Quick Look: Resources for Revolutionary War Ancestors

By Allison Dolan

Happy Fourth of July! To celebrate the birthday of the United States, here’s a quick look at resources for learning about ancestors who witnessed our country’s struggle into existence:

  • Revolutionary War veterans’ pension files are digitized on HeritageQuest Online, available free through many public libraries. (For pension files longer than 10 pages, this collection contains just the genealogically significant documents.)
  • In Footnote’s Revolutionary Era Collection, you’ll find the full pension files, plus Revolutionary War muster rolls and service records. You’ll need a subscription to access those, but many historical documents here are free, including Constitutional Convention records and George Washington’s correspondence.

Many of these warrants awarded land in what’s now Kentucky and Ohio; the Kentucky Land Office made its records free online.

  • Check out these genealogy and history Web sites, too:

Archiving Early America
(Documents and maps from 18th-century America)

The Battle of Bunker Hill

Charters of Freedom: Declaration of Independence

GenealogyGems Fourth of July Podcast
(A special episode filled with historic speeches and nostalgic patriotic tunes)

Hargrett Rare Map Collection: Revolutionary America

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

Click Comments (below) to add your own favorite Revolutionary War-era research resources.