Find Ancestors who Fought in the American Revolution

The FindMyPast team posted information on a blog titled: “How to trace ancestors who fought in the American Revolution”. The information in it could be what you need to learn more about those ancestors.

According to, the American Revolution is also known as the Revolutionary War. It began in 1775 and ended in 1783. This war grew from rising tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government, which represented the British crown.

France entered the American Revolution on the side of the colonists in 1778, turning the war into an international conflict. Together, the two armies forced the British to surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781. The Americans won their independence, but the fighting continued until 1783.

The Find My Past team suggests that you start with censuses. This can be helpful for people who have not yet traced their family tree as far back as the 1700s. The team points out you can get back several generations using only US censuses. They put together a census-by-census guide to help you learn about the information found in a census.

The team also recommends you explore military records, even if you aren’t certain that an ancestor served in the Revolutionary War.

Here are some record collections to start with:

United States, Revolutionary War, Pensions: Includes 90,000-plus records that include rank, service state, and next of kin information. If the record includes original images, always check them for extra color and context. There are also a small number of pensions in the collection.

Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Books, 1890-1921: Start by investigating some of their published images for clues to your family line, including parents, children and what unit they may have fought for.

Rolls Of The Soldiers In The Revolutionary War: Includes information covering the thirteen colonies and beyond.

Related Articles on

American Revolutionary Rolls 1775-1783

Any Ancestors During the American Revolution?

Sons of the American Revolution

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