United States, Union Provost Marshal's File of Papers Relating to Civilians (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

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

Contents

Record Description

This article describes multiple collections covering the years 1861 through 1866.

The collection "United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Individual Civilians, 1861-1866" consists of images of records from the United States Provost Marshal during the Civil War. The Provost Marshal served as military police for the Union Army. Records in this collection deal with deserters, Confederate spies, civilians suspected of disloyalty, civilian passage through military zones, etc. The records are in Record Group 109 located in the National Archives. This collection corresponds to NARA publication M345: Union Provost Marshals’ File of Papers Relating to Individual Civilians.

The collection was digitized from microfilm and is arranged alphabetically by the first two or three letters of the surname. It consists of correspondence, provost court papers, lists of transportation permits, claims for compensation for property used or destroyed by military forces, affidavits, oaths of loyalty and other lists.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Individual Civilians, 1861-1866.

The collection "United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866" consists of mages of records from the United States Provost Marshal during the Civil War. The Provost Marshal served as military police for the Union army. Records in this collection would deal with deserters, Confederate spies, civilains suspected of disloyality, civilians passage through military zones, etc. These files (for two or more citizens) are arranged by file number and date.This is National Archive publication M416.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866.

General Information About These Records

Although the records were kept by the Union Army, they primarily deal with information about confederate citizens and union citizens who were suspected of supporting the confederate cause. They dealt with a wide range of individuals including those who were suspected of disloyalty or of giving aid to the enemy, who violated military orders, were prisoners, were authorized to travel in or to enter the Confederate states, and others. During the war each division, brigade, and corps of the Union Army had a provost marshal. Be aware that

  • Provost marshals kept records of their activities as the military police
  • Provost courts were established to try civilians who violated military orders as well as military personnel suspected of committing civil crimes

Record Content

The records contain a variety of facts which vary by the individual record. Those most often found in the collection are listed below:

  • Name of civilian
  • County and/or state of civilian’s residence
  • Reason why civilian was brought into question
  • Current residence
  • Occupation
  • Legal findings
  • Resolution of matter

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name of your ancestor
  • Residence
  • Occupation

Search the Collection

To search the collections:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the “Select a surname range" category which takes you to the images

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors 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.

Using the Information

When you have located a document about your ancestor, 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 residence or locality listed to find the family in census, church and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Provost marshal records can be used to place an individual in a specific location at a specific time.
  • They can show how individual citizens were involved in the Civil War.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • These records may give initials rather than full names so you should use caution in determining if the record is for your ancestor.
  • Film numbers referenced will tell you in which of the two records sets you will locate the file. :Film numbers F1580-F1662 indicate that the file is located in "United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866"
All other film numbers designate United States Union Provost Marshal Files of "United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Individual Civilians, 1861-1866."

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records. For example an index to Missourians in the collections is available at
Index for Missourians in the Provost Marshal's Records. The dates listed in this index will help you more readily locate the files.

Related Websites

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.


Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

"United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Individual Civilians, 1861-1866." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publication M345. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

Image citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Individual Civilians, 1861-1866.
"United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publication M416. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

Image citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866.

 

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 25 March 2015, at 00:07.
  • This page has been accessed 5,529 times.