Important! The core collections of Revolutionary War records are at the U. S. National Archives [NARA]. The Archives assigns publication or microfilm numbers to its collections, for example, M804, M246. These collections or portions of them may be found in online digital sites, in books, or in articles. Often the source does not use the original NARA title. Always note which NARA number the particular records you are looking at were taken from to avoid duplicate search efforts and to know which sources you have not yet seen.
Order a soldier's records from the National Archives by going to this page and down to the section "Obtaining Copies of Military Service Records".
Go to: http://www.archives.gov/research/military/genealogy.html
Ancestry Library Edition is available in all library branches. Search in Catalog by “Title” or “Filter by Collection" for "Military".
Go to: https://fold3library.proquest.com/barcode?accountid=11047 Log into Fold3 with your library card
HeritageQuest includes images of microfilm M804, "Revolutionary Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files", which contains all the papers in the files. Selected pages will appear first in the file and then the non-selected pages.
Go to: https://www.nclive.org/cgi-bin/nclsm?rsrc=218 Log into NCLive with your library card
Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Statements and Rosters provide transcriptions for pension applications filed by Revolutionary War Soldiers.
Go to: http://revwarapps.org/
List of Free African Americans in the Revolution by Paul Heinegg "Over 420 African Americans who were born free during the colonial period served in the Revolution from Virginia. Another 400 who descended from free-born colonial families served from North Carolina, 40 from South Carolina, 60 from Maryland, and 17 from Delaware."
Go to: http://www.freeafricanamericans.com/revolution.htm
Also family history of colonial militia and French and Indian War soldiers by Paul Heinegg. "There were over 75 free African Americans in colonial militias and French and Indian Wars in Virginia, North and South Carolina."
Go to: http://www.freeafricanamericans.com/Virginia_NC.htm
The Revolutionary War Era digital collection is comprised of selected documents from the government and private collections of the State Archives of North Carolina that highlight this important time in history.
Go to: https://digital.ncdcr.gov/digital/custom/revolutionary-war
Troop Returns collection includes lists, returns, records of prisoners, and records of draftees, from 1747 to 1893. The majority of records are from the Revolutionary War North Carolina Continental Line.
Go to: https://digital.ncdcr.gov/digital/custom/troop-returns
Search under Series and then select S108092 Accounts Audited Of Claims Growing Out Of The American Revolution. All documents pertaining to the same name (not individual) are contained in each file.
Go to: http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov/
Accounts audited of revolutionary claims against South Carolina. Edited by A. S. Salley, secretary of the Historical commission of South Carolina.
Go to: catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008557568
Stub Entries to Indents Issued in Payment of Claims Against South Carolina Growing Out of the Revolution South Carolina. Treasury, Alexander Samuel Salley, Wylma Anne Wates Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1915. Book B, Book I, Book L - N, Books O - Q, Book R - T, Books U - W, Book X Part 1 and Part 2.
American Revolution in South Carolina. Materials contained in the collection include the personal papers of soldiers, statesmen, merchants, planters, and diplomats, and prints, paintings and other artwork drawn from the extensive visual image archive of the South Caroliniana Library.
Go to: https://digital.library.sc.edu/collections/the-american-revolution-in-south-carolina/
Revolutionary War Virginia State Pensions – Index to and scanned images of the surviving records that veterans and their widows presented to the county courts to certify their eligibility for pension.
Revolutionary War Bounty Land Claims – "The collection consists of images of application files for military bounty land. Related bounty land certificate files are indexed, but not imaged. Following a 1779 legislative act, the state offered bounty lands for Revolutionary War military service. To qualify, a Virginia soldier or sailor had to serve at least three years continuously in the Continental or state forces. No bounty land was given by the state for militia service."
Revolutionary War Public Service Claims Index – "This is an index to the reimbursement claims submitted by Virginia residents for goods and services supplied to the Militia, State Line, and Continental troops during the Revolutionary War. These were not payments for military service. Claim records may include certificates, county court booklets and lists, rejected claims lists, and the claim commissioners account books."
Dunmore's War (Virginia Payrolls/Public Service Claims, 1775) – Index and images of the payrolls and muster rolls from Dunmore's War, a conflict between the Colony of Virginia and the Native Americans of the Ohio Valley.
LVA Discovery Search Page Go to: https://lva.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/search?vid=01LVA_INST:01LVA&lang=en
The Revolutionary War Warrants database indexes 4,748 Virginia Revolutionary Warrants. There are 121 duplicate numbers, therefore the warrants range in number from one to 4,627. Before June 1, 1792, Kentucky was part of Virginia. A Resolution passed by the Virginia General Assembly dated December 19, 1778, proposed the location of the Military District. After separating from Virginia, the Kentucky General Assembly opened the military district to settlers meeting age and residency requirements.
Go to: https://www.sos.ky.gov/land/military/revwar/Pages/default.aspx
Also See Online Record Collections for online pension records.
Also See Online Record Collections for online pension records.
"The institute is the only center exclusively dedicated to the study of the Revolution in the Southern states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. Although the general scope of the Institute is the entire Southern Campaign, it has a particular focus on the Revolutionary War in the Carolina backcountry."
Historical Center of
210 E Jefferson St.
York, SC 29745
Hours & Admission:
Pre-World War I Era Headstones and Markers
According to the National Cemetery Administration, proof of military service prior to World War I requires detailed primary documentation, such as Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR), extracts from official State files, Federal pension documents or land warrants, to be considered for a Government-furnished headstone or marker.
Go To: https://www.cem.va.gov/cem/hmm/pre_WWI_era.asp
Search our Catalog by Subject for:
Soldiers -- Revolution, 1775-1783
[name of state]--History--Revolution
Author: Gaston County Public Library
Title: Finding Your Revolutionary War Ancestor
Revised: 30 June 2020
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