United States, Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records, 1775-1783 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
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Flag of the United States of America
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Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Group RG 93: War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records,1709-1939
Collection years 1775-1784
Microfilm Publication M881. Compiled Service Records of Soldiers who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War. 1097 rolls.
Arrangement Arranged by Continental Troops then by state, by organization and alphabetically by name.
National Archives Identifier 570910
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

What is in Collection?

Index to compiled service records for approximately 80,000 soldiers who served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The collection corresponds to the National Archives and Records Administration publication M881 and is part of Record Group 93 War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records. Each envelope/jacket contains information and cross references to original records relating to the soldier. The compiled service records are abstracts from muster rolls and pay rolls other records from the Revolutionary War.

Collection Content

Compiled Service Record index entries usually include the following information:

  • Name of soldier
  • Rank, regiment and commanding officer
  • State from which served
  • Date of commission or enlistment
  • Term of enlistment
  • Pay records
  • Type of records in file
  • NARA publication number, title, and roll number

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • Name of your ancestor
  • State
  • Date of enlistment

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name:
fill in the requested information on the search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them 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.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

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

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s service 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. For example:

  • Use the estimated age to calculate a birth date.
  • Use the age and location of the military unit to find the soldier’s family in census, church, and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Continue to search the index and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have served in the same unit or a nearby unit.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Search the records of nearby military units.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

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.

Citing 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, Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records, 1775-1783." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing "Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War." Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d.

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, Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records, 1775-1783.