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Military Records for Genealogy Research: Colonial Wars

OVERVIEW

Braddock's defeatBefore the American revolution, colonial settlers engaged in various conflicts with European powers and Native American tribes. Unlike later conflicts, there is no national repository for records of military service in these colonial wars, which include the following:

  • 1636-1638: Pequot War
  • 1675-1676: King Phillip's War
  • 1689-1697: King William's War
  • 1702-1713: Queen Anne's War
  • 1722-1725: Dummer's War
  • 1739-1748: War of Jenkin's Ear
  • 1744-1748: King George's War
  • 1752-1763: French and Indian War
  • 1774: Lord Dunmore's War

Surviving records (primarily local muster rolls) are scattered in state archives and local historical societies of the original colonies (Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia). A quick google search for colonial militia records turned up a few results, including Colonial Militia Collection, Rhode Island Historical Society and Militia Resource Guide 1682-1815, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. For additional resources, including those at NYPL, see the Resources by Conflict and Veterans and Lineage Societies boxes, below.

Additional records may be available in the National Archives of National Archive of Great Britain.

RESOURCES BY CONFLICT

ONLINE RESOURCES:

RESOURCES AT NYPL:

To identify relevant titles, try browsing our online catalog with the subject heading King Williams War 1689 1697 United States History.

 

 

ONLINE RESOURCES:

RESOURCES AT NYPL:

For additional titles, try browsing our online catalog with the subject heading Lord Dunmore's War, 1774.

 

VETERANS AND LINEAGE SOCIETIES

If your ancestor served in a colonial war, it may be worth contacting the following Veterans and Lineage Societies to see if they have any relevant records:

NYPL holds a few titles relating to these organizations, including the following:

To find additional titles, try browsing our catalog with the following subject headings: