United States Registers of Enlistment in the U.S. Army (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.|
Collection Time Period
The records in this collection cover the time period 1798 to 1913.
The collection consists of registers and index of men that enlisted in the army between 1798 and 1913. The registers are from the Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, DC NARA M233. The records are arranged chronologically then by the first letter of the surname.
- Name of enlistee
- Age at time of enlistment
- Date of enlistment
- Enlistment place
- Physical description (eye color, hair color, complexion, and height)
- Rank, company, and regiment
- Date and cause of discharge
How to Use the Record
To search for your ancestors in the index you will need to know their full names. Check the index for the surname and then the given name. 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.
Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
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:
- Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- 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.
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as school records.
You may also find these search tips helpful:
- 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.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
The Regular Army is comprised of career soldiers and is maintained through peacetime. Therefore, this database will not usually include individuals who enlisted as part of a reserve or during wartime for limited periods of time, or in a military unit raised by a state. Data in these registers was compiled from a variety of other military records, including enlistment papers, muster rolls, and unit records.
Why this Record Was Created
These records were created as a permanent record of those individuals who enlisted in the Army.
The records are generally reliable although some ages may have been falsified.
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Contributions to This Article
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Sources of Information for This Collection
“United States Registers of Enlistment in the U.S. Army, 1798-1913,” database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/); from the Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, D.C. NARA M233. FHL microfilm, 81 reels, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should also 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.
A suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
- United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
- Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023