Delaware Military Records
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Many military records are at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. United States Military Records provides more information on federal military records and search strategies.
State Manuscript Records for all Wars
The Historical Society of Delaware has military manuscripts for Delaware soldiers in their manuscript catalog. These include records of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, and World War I. Some militia units and veterans organizations are also included.
The Delaware Public Archives has original military records of the colonial wars, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, militia records for 1765 to 1841, Mexican Border dispute, some Adjutant General Civil War files, Spanish-American War, National Guard Card File, World War I, and World War II records. They have indexes to many of these records. Records to 1827 are described in:
Public Archives Commission of Delaware. Delaware Archives. Five Volumes. Wilmington, Delaware: [N.p.], 1911-16. FHL book 975.1 M2d:
- Volume 1 FHL film 928150 item 1
- Volume 2 FHL film 1033612 item 4
- Volumes 3-5 FHL fiche 6051215.)
- Volume 5 FHL film 599318 item 2
This set contains colonial, revolutionary, and some post-revolutionary military records. The contents of the volumes are:
- Volume 1 - King George's War and Revolutionary War, 1746-1783
- Volume 2 - Revolutionary War militia and pensioners, 1780-1850s; index to Volumes 1-2
- Volume 3 - Revolutionary War militia and pensioners, 1776-1780s; index to Volumes 1-3
- Volume 4 - Militia; 1795-1813
- Volume 5 - Militia; 1813-1827, index to Volumes 4-5
Colonial Wars (1638-1776)
A useful publication is:
Peden, Henry C. Colonial Delaware Soldiers and Sailors 1638-1776. Westminister, Maryland: Family Line Publications, 1995. FHL book 975.1 M2p. This has an alphabetical list of names of soldiers who served between 29 March 1638 and 4 July 1776.
Fort Christiana (1638) now Wilmington,
Fort Delaware 1814-
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
A man born between 1730 and 1765 who lived in Delaware 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. FHL 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 & Bounty-Land-Warrant Application Files. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1969. FHL films 840256-406.
- United States. Veterans Administration. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application Files. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1969. FHL films 970001-972670. 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. FHL 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 War Soldiers. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1942. FHL films 882841-98.
The service records and pension files for Revolutionary War patriots are available at the Family History Library. For more information, see United States Military Records. You can also use NATF Form 80 to obtain copies of some records from the National Archives for a fee.
The 1813 Pension List:
- 1813 Pension List (New Horizons Genealogy)
The 1818 Pensioners of the United States:
- 1818 Pensioners of the United States (New Horizons Genealogy)
The 1820 Pension List:
- 1820 Pension List (New Horizons Genealogy)
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 1835 Pension Roll for Delaware is available online:
- Report from the Secretary of War... Vol. II (Google Books)
- Delaware Pensioners, 1835 (Ancestry) ($)
- The Pension Roll of 1835, Vol. II (Ancestry) ($)
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, Delaware in the War of 1812, for information concerning military records, histories, links to relevant web sites, etc. for Delaware.
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.
- 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.
The Delaware Public Archives and the Delaware Historical Society have records of soldiers who served in this war.
Civil War (1861-1865)
See Delaware in the Civil War for information about Delaware Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the Delaware regiments involved in the Civil War. The regimental articles 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 the families of the soldiers.
The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System allows name searching for soldiers. The result set gives the regiment for the soldiers. Then you can check the regiment page to determine counties. Often knowing the counties that had men in a regiment will help you determine if a soldier was your ancestor.
Civil War Pension Index Cards
An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. Other wars, of that time period, may be included.
A wiki article describing this collection 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 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.)
Click on the link to learn more about the Spanish American War.
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. Selective Service System. Delaware World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1987-1988. FHL film 1570621 (first of 11 films). These cards have been digitized and are searchable online. Also available at:
- United States, World War One Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (FamilySearch) - free
United States World War I Draft Records provides additional information.
World War II (1941-1945)
On April 27, 1942, the Selective Service conducted the fourth of six draft registrations related to WWII. The "World War II Selective Service Draft Cards: Fourth Registration, 1942" is often referred to as the “Old Man’s Registration” or the “Old Man’s Draft" because it included men with a date of birth from April 28, 1877 to February 16, 1897. Since there is overlap in the WWI and WWII Selective Service registration, men born in the years 1877 to 1900 may have registered twice and have both WWII and WWI draft records.
- United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Image Browse) (FamilySearch) - free
- United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (images with partial index) (FamilySearch) - free
- Also available at:
- A series of books entitled "Young American Patriots", published shortly after the war, documented the service of soldiers from different states including Maryland and Delaware. The series of books included photos and a short biography of some of the soldiers from the state.
- Conner, William H., and Leon DeValinger, Jr. Delaware's Role in World War II. Two Volumes. Dover, Delaware: Public Archives Commission, 1955. FHL book 975.1 M2c. This book has brief biographical sketches about persons who died in World War II.
The Delaware Public Archives has a National Guard Card File, and records concerning World War II soldiers.
World War II United States Military Records provides additional information.
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.
Delaware. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.Family History Department, 1998, 2001.
- NOTE: All of the information from the original research outline has been imported into this Wiki site and is being updated as time permits.