United States, Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records (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 is an index to compiled service records for approximately 80,000 soldiers who served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The records indexed are from the National Archives and Records Administration publication M881.

This index corresponds to the National Archives and Records Administration publication M881. Compiled Service records were kept for soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War. Each envelope/jacket contains information and cross references to original records relating to the soldier. 

This collection is an index to records for the years 1775-1783.

This index was created to provide quick access to compiled service records.

The information in this index is quite reliable. However, keep in mind that even though this index is very accurate it still may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings or misinterpretations.

Record Content

Most of the Compiled Service Record index entries include the following information:

  • Name of soldier
  • Rank, regiment and commanding officer
  • State from which served
  • Date of commission or enlistment
  • Term of enlistment
  • Pay records
  • Type of records in file
  • NARA publication number, title, and roll number

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • Name of your ancestor
  • State
  • Date of enlistment

Search the Collection

To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

Keep in mind:

  • 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 service 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. For example:

  • Use the estimated age to calculate a birth date.
  • Use the age and location of the military unit to find the soldier’s family in census, church, and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Continue to search the index and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have served in the same unit or a nearby unit.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Unable to Find your Ancestor?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Search the records of nearby military units.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

National Archives and Records Administration

Related Wiki Articles

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

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, Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records, 1775-1783." Index. FamilySearch.http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing "Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War." Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 3 July 2014, at 10:49.
  • This page has been accessed 5,267 times.