New Jersey Military Records
Many military records are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. The state archives has many military records from before World War I. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of most of these records. The archives will make copies from indexes and muster rolls for a fee.
This portion of the article lists sources arranged chronologically by conflict.
- Camp Washington -- Textual records of this post, 1839, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).
- Fort Lee
- Fort Mott
Colonial Wars (1668-1775)
Muster rolls and officer commissions are recorded in:
- Military Officers Recorded in the Office of the Secretary of State, Trenton, New Jersey: Colonial Wars, 1668-1774. Typescript at the state archives. (Family History Library film 573334.) Military commissions are also in the Index to Powers of Attorney, Surveyors' Reports, Commissions (see New Jersey Land and Property.
Muster rolls for 1673, 1690, and 1715 were published in the:
- Second Annual Report of the State Historian of the State of New York. Albany, New York: Wynkoop, Hallenbeck, Crawford, 1897. (FHL book 974.7 M2ne v.1; film 924818.)
A transcript of muster rolls for the French and Indian War is found in:
- New Jersey Records: French and Indian War, 1757- 1764. Typescript at the state archives. (Family History Library film 573334 item 4.)
- General Society of Colonial Wars. Lineage Records. (209 Family History Library films beginning with 528677.)
- Register of the New Jersey Society of the Colonial Dames of America (Google Books) (Worldcat) - lists women who are members of the society and a description of the ancestors military or political service.
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
A man born between 1730 and 1765 who lived in New Jersey is probably listed in some form of military record. If he supported the rebellion, he may be mentioned in records as a rebel, patriot, Whig, or signer of the Continental Association. Those who opposed the rebellion were Loyalists or Tories.
There were 238 battles and skirmishes in New Jersey, more than occurred in any other state. At least 18,000 New Jersey men fought in either the Continental Army or militia units.
For records of the Revolutionary War, see:
- United States, Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records, 1775-1783. Fold3 provided the free index for this collection on FamilySearch. Fees may apply for the links to Fold3's images. Free digital images of the National Archives microfilms for the Revolutionary War compiled service records for New Jersey (RG 93, reels 574–643) are available at Internet Archive.
- United States, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Applications. The FamilySearch index is free but fees may apply to view images on Fold3. Also available on FHL film 970001 (first of 2670 films).
- White, Virgil D. Genealogical Abstracts of the Revolutionary War Pension Files. 4 vols. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing, 1990. (Family History Library book 973 M28g.) Includes names, dates, places, battles fought, and some personal and family information.
- White, Virgil D. Index to Revolutionary War Service Records. Four Volumes. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing, 1995. (Family History Library book 973 M22wv.) Contains the names of soldiers and has service information. If you find a serviceman listed in this index, you can use NATF Form 80 to obtain copies of the original records from the National Archives for a fee.
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, which includes Revolutionary War pensioners and heirs of War of 1812 casualties, is available online:
- Report from the Secretary of War... Vol. II (Google Books)
- New Jersey Revolutionary War Pensioners (USGenWeb Archives)
- New Jersey Pensioners, 1835 (Ancestry) ($)
- The Pension Roll of 1835, Vol. II (Ancestry) ($)
Index. For an incomplete but helpful list of about 15,000 Revolutionary soldiers, refer to:
- Campbell, James W.S., Compiler. Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War, 1872. Revised 1911. Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1967. FHL book 974.9 M23n 1967; film 908526; fiche 6046724
An index prepared by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) is:
- Index of the Official Register of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War. 1941; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1965. FHL book 974.9 M23n index 1965; film 1550807 item 2; fiche 6051278
State Service and Pension Records. The following records will help you document Revolutionary War service. Collectively, they provide more complete information than the published Official Register described above. The originals are at the New Jersey State Archives, and the Family History Library has microfilm copies.
- Revolutionary War Index: A Compilation of Revolutionary War Slips and Documented Materials. This card index has summaries of service records and gives references to original manuscript sources; lists soldiers, doctors, wagon masters, clergy, and others who assisted in the war. May give the name of the person's father or son. (On 31 Family History Library films beginning with 568699.)
- Revolutionary War Slips, Single Citations of the New Jersey Department of Defense Materials. This card index abstracts and indexes account books, indents (certificates issued for the principal or interest on public debt), quartermaster vouchers, pensions, council of safety records, and miscellaneous manuscripts. There may be several cards for the same person; the cards often give the county where the person joined the militia. (On 120 Family History Library films beginning with 569426.)
- Revolutionary War Records of New Jersey. This large collection of original records includes property tax payments from credit slips for Revolutionary War service, confiscated estates information, tax records, militia lists, men enrolled by county, wagon masters, pension papers, and other miscellaneous records. FHL films 573061– 573320 (Indexes to the various records are on the first two Family History Library films.)
- New Jersey Revolutionary War Pension Claims. This file has the adjutant general's alphabetically arranged pension claims (Family History Library films 573321-32).
- Federal Service and Pension Records. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of almost all Revolutionary War service, pension, and miscellaneous records at the National Archives. Most are also on film at the National Archives — Northeast Region. Some of the names and information from lists of pensioners sent to the United States Senate are abstracted in:
- Waldenmaier, Inez. Revolutionary War Pensioners Living in New Jersey before 1834. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Inez Waldenmaier, 1983. (Family History Library book 974.9 M2r.) This often gives the soldier's age, residence, state where he served, and death date.
Burial Records. The Family History Library has the DAR book Graves of Revolutionary Soldiers in New Jersey, typescript, not dated. (Family History Library film 868777). Additional, more comprehensive indexes are described in United States Military Records and United States Cemeteries.
Loyalists. The New Jersey Volunteers was the largest Loyalist regiment in the colonies during the war. It mustered six battalions (about 5,000 soldiers, many of whom came from Monmouth County). Original muster rolls of this unit, 1777 to 1783, are available at the National Archives of Canada in British Military and Naval Records. Muster Rolls (RG 8, Ser. I, vols. 1852-1860). The last two volumes of this set are on Family History Library film 928940. The state archives has two valuable unpublished indexes to Loyalists:
- Listing of Loyalists in the King's Army, 1776- 1783 FHL films 900370–900371 These records give service information and may give death date and place.
- Officers and Men of the New Jersey Loyalists. The first part of this collection consists of four large volumes of muster rolls (Family History Library films 493684-85). The second part is a card index to petitions to the governor, petitions to the legislature, and records of confiscated estates (Family History Library films 493679-83).
The two most important published books about New Jersey Loyalists are:
- Jones, Edward Alfred. The Loyalists of New Jersey: Their Memorials, Petitions, Claims, etc. from English Records. 1927. Reprint. Lambertville, New Jersey: Hunterdon House, 1988. (Family History Library book 974.9 C4n v. 10; film 1036367 item 3.) The names of parents, wife, and children may be given. May also give birth town or county and death information.
- Stryker, William S. The New Jersey Volunteers (Loyalists) in the Revolutionary War. Trenton, New Jersey: Narr, Day & Narr, 1887. (Family History Library film 1550592; fiche 6045993.)
- See also the following records:
- Damages in New Jersey by the British and American, 1776-1782. (Family History Library films 888698-700.) Family History Library film 888698 has the index and films 888699-700 have records of the damages. Gives the county where the person lived and often mentions the town.
Militia and National Guard Records
The names of 30,000 men, ages 18 to 45, are listed in:
- Norton, James S. New Jersey in 1793: An Abstract and Index to the 1793 Militia Census of the State of New Jersey. Salt Lake City, Utah: J. S. Norton, 1973. (Family History Library book 974.9 M2n.) The original lists are at the New Jersey Bureau of Archives and History. The state archives has the New Jersey militia and National Guard records, 1789 to 1925. These have not been microfilmed.
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, New Jersey in the War of 1812, for information concerning military records, histories, links to relevant web sites, etc. for New Jersey.
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.
- United States. Adjutant General’s Office. Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served during the Mexican War in Organizations from the State of Tennessee. Washington D.C.: National Archives, 1965. FHL films 882797-882811. This includes regimental returns, a record of events during the war, and company muster rolls.
- Campbell, William B. Mexican War Letters of Col. William Bowen Campbell of Tennessee, Written to Governor David Campbell of Virginia, 1846-1847. Nashville, Tenn.: Tennessee Historical Magazine, 1915. Free digital copy.
- Furber, George C. The Twelve Months Volunteer; or, Journal of a Private in the Tennessee Regiment of Cavalry, in the Campaign in Mexico, 1846-7. Cincinnati, Ohio: J.A.U.P. James, 1849. Free digital copy.
- 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.
Five New Jersey companies served at Veracruz and Matamoros, Mexico. Lists of the soldiers that served are in: New Jersey Adjutant General, Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the War with Mexico, 1846-1848. Trenton, New Jersey, 1900. (Not available at the Family History Library). A copy of this book is at the state archives.
The Family History Library has microfilms which list the soldiers who fought in this war. (Family History Library films 1205336-357.) An index to the pension records is on Family History Library films 537000-013.
Civil War (1861-1865)New Jersey in the Civil War for information about New Jersey Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the New Jersey regiments involved in the Civil War. The regimental pages 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 more about the soldiers and their families.
The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System allows name searching for soldiers. The result set gives the regiments for the soldiers. Then you can check the Wiki regiment pages to determine counties. Often knowing the counties that had men in a regiment will help you determine if a soldier was your ancestor.
Spanish-American War (1898)
New Jersey mustered four volunteer infantry regiments and lost 40 men as a result of disease and accident during the Spanish-American War. The state archives has 122 volumes of Spanish-American War records, most of which are not microfilmed. They contain rosters, muster rolls and returns, correspondence, enlistments, and orders. The Family History Library has a microfilm copy of the archives' index to the entire collection (Family History Library film 579874-75) and volumes containing pension applications, requests for commissions, and abstracts of discharges.
For a published volume relating to Spanish-American service, refer to:
- McNally, Bernard, Compiler. Soldiers and Sailors of New Jersey in the Spanish-American War, Embracing a Chronological Account of the Army and Navy. Newark, New Jersey: Bernard McNally, 1898. (Family History Library film 1550808.) The Family History Library also has microfilm indexes to service and pension records found at the National Archives.
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.
Over 150,000 New Jerseyans served in the war, and of these, 3,836 died. The state archives has a card index to Mexican border service in 1916, microfilm copies of unofficial service records for World War I, and an index to the unofficial service records. World War I draft registrations for the 762,000 New Jersey men who registered are on microfilm at the Family History Library.
- United States. Selective Service System. New Jersey, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1987-1988. (On 127 Family History Library films beginning with film 1711811) 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 Selective Service System, New Jersey Selective Service System Registration Cards [World War II]: Fourth Registration (Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2003-2005). FHL film 2383087 item 3 (first of 198 films) (organized by county)
Also available at:
- 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
- Ancestry ($)
- Fold3 ($).
World War II United States Military Records provides additional information.