1 Reply Latest reply on Mar 26, 2021 9:43 AM by Ceri McCarron

    Seeking name correlation & command structures in NY muster rolls


      In reviewing New York Revolutionary War muster rolls and publications (I.e. New York in the Revolution, Brandow Publishing 1898) I believe that the regiments and structures in most cases is duplicative with many names (I used especially unique names to corroborate this theory) appear in multiple locations (I.e. 1st NY regiment and 3rd NY regiment). This likely reflects the dynamic and quickly changing command structures and organizations, but is especially confusing when trying to identify if this is actually one individual moving around commands or more than one individual with the same name. Have others experienced this challenge and are there any publications which help to clarify things?

        • Re: Seeking name correlation & command structures in NY muster rolls

          Dear Ms. DeSha,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We suggest that you review the records themselves.


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Indexes to Revolutionary War Compiled Military Service Records in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records (Record Group 93) and the Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records (Record Group 93) that includes over 61,000 Compiled Military Service Records (CMSRs) of those who served in units from New York. These records have been digitized and are available for viewing via the Catalog. Please note that these records were not created during the Revolutionary War, but were created by the Department of War starting in the 1890s from extant records among its files in an attempt to create substitutes for records destroyed by fires in 1800 and 1814. Because the Department was not able to reconstruct every record, a soldier may have fought in a Continental Army unit during the war, but there may not be a CMSR for him.


          We also located the Numbered Record Books, documenting 1775 - 1798 in Record Group 93 that includes the List of New York Troops which contain lists the names of officers and men of the 1st through 5th New York Regiments of the Continental Army, of Colonel James Livingston's 1st Canadian Regiment, and Colonel William Malcom's Regiment. The latter, one of the 16 "Additional" Continental Regiments provided for by the Continental Congress resolution of December 27, 1776, was consolidated with Colonel Oliver Spencer's Regiment on April 22, 1779. The volume also contains a list of 30 New York citizens who served in units other than New York organizations. These microfilmed records have been digitized and are available for viewing via the Catalog. 


          In addition, we located the Index to Revolutionary War Rolls that includes the Revolutionary War Rolls in Record Group 93 that include muster rolls, strength returns, and payrolls. Muster rolls were prepared for companies and regiments, while tabulated strength returns were prepared for brigades, corps, divisions, and armies. These have not been digitized. For more information about these records, please email the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at Archives1reference@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!