United States Naval Enlistment Rendezvous (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.

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Record Description

A rendezvous was the recruiting station where the men enlisted in the Navy. Officers at the rendezvous kept a record of each man enlisted and reported the information weekly to the Navy Department. These documents are known as the “weekly returns of rendezvous reports.”

The largest number of enlistments occurred during the Civil War. The number of men in uniform for these years is estimated at between 26,000 and 51,000.

This collection consists of these enlistment registers for the years 1855 to 1891. The original records are located in the National Archives Record Group 24 (NARA publication M1953): Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel. The records were microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 2003.

They are arranged in the following order:

  • Volume
  • Chronologically by week
  • Name of naval rendezvous
  • Date of enlistment

The indexes to these records, both arranged alphabetically, are available on microfilm from the National Archives in the following publications:

  • T1098, Index to Rendezvous Reports, Before and After the Civil War, 1846–1861, 1865–1884
  • T1099, Index to Rendezvous Reports, Civil War, 1861–1865
You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Naval Enlistment Rendezvous, 1855-1891.

Record Content

Information found in this collection may include:

  • Name of naval rendezvous
  • Name of new recruit
  • Date and term of enlistment
  • Rating (rank)
  • Name of ship to which assigned
  • Previous naval service
  • City and state where born
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Personal description

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know

  • Name
  • Identifying information such as age or birth place

If you are having difficulty finding your ancestor, look for variations in the spelling of the name. If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

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 "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the “Film" 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.

With either search 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.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

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.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been seeking the pension.
  • 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?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • 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.

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Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citations for This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"United States Naval Enlistment Rendezvous, 1855-1891." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1953. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for United States, Naval Enlistment Rendezvous, 1855-1891.

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, Naval Enlistment Rendezvous, 1855-1891.


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  • This page was last modified on 13 November 2015, at 15:52.
  • This page has been accessed 10,977 times.