With Veteran’s Day approaching, it is a good time to take a look at your tree and identify those who served. Our infographic from Fold3 gives you a handy guide to for possible birth years of veterans and what wars they might have served in.
Do you think some of your ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War? There are many collections you can look in, but pension records are a good place to start.
Pension records often contain invaluable genealogical information, including vital events that you most likely won’t find anywhere else. For the Revolutionary War, the Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files contain an estimated 80,000 application files from officers and enlisted men who served in the Revolutionary War in all branches of the American military: army, navy, and marines. Even if the claim was rejected, there will still be information there.
You won’t always be this lucky, but check out this excellent summary of Thomas Martin’s children. And notice there the family “recycled” the name John for a son, after the first one died.
That particular collection is just the beginning. Other Revolutionary War collections you should check out on Ancestry include:
- U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications. More than 145,000 applications with 1.2 million records can help you discover or document a Patriot line you may not have known about.
- U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783. This collection contains information about those men who served in the Continental Army, so not everyone will be in there. Many served in state militias and are not on these rosters.
- Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots. While this isn’t a comprehensive list of all Revolutionary War veterans’ graves, this collection contains data compiled by the Daughters of the American Revolution between 1900 and 1975.
- Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War Battalions and Militia Index, 1775-1783. If your ancestors served for Pennsylvania, check out this collection, which includes muster rolls, diaries and other documents.
- U.S. War Bounty Land Warrants. This collection includes both Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Bounty Land Warrants that were awarded to some soldiers for their service.
- 1840 U.S. Census. The 1840 census asked for the name and age of Revolutionary War pensioners.
Don’t forget to look at Revolutionary War Records on Fold3, including:
- Revolutionary War Service Records. These are compiled service records for the regular soldiers of the Continental Army, and for the militia, volunteers, and others who served with them. The records are arranged under the designation “Continental Troops” or a state name, then by organization, and then alphabetically by the soldier’s surname.
- Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783. Browse these rolls by state and name of organization (regiment, battalion, guard, company, etc.).
If you find a Revolutionary War Veteran, you may want to consider applying to the Daughters of the American Revolution or the Sons of the American Revolution. You can find some tips to get you started in our article “Where Were Your Ancestors on July 4th, 1776?”