness and type of treatment
  • Date of death or discharge
  • Date of desertion
  • Date of apprehension
  • Date of court martial
  • Sentence of court-martial

How to Use the Record

To begin your search you will need to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The approximate dates of service
  • The vessels served on.

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection by image.
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Years, Month Range" which takes you to the images

Look at each image. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.

Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person 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 video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

Using the Information

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.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

General Information About These Records

The Continental Marines were founded in 1775 to aid the original 13 colonies in their fight for independence. The Marine Corps was created in 1798. It was part of the Navy Department from 1834 until 1952, when it became a distinct branch of the military. 

During the Civil War, muster rolls grew to include personal information including: 

  • Nativity (state or country) 
  • Date and place joined 
  • Age when enlisted  
  • Date and place mustered in 
  • Place and date mustered out

Records of Marine Corps soldiers and officers are available at the National Archives in Record Group 127 for the years 1798 to 1904.

Muster rolls were used to record an idividual's service and pay. These records are generally accurate.

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Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: United States Muster Rolls of the Marine Corps, 1798-1892

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.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"United States, Muster Rolls of the Marine Corps, 1798-1892" Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publication T1118. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 6 August 2014, at 17:51.
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