As Americans celebrate Independence Day this weekend, perhaps now is the time to focus on finding more information about your ancestors who took part in the war that brought independence to this great nation. Luckily, there are numerous online resources to help you get started.
I would suggest that you first read an excellent introductory article, Finding Your Patriot: Basic Sources for Starting Revolutionary War Research by Curt Witcher. Curt is the department manager for the Historical Genealogy Department of Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and is a well-known and respected genealogy researcher. His excellent article can be found at http://goo.gl/8bd2n.
James C. Neagles has written an excellent article on how to find Revolutionary War service records.. The article Compiled Service Records: Revolutionary War Period, 1775-83 can be found at http://goo.gl/xXc1F.
Revolutionary War Sources by Kip Sperry also contains many excellent references. You can find Kip's article at http://goo.gl/EID2v.
Perhaps the best online resource available anywhere is the Revolutionary War Era Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files available on Footnote.com. These are some of the most popular records for those researching 18th and early 19th century ancestors. Best of all, these are not transcribed records. This database allows you to view the original, hand-written records on your screen and to print them on a local printer. the Revolutionary War Era Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files may be found at http://www.footnote.com/title_467/revolutionary_war_pensions/
Here are other articles and online resources worthy of note:
Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants by Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck: http://goo.gl/Ge58E.
Revolutionary War Military Records by Myra Vanderpool Gormley: http://goo.gl/4VHG0.
Researching Your Revolutionary War Ancestor by Jaime Simmons focuses on Virginia and West Virginia resources but has excellent background information of interest to all: http://goo.gl/cY3HY.
The Revolutionary War Forum is an online message board containing discussions about many topics associated with the War, including researching of ancestors: http://goo.gl/hmR8m.
American Revolutionary War Soldiers & Their Descendants is an online "clearinghouse:" web pages containing the email and/or URL addresses of descendants or persons who can give you some background on many Revolutionary War veterans: http://goo.gl/3TPqy.
Loyalist Genealogy is a web site about those Americans who remained loyal to the King and then paid a high price for that loyalty: most were exiled to Canada or to other places outside of the new United States. Those who went to Canada are discussed at http://goo.gl/cO9Uo.
If you enjoyed this article, Tweet it, share it on Facebook or on your preferred social network. Republishing of this article in newsletters, blogs, and elsewhere is allowed and encouraged. Details may be found at http://goo.gl/hoHH1.
Of course, if you haven’t done so already, you should join my email newsletter mailing list to stay current on my latest articles and announcements. You can also cancel at any time within seconds. I promise to never, ever send you any unrequested e-mail, other than newsletter updates.