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Many military records are at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. The United States Military Records Wiki article provides more information on federal military records and search strategies.
- Fort Alden
- Fort Bull
- Fort Columbus 1806-
- Fort Dayton
- Fort Edward
- Fort Frontenac
- Fort George
- Fort_Hamilton -- Textual records of this fort, 1835-1919, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).
- Fort Lafayette -- Textual records of this fort, 1861-1867, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).
- Fort Niagra -- Textual records of this fort, 1849-1919, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in *Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).
- Fort Ontario -- Textual records of this fort, 1848-1911, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).
- Fort Orange 1624
- Fort Oswego
- Fort Pitt
- Fort Porter -- Textual records of this fort, 1864-1917, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).
- Fort Schlosser
- Fort Schuyler
- Fort Stanwix -- Carousso published an early list of Indian baptisms at Fort Stanwix:
- Fort Ticonderoga (Fort Carillon)
- Fort Totten (Willett's Point) -- Textual records of this post, 1866-1914, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in *Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).
- Fort Wildmeet
- Fort William Henry
Colonial Wars (1664–1775)
Nearly all original muster rolls for colonial wars were destroyed in the 1911 fire at the state library. Before the fire, however, muster rolls from 1664–1775 were published with a name index:
- New York Secretary of State. Muster Rolls, 1664–1775. These are in the Second Annual Report of the State Historian of the State of New York, 1896 and Third Annual Report of the State Historian of the State of New York, 1897 (Albany and New York, New York: Wynkoop, Hallenbeck, & Crawford County, 1897–98; Family History Library book 974.7 M2nyc; films 924818 and 924819; 2nd annual report also on fiche 6088376). Sometimes lists ages and country or town of birth.
- A book which is not as complete as the above source, but which may be helpful is Carol M. Meyers, Early Military Records of New York, 1689–1738 (Saugus, California: RAM, 1967; Family History Library book 974.7 M2m; fiche 6105194). Lists counties where units were raised.
- The General Society of Colonial Wars published a list of members with descriptions of the members service. See General Society of Colonial Wars for more information.
- "Register of the National Society of Colonial Dames of the State of New York, 1893-1913" (Google Books) (Worldcat) - lists women who are members of the society and a description of the ancestors military or political service.
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
Nearly one-third of all Revolutionary War battles took place in New York, including the battles of Long Island, Oriskany, Bennington, and Saratoga. The British occupied New York City during the war.
New York contributed at least 51,972 rebel soldiers, more than any province except Massachusetts and Virginia. Some rosters are:
- Roberts, James A. New York in the Revolution as Colony and State. Second Edition. Volume 1. Albany, New York: Press of Brandow Printing, 1898; Volume 2. Edited by Frederic Gregory Mather. Albany, New York: J. B. Lyon, 1904. (Family History Library book 974.7 M28n 1898; Volume 1 on film 940048 item 2; Volume 2 on 1035618 item 14; Volume 1 on fiche 6046684.) The first volume lists some 45,000 names from regimental rosters. The second volume has lists of bounty land recipients, refugees, naval lists, prisoner of war lists, lists of suspected Loyalists, claimants for damages, and information about confiscated estates.
- Fernow, Berthold. New York State Archives. New York in the Revolution. Volume 1. Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York. Volume 15. 1887. Reprint, New Orleans, Louisiana: Polyanthos, 1972. (Family History Library book 974.7 H2d vol. 15; film 824391 item 1.) Indexed. Lists name, regiment, company, rank, and sometimes residence.
- DeLancey, Edward F., editor. Muster and Pay Rolls of the War of the Revolution, 1775–1783. Collections of the New York Historical Society for the Years 1914–15. Two volumes. Volumes 47–48. 1916. Reprint, Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1990. (Family History Library book 974.7 B4n v. 47–48; film 845303 items 2–3; v. 2 also on 547506 item 2; fiche 6078201, Volumes 47–48.) Lists name, regiment, company, rank, residence, and sometimes service dates.
- Wilson, Thomas B., editor. Inhabitants of New York 1774–1776. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1993. (Family History Library book 974.7 X4w.) This book contains names from various sources of residents in New York County, Queens County, and Suffolk County.
- New York. Secretary of State. Calendar of Historical Manuscripts Relating to the War of the Revolution, in the Office of the Secretary of State, 1638–1801. Two volumes. Albany, New York: Weed, Parsons and Company, 1868. (Family History Library film 1550750.) Volume 1 includes lists of patriots and loyalists for Charlotte, Cumberland, Dutchess, Orange, Suffolk, and Ulster counties in 1775. Index in Volume 2.
Guides to more sources are:
- Bielinski, Stefan, editor. A Guide to the Revolutionary War Manuscripts in the New York State Library. Albany, New York: New York State American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, 1976. (Family History Librarybook 974.4 A3r.)
- Klein, Milton M., compiler. New York in the American Revolution: A Bibliography. Albany, New York: New York State American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, 1974. (Family History Library book 974.7 H23k; film 928293 item 2.)
A man born between 1730 and 1765 who lived in New York is probably listed in some form of military record. If he supported the Revolution, he may be mentioned in records as a rebel, patriot, or Whig. Those who opposed the Revolution were Loyalists or Tories. For patriot records of the Revolutionary War, see:
- White, Virgil D. Genealogical Abstracts of the Revolutionary War Pension Files. Four Volumes. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing, 1990. (Family History Library book 973 M28g.) May include name, unit, service and application dates and places, age, birth date, marriage date, residences, and names of relatives. These abstracts are mainly from:
- United States. Veterans Administration. Selected Records from Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application Files. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library films 840256–406.)
- United States. Veterans Administration. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application Files. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library films 970001–2670.) 80,000 complete pension files alphabetical by surname.
- White, Virgil D. Index to Revolutionary War Service Records. Four Volumes. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing, 1995. (Family History Library book 973 M22wv.) Shows the name, rank, and unit of over 390,000 patriots. Transcripts of:
- United States. Adjutant General's Office. General Index to Compiled Military Service Records of Revolutionary Ward Soldiers. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1942. (Family History Library films 882841–98.)
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 York is available online.
- Report from the Secretary of War... Vol. II (Google Books)
- New York Pensioners, 1835 (Ancestry) ($)
- The Pension Roll of 1835, Vol. II (Ancestry) ($)
Federal Service and Pension Records
The service records and pension files for Revolutionary War patriots are available at the Family History Library and from other sources. For more information, see the Revolutionary War, 1775 to 1783 wiki article. You can also use NATF Form 80 to obtain copies of some records from the National Archives for a fee. Copies of records are also available online at http://www.archives.gov/.
New York had one of the highest percentages of Loyalists, and many enrolled in Loyalist military units. The majority of emigrant Loyalists from New York moved to Nova Scotia or New Brunswick after the war. The American Loyalist Claims record information about property lost by loyalists. The claims are at the Public Record Office in London and on microfilm at the Family History Library. See the Canada and the United States Military Records Wiki articles for more information.
Some published sources of importance include:
- Yoshpe, Harry Beller. The Disposition of Loyalist Estates in the Southern District of the State of New York. New York, New York: Columbia University Press, 1939. (Family History Library book 974.7 R2y.) The appendices include lists of the names of Loyalists whose estates were confiscated. Lists county of residence, date of sale, and awards paid.
- New York. Commission for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies. Minutes of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies in the State of New York. Albany County Sessions, 1778–1781. Three Volumes. Edited by Victor Hugo Paltsits. Albany, New York: J. B. Lyon, 1909–1910. (Family History Library film 1705179.) Volume 3 includes the index to all volumes. May show names, dates, residence, military service record, and occupation.
Hereditary Society Records
Several lineage societies have been organized for descendants of Revolutionary War veterans. In addition to those described in the United States Societies Wiki article, the following register helps locate compiled genealogies for descendants of New York patriots:
- Sons of the American Revolution. Empire State Society. Register of the Empire State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. New York, New York: the Society, 1899. (Family History Library book 974.7 C4r; film 238380 or 1673276 item 22.) Lists soldiers and descendants. Gives clues for finding SAR applications.
Burial Records. The New York State Library has a special card index called Revolutionary War Soldiers Grave Card Index. It indexes Daughters of the American Revolution, Graves of Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in New York, 15 Volumes. (Typescript, 1921–55; Family History Library films 860330–32). Each volume is also individually indexed.
The United States Military Records Wiki article lists several more nationwide indexes to Revolutionary War veterans' graves, including many from New York.
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 York in the War of 1812, for information concerning military records, histories, links to relevant web sites, etc. for New York.
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.
- United States. Adjutant General’s Office. Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served during the Mexican War in Organizations from the State of Tennessee. Washington D.C.: National Archives, 1965. FHL films 882797-882811. This includes regimental returns, a record of events during the war, and company muster rolls.
- Campbell, William B. Mexican War Letters of Col. William Bowen Campbell of Tennessee, Written to Governor David Campbell of Virginia, 1846-1847. Nashville, Tenn.: Tennessee Historical Magazine, 1915. Free digital copy.
- Furber, George C. The Twelve Months Volunteer; or, Journal of a Private in the Tennessee Regiment of Cavalry, in the Campaign in Mexico, 1846-7. Cincinnati, Ohio: J.A.U.P. James, 1849. Free digital copy.
- 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.
Only two New York regiments participated in the Mexican War: the First and Seventh Regiments of New York Volunteers. The Family History Library has indexes to service and pension records found at the National Archives. They are listed in the Family History Library Catalog Place Search under UNITED STATES - MILITARY RECORDS and are described in the United States Military Records Wiki article.
Civil War (1861–1865)New York in the Civil War for information about New York Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the New York 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.
A wiki article describing an online collections is found at:
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 "General Index to Pension Files, 1861–1934". 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.)
The New York State Archives has 40 volumes of Abstracts of Muster Rolls for National Guard Units Mustered into Federal Service. For a published roster of soldiers see New York State Adjutant General, New York in the Spanish-American War, 1898, Three Volumes. (Albany, New York: James B. Lyon, 1900; Family History Library book 974.7 M2nys; fiche 6051368). Lists age, when and where enlisted, unit, and where mustered out. This was reprinted and indexed as Richard H. Saldaña, editor, Index to the New York Spanish-American War Veterans, 1898, Two volumes. (Bountiful, Utah: A.I.S.I. Publishers, 1987; FHL book 974.7 M2nys 1987).
Click on the link to learn more about the Spanish American War.
Philippine Insurrection (1899–1902)
The Philippine–American War, also known as the Philippine War of Independence or the Philippine Insurrection (1899–1902), was an armed conflict between the United States and Filipino revolutionaries. The conflict arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to gain independence following annexation by the United States.
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, World War One Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (FamilySearch) - free
A card index to World War I servicemen is available at the New York State Archives.
The New York State Archives has Abstracts of Service Records for New York National Guard and Naval Militia Units and Muster Rolls of New York National Guard Units. Veterans' discharge records have been filed with county clerks since 1909, and some have been microfilmed.
World War I draft registration cards for men ages 18 to 45 may list address, birth date, birthplace, race, nationality, citizenship, and next of kin. Not all registrants served in the war. For registration cards for New York, see:
United States. Selective Service System. New York, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1987–1988. (On 441 Family History Library films) These cards have been digitized and are searchable online.
These Draft Registration cards can also be found online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~rwguide/WWIdraft.html
To find an individual's draft card, it helps to know his name and residence at the time of registration. The cards are arranged alphabetically by county, within the county by draft board, and then alphabetically by surname within each draft board.
Most counties had only one board; large cities had several. A map showing the boundaries of individual draft boards is available for most large cities. Finding an ancestor's street address in a city directory will help you determine the draft board number if he lived in a large city.
Draft board addresses for Buffalo and other New York cities can be found in Second Report of the Provost Marshall General to the Secretary of War on the Operations of the Selective Service System to December 20, 1918 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1919; not at Family History Library). A street map of Buffalo without draft board registration district boundaries is on FHL film 1498803.
Maps of Albany, Rensselear, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Richmond, Rochester, Schenectady, and Syracuse have been prepared which show the draft board registration district boundaries. The cities of New York State (except Buffalo, which is alphabetical under "B") are at the end of the microfilm. For a copy of these maps see:
United States. Selective Service System. List of World War One Draft Board Maps. Washington, D.C.: National Archives. (Family History Library film 1498803.)
See WWI Draft Records for more information.
World War II (1941-1945)
The WWII U.S. Military Records wiki article describes where to write for service files for those who served in the two world wars.
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.
Militia (National Guard) (1832–1962)
Militia records are valuable for finding military personnel who may have served during peacetime. The New York State Library has the Annual Report of the Adjutant General. 192 Volumes. (Albany, New York: State printers, 1832–1962; 1868, 1886, and 1889 in Family History Library book 974.7 M2n; 1865 on film 1000223 item 3). The reports give the names of commissioned officers serving in the militia (later the National Guard). The reports do not list officers and men in the regular U.S. Army and Navy. They give name and rank. The lists of commissioned officers do not give residences. The published reports are not indexed.
The New York State Archives has Abstracts of Service Records for New York National Guard and Naval Militia Units and annual Muster Rolls of New York National Guard Units, 1876–1941. The National Guard muster rolls contain no information other than name, rank, and whether present or absent at muster. The records are not indexed and the State Archives will not search them unless the unit number and the year are provided.