Tim's Terrific Tips--REV WAR


Copyright 1996
Distribute freely for noncommercial/nonprofit and include this header.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR RECORDS Revolutionary War Records: During the Revolutionary War, I think everyone was a patriot. Not to put these guys down, but my understanding was if you stayed instead of going to Canada, you pretty much had to serve. It appears though, that each family only contributed a few family members and not everyone served, at least at the same time. The best place to begin is the PA Archives, which is indexed. There are a couple series that pertain mainly to Revolutionary War records. You may find your ancestor here. One thing to understand is the way the militia was organized. Each county had a number of militia Battalions, with a number of Companies in each (often referred to by the commander's, a captain, his name rather than a company number), each company from people within one township. The lists then break out classes. Some people mistakenly refer to a person as a Private 5th Class, as if the guy was on a scale where a Private 1st Class would be good, etc. This probably comes about from the modern US Army having ranks Private and Private 1st Class, the latter being a promotion. Anyway, these classes weren't ranks, they were more like cycles that showed when the person would be rotated to 2 months duty. A captain from each Company would then take turns drilling men from one of the classes. Then a new captain and a new class. You may see either type of list (all classes in a township, or all members on duty). Berks County Genealogical Society also caries a book with those serving from Berks Co. I doubt if these lists are entirely complete. You may still have a veteran in the family but proving it may be hard. Some folks applied for pensions and there are indices that list both the application number (good idea of requesting a copy from US Archives) and another index that also includes genealogical extract info. You may want to use tax lists to determine which township the members of your ancestor's company were from. Check the PA Archives tax list for a similar time period.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]