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Military records identify millions of individuals who served in the military or who were eligible for service. Evidence that an ancestor actually served may be found in family traditions, census records, naturalization records, biographies, cemetery records, and records of veterans’ organizations. In addition to his record of military service, military records can give birth, marriage, and death dates, names of spouse and children, and localities of residence.
Early military records are generally known as militia records, and many of these can be found in the individual town records. These include muster rolls and payrolls and may list the battles fought. There is a comprehensive listing of federal military records available in the National Archives and other federal archives. For information on these records, consult the United States Military Records Wiki article.
For a military history of New Hampshire, see:
Potter, Chandler Eastman. The Military History of the State of New Hampshire. Concord, N.H.: McFarland and Jenks, 1866. This history comprises events from the first settlements in New Hampshire to the rebellion in 1861. It includes biographical notices of many of the officers and explanatory notes. Volume one and volume two, plus indexes to each volume, are available through the Military Records Search at Ancestry. Also on film, Family History Library film 1033664; fiche 6046858.
- Fort Constitution, 1808-68, at New Castle
- Fort William and Mary, at New Castle
- Fort Stark, at New Castle
- Fort Washington, at New Castle
- Fort Dearborne, at New Castle
Colonial Military Records (1600s–1775)
- New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, 40 vols. These volumes each have a name index. (See "New Hampshire Court Records for the full citation. Family History Library book 974.2 N2nhp, vols. 5, 6, 14, 16.) French and Indian War records (1754–1763) can be found in volume 5, film 1033735; volume 6, film 1033736; volume 14, film 983564; volume 16, film 983565.
- Indian and French Wars and Revolutionary Papers. (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975). These papers comprise four volumes of records and papers. The index to the papers is in volume one, and the papers are found in volumes 1–4. (Family History Library films 983571–72.)
- The King Philip's War, sometimes referred to as the First Indian War was led by a Native Amrican named Metacomet, who was known to the Puritians as King Philip. A history of the Indian wars in New England from 1620-1677 is found in Soldiers In King Philip's War, by George M. Bodge, which is free on Archives.org. It includes an official list of soldiers, as well as sketches of principal officers and copies of some documents related to the war.
- "Register of New Hampshire Society of the Colonial Dames of America", (pub. 1898) lists women who were members of the society with descriptions of their ancestors' military or political service. (Google Books) (Worldcat)
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
If a person supported the Revolution, he may be mentioned in records as a rebel, patriot, or Whig. Those who opposed the Revolution were loyalists or Tories.
Service and pension records and indexes for patriots are available on film at the National Archives and the Family History Library. See the United States Military Records Wiki article for these sources. The article mentions helpful Internet sites where you can search for ancestors' names in military records. Sources including information specifically about New Hampshire soldiers are:
- United States. War Department. Revolutionary War Rolls 1775–1783. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0246. Washington D.C.: National Archives, 1957. (On 138 Family History Library films beginning with 830280.) These films contain the jackets (compilation of records) for each soldier. The index for all years is on film 830280. The films listing the jacket numbers of the records are arranged by state. New Hampshire records are found on films 830322–33.
- New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, 40 vols. (See New Hampshire Court Records for the full citation. Family History Library book 974.2 N2nhp vols.14–17 and 30.) Rolls and documents relating to soldiers in the Revolutionary War are found in volumes 14–17 and 30. Volumes 14 and l5 are on film 983564; volume 16, film 983565; volume 17, film 983566; volume 30, film 983567. Volumes 14 through 17 deal with miscellaneous records for 1775 through 1782. Volume 30 pertains specifically to New Hampshire records. They are all fully indexed. An index to volumes 14–17 is:
- New Hampshire Historical Society. Card Index to Revolutionary and Other Military War Rolls Listed in the New Hampshire State Papers, vols.14–17. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975). These are films of the original records at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, New Hampshire. The cards are arranged alphabetically by the first letter of the surname. Family History Library films1001450– 53.
- Draper, Mrs. Amos G. New Hampshire Pension Records, 1776–1850. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971). These are films of the originals records at the DAR Library in Washington, D.C. The names are alphabetically arranged through volume 99. Volume 100 is an alphabetical listing of miscellaneous names that were missed in the original listing. On 25 Family History Library films beginning with 879672.
- Revolutionary Pensioners Records of New Hampshire: With a Brief Abstract Showing Names of their Wives and Residence. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1951). These pensions are arranged alphabetically by surname. Family History Library films 15469–94.
The 1835 Pension Roll
On June 5, 1834, the U.S. Senate required the Secretary of War to submit a statement showing the names of pensioners who were on the pension rolls or had previously been on the pension rolls. For more information on the 1835 Pension Roll, see Revolutionary War Pension Records. The pension Roll for New Hampshire is available online.
- Report from the Secretary of War... Vol. I (Google Books)
- New Hampshire Pensioners, 1835 (Ancestry) ($)
- The Pension Roll of 1835, Vol. I (Ancestry) ($)
Additional resources for the Revolutionary War are found in the United States Military Records Wiki article.
Loyalists were those colonists who were loyal to Britain during the American Revolution. Their lives were no different from the patriots. They were farmers, traders, merchants, lawyers, and clergymen who were content under the British rule and saw no reason for change. The loyalists were persecuted by the patriots because of their loyalty, and they were driven from their homes. The records that were kept of their lives and their escape to Canada provide good genealogical information on the families of the loyalists. Following the war, the loyalists filed claims for return of their land. These records are held in the National Archives in Ottawa, Canada, and in London, England. Many of these records have been filmed by the Public Records Office in London, and most are available on microfilm at the Family History Library:
- American Loyalist Claims, AO 12. (London, England: Public Records Office, 1972). On 32 Family History Library films beginning with 1401498. These films are series one, volumes1–112, and have been indexed by the name of the claimants. They contain original handwritten claims submitted to the British government by citizens in America for losses sustained during the American Revolution as they remained loyal to the Crown.
- American Loyalist Claims, 1730–1835. (London, England: Public Record Office, 1960–1962). (Series 13) These records consist of bundles of memorials, certificates, accounts, and vouchers of loyalist claims as presented to the commission established to inquire about the claims. On 189 Family History Library films beginning with 944044
- Bunnell, Paul J. The New Loyalist Index. (Bowie, Maryland., Heritage Books, 1989). This index is a comprehensive list of loyalists in the Revolutionary War. Each entry provides name, regiment, and rank along with brief data on residence, birth, marriage, or death. Some have additional information. Family History Library book 973 M2bun.
For other loyalist records, see the Canada Military Records Wiki article.
You may also use the Family History Library Catalog Subject Search under:
UNITED EMPIRE LOYALISTS
War of 1812 (1812-1815)
The War of 1812 between Britain and the United States confirmed the separate existence of the United States and the future Canada.
See the Wiki article, New Hampshire in the War of 1812, for information concerning military records, histories, links to relevant web sites, etc. for New Hampshire.
There are helpful nationwide records for soldiers of the War of 1812. For more information, see United States in the War of 1812.
Mexican War (1846-1848)
The Mexican War was caused by the annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845. Most volunteer regiments were from southern states. Records of Mexican War veterans might exist in a state where the veteran later resided.
- Mexican War Index to Pension Files, 1887–1926. (NARA T317). FHL films 0537000–13 Alphabetically arranged and includes the veteran’s name, rank, and unit; names of dependents; date of filing and application; certificate numbers; act filed under; and state from which application was made. Also available at:
- United States, Mexican War Pension Index, 1887-1926 (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. (Learn more.)
- United States, Mexican War Pension Index, 1887-1926 (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. (Learn more.)
- Robarts, William Hugh. Mexican War Veterans : A Complete Roster of the Regular and Volunteer Troops in the War Between the United States and Mexico, from 1846-1848… Washington, D.C. : Brentano’s, 1887. FHL book 973 M2rwh Digital version available at Internet Archive.
Civil War (1861 to 1865)
See New Hampshire in the Civil War for information about New Hampshire Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the New Hampshire regiments involved in the Civil War. The regimental pages often include lists of the companies with links to the counties where the companies started. Men in the companies often lived in the counties where the companies were raised. Knowing a county can help when researching more about the soldiers and their families.
The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System allows name searching for soldiers. The result set gives the regiments for the soldiers. Then you can check the Wiki regiment pages to determine counties. Often knowing the counties that had men in a regiment will help you determine if a soldier was your ancestor.
Spanish-American War (1898)
The Spanish-American War was largely fought in Cuba and the Philippines. Spanish-American War records might exist in the state from which the soldier served or in a state where the veteran later resided.
- United States, General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (NARA T288). (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. The index covers veterans of the Civil War, Spanish‑American War, Philippine Insurrection, Boxer Rebellion (1900 to 1901), and the regular Army, Navy, and Marine forces. (Learn more.)
- United States, Index to Service Records, War with Spain, 1898 (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. (Learn more.)
Click on the link to learn more about the Spanish American War.
World War I (1917-1918)
World War I was a global war fought on multiple continents with several nations involved. Over four million men and women served from the United States.
- United States. Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1509. (Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1987– 1988). (On 17 Family History Library films beginning with 1711715.) Also available at:
- United States, World War One Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (FamilySearch) - free
- World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (Ancestry) ($) - indexed
See WWI Draft Records for more information.
Haller’s Army. During World War I, the Polish Army in France, commonly called Haller’s Army, recruited about 20,000 soldiers from among Poles living in the United States. Two forms that contain genealogical information were filled out by the recruits. Form A contains each volunteer’s name, address, marital status, number of children, American citizenship status, age, physical description, signature, and recruiting station and the date. Form C contains additional information such as the volunteer’s birth date and place, the address of his closest relative in America and closest relative in Poland, his previous military service, and remarks. All volumes of the collection are available through:
- PGS of America
ATTN: Haller’s Army Request
984 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60622
A name index is on the Internet at:
- Haller’s Army Index. In Polish Genealogical Society of America. [Chicago, Illinois: PGSA], 1998 [cited 17 July 1999]. Available at www.pgsa.org/haller.htm.
You can search by surname and first name. The index shows the volunteer’s surname and given name, town and state where he volunteered, his form (form A or C described above, or L, that is, loose papers), and page number.
A microfilm copy of Form A records only is:
- United States (with some from Ontario, Canada) Recruits for the Polish Army in France, 1917– 1919: States Represented most Frequently are New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Connecticut, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware, Nebraska, and Kansas (for Complete Breakdown See Film Inventory). (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1995). The forms are in Polish, but at the beginning of each film is a blank form printed in English. The records are not organized by locality and New Hampshire recruits are listed on almost every film. There is, however, an alphabetical list of volunteers for each item. On 11 Family History Library films beginning with 1993525.
World War II (1941-1945)
On April 27, 1942, the Selective Service conducted the fourth of six draft registrations related to WWII. The "World War II Selective Service Draft Cards: Fourth Registration, 1942" is often referred to as the “Old Man’s Registration” or the “Old Man’s Draft" because it included men with a date of birth from April 28, 1877 to February 16, 1897. Since there is overlap in the WWI and WWII Selective Service registration, men born in the years 1877 to 1900 may have registered twice and have both WWII and WWI draft records.
- United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Image Browse) (FamilySearch) - free
- United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (images with partial index) (FamilySearch) - free
- Also available at:
World War II United States Army enlistment records for 1938-1946 on ancestry.com.
World War II United States Military Records provides additional information.
Korean War (1950–1953)
The Korean War was a conflict between North Korea (and its communist allies) and South Korea (with support of the United Nations, primarily the United States). See the Korean War wiki article for information on records and their availability.
Vietnam War (1964–1972)
The Vietnam War was a conflict between North Vietnam (and its communist allies) and South Vietnam (with support of its anti-communist allies, including the United States). See the Vietnam War wiki article for information on records and their availability.