War of 1812 Pay rolls - discrepancies in official records.

I'm researching 31 men who were drafted into the militia Aug-Sept 1814 in Rockingham County, VA, then transferred out to US units deployed around the Chesapeake Bay, predominantly into Alexander Campbells' Riflemen attached to the 2 Corps d'Elite.

These men are listed on the pay roll of Capt. William Harrison's Co. [1] and appear on the muster roll for this company in Wayland's History of Rockingham County [2].  William Harrison's Company was attached to the 1st Virginia Regiment commanded by Lt. Col. William Trueheart.

Pension files and service record index cards do not consistently confirm enlistment in William Harrison's Company. Three of the 7 pension files for members of this group show enlistment (soldier/widow affidavit and auditor confirmation) in Adam Harnberger's or Abraham Hamilton's Companies attached to Lt. Col. Daniel Coleman's 6th Virginia Regiment. For my own ancestor, Reuben King, the auditors of the widow's pension application [3] find him on the pay roll of Adam Harnsberger's Co. 30 Aug - 9 Sep 1814 (10 d) before transferring (pension application rejected for lack of documented service), whereas Virginia militia pay rolls show him in William Harrison's Co. [2] for 18 days.  The Virginia Militia [1] lack payrolls for Harnsberger's and Hamilton's Cos, even though the Ainsworth Lists show these exist.

There is something funny going on WRT to Adam Harnsberger's and Abraham Hamilton's Companies.  The Ainsworth lists show pay rolls (Harnsberger 30 Aug - 8 Dec 1814 149 names; Hamilton 29 Aug - 30 Nov 1814 98 name).  Fold3.com includes only 4 pensions listing Harnsberger's Co. (two of these are part of my group of 31 who transferred out) and 5 pensions listing Hamilton's Co.; none of these men are found of rolls published in the Virginia Militia [1].

These inconsistencies lead me to expect that ordering the Consolidated Service Records will not help.

I'd appreciate any illumination on this problem.

1. "Virginia militia in the War of 1812." Vol. 1 Pay rolls, p. 52. Capt. Wm. Harrison's pay roll 29 Aug - 30 Dec 1814.  https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/48441/images/VAMilitiaWar1812I-004512-52

2. Wayland, John Walter. A History of Rockingham County, Virginia. Ruebush-Elkins Company, 1912. https://archive.org/details/historyofrocki00wayl/page/452

3. Widow's Pension Application Elizabeth King, widow of Reuben King https://www.fold3.com/file/761.3279155194804220950

4. Ainsworth Lists for the 6th Virginia Regiment https://www.fold3.com/image/713181469 including Capt. Harnsberger (https://www.fold3.com/image/713181479) and Capt Hamilton's Companies (https://www.fold3.com/image/713181476). 


    Thank you for posting your question to the History Hub!
    Unfortunately the National Archives does not have any compiled histories or other records that describe the military activities of individual regiments during the War of 1812. Such documentation exists for regiments from later conflicts, particularly the Civil War, in the form of "Record of Event" cards that were created alongside the individual service records for each unit, but the War Department never compiled such records for the War of 1812. As mentioned in previous postings, the original muster rolls for the War of 1812 at the National Archives are in extremely fragile condition and therefore are generally not available for public research. For that reason we usually recommend that researchers consult the carded service records for a specific regiment to capture or recreate company level rosters, as the Compiled Military Service Records contain literal transcriptions of all the available information from the original muster and payrolls. In the Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury (Record Group 217) we do have records for the Office of the Third Auditor, but it's not clear what might be referred to as "Treasury rolls." The only sizeable series of muster rolls in RG 217 are located in the Second Auditor's records, in the series "Muster Rolls and Payrolls, 1815-66" (entry 516), but they obviously are dated after the War of 1812.
    We hope this assists you with your research!
    Archives 1 Reference Branch
  • Thank you very much!

    I'm relieved to know I can stop searching for company and regiment levels records beyond the muster and payrolls.

    Thank you for the pointer to RG 217.  Interesting that they have registers for the evaluation and deposition of pension applications, but no mention of rolls.

    I greatly appreciate and am awed by the work of NARA and her archivists.

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