Websites for Researching Revolutionary War Genealogy

By Grace Dobush

Happy Fourth of July! I hope your holiday plans include watching a parade or (safely) enjoying fireworks—and, of course, researching your American Revolution-era ancestors.

The Continental Congress voted July 2, 1776—more than a year after the Revolutionary War broke out—to declare independence from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson was selected to compose a Declaration of Independence, which was ratified July 4 (that original manuscript has been lost). A copy was sent to the printing shop of John Dunlap, who produced 200 broadsides overnight.

Public readings took place across the Colonies starting July 8 in Philadelphia. Most signatories signed the Declaration of independence Aug. 2; this document is on display at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

Whether your revolutionary relatives were Founding Fathers or members of the Continental army—or, as was usually the case for women, kept the home front warm—they helped forge a new nation. Most enlisted men were between ages 16 and 60, but younger and older men also served.

On the other hand, maybe your family didn’t think a split with England was such a good idea and remained Loyalists, or even fought with British or Hessian troops. The British offered some African-American slaves—now called Black Loyalists—freedom in exchange for military service.

See these free articles for advice and resources to help you research your American Revolution genealogy.

Elsewhere on the web, check out these Revolutionary War genealogy and history websites: