Madison County Genealogical
Minutes of the Meeting - September 8, 2011
The September 2011 meeting of
the Madison County Genealogical Society was held at the Edwardsville
Public Library on Thursday, September 8, at 7:00 pm.
President, Robert Ridenour, called
the meeting to order.
The following reports were presented.
Financial report for the month
of August 2011, as follows:
- Total Assets
as of August 1, 2011 - $15,984.20
- General Fund
- Beg. Balance $4,440.84 - Income $22.17 - Expense $1,132.50
- End Balance $3,330.51
Fund - Beg. Balance $11,543.36 - Income $78.00 - Expense $0 -
End Balance $11,621.36
- Total Assets
as of August 31, 2011 - $14,951.87
GIFT MEMBERSHIPS AVAILABLE
Do you have a family member that
is interested in (or even obsessed with) genealogy? A membership
in the Madison County Genealogical Society would be a very thoughtful
gift. A gift card will be sent to the recipient of any gift membership.
The following memberships are available:
Individual/Family Annual Membership $20.00
Patron Annual Membership $30.00
Life Membership $250.00
Contact our Secretary, Barbara Hitch, at email@example.com,
about a gift membership.
On September 8, 2011, the Madison County Genealogical Society
held its regular meeting at the Edwardsville Public Library. A
program titled Citizen Soldiers: Researching Your Revolutionary
War Ancestors was presented by Tom Pearson of the Special
Collections Department of the St. Louis Public Library.
Tom started the program with an explanation of the makeup and
organization of the Revolutionary War Army and the problems facing
the Continental Congress and the Army.
Revolutionary War Armies
The American Army in the Revolutionary War consisted of: Troops
of the Continental Line, State Militia troops, and French troops
temporarily attached to Washington's army.
The Continental Army
Continental Congress initially (1775-1776) authorized 26 regiments
of 728 men each, for a total of 20,384 men. Regiments to be raised
would also include one regiment of riflemen and one regiment of
artillery. General Washington only managed to enlist about 9,000
of the 20,384 men authorized. He was ultimately authorized to
enlist 88 battalions totaling 60,000 men; (8 companies to a battalion).
Washington rarely, however, had more than 30,000 men available
for service, and often had 15,000 or less in the field and ready
Organization of the Continental Army
The Continental Army was divided into a Northern Army (New England
and the Middle Colonies) and a Southern Army (the Carolinas and
Georgia). Both armies were nominally under the command of General
Washington, but army commanders also reported directly to the
Problems Facing the Continental Congress and Its Armies
Numerous restrictions on federal powers: cannot tax directly or
directly raise an army (must make request to the various colonies).
Roads in colonies in uniformly poor shape.
Weak navy handicaps efforts to supply army with weapons, ammunition,
and other equipment, and allows relatively free movement of British
soldiers and supplies from occupied port to port.
Unable to manufacture some essential items in North America.
Feuding colonial governors.
General mistrust of central authority.
Little uniformity in militia training methods.
Farmers reluctant to enlist in army for extended periods of service.
Tom talked about the different records available to search for
information on your Revolutionary War ancestor.
NARA Revolutionary War Record Sets
Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783
Personnel, pay, and supply records of American Army units in the
Revolutionary War NARA Series M246 (138 rolls)
The records reproduced in this microfilm publication are arranged
by numbered folders ("jackets") under three broad categories:
1. Individual State Listings (alphabetically by state)
Units arranged under individual States include regular units of
the Continental Army raised in one State plus elements of its
militia and other volunteer units.
Within each State grouping, numbered units (arranged numerically)
generally precede named units (usually arranged alphabetically).
2. Continental Troops
Units arranged under "Continental Troops" consist primarily
of: specialized units created by the Continental Congress, infantry
regiments organized as a result of the Continental Congress resolutions
of 1776, and continental units raised in more than one State.
Continental Troops are arranged in three parts: cavalry, artillery,
and artificer units, arranged by type, with numbered units usually
preceding named units; numbered infantry regiments of 1776, arranged
numerically; and "additional regiments," arranged alphabetically
(e.g., Commander in Chief's Guard, the German Regiment, the company
of Delaware Indians).
The section designated "Miscellaneous" is reserved for
the returns of units larger than a regiment and special returns
not easily classified under another designation.
They include returns of the French Army under Count Rochambeau,
arranged chronologically; brigade, division, and army returns,
arranged by organization and thereunder chronologically; and general
returns of Washington's Army, also arranged chronologically.
Special returns include: Hospital and Quartermaster General's
Departments, arranged by department and there under chronologically;
Guard reports; and Prisoner-of-war lists.
A typical pay roll can include: Name, Rank, Time of engagement,
Time of discharge, Time of service, Rate per month, Amount of
wages, Compensation for miles traveled plus officers' rations,
Total of wages, rations, travel, Provisions drawn, Balance due,
and Signature of recipient.
Compiled Military Service Records
U.S. Adjutant-General Office General Index to Compiled Military
Service Records of Revolutionary War Soldiers.
Revolutionary War Pension Files
|| A- Ange
|| Angi - Ballan
|| Ballar - Bearne
|| Bearnh - Biso
|| Biss - Box
|| Boy - Brown,
|| Brown, Jon
|| Bus - Cartel
|| Carter - Chp
|| Chr - Cold
Revolutionary War veterans were granted pensions based on specific
acts of Congress. The act of 18 March 1818 granted a pension to
veterans of the Navy and Continental Line with a minimum of nine
months service. There was also a financial need requirement (prior
to this date, applicants had to be physically disabled to receive
a Revolutionary War pension). The act of 1 May 1820 required applicants
to submit property schedules proving their financial neediness.
The act of 7 June 1832 granted a pension to any Revolutionary
War vet who could prove at least six months service, without a
requirement to prove financial need. The act of 4 July 1836 allowed
pensions to Revolutionary War widows who had been married to the
vet while he was in service. The act of 29 July 1836 allowed pensions
to widows who had married the Revolutionary War vet prior to 2
January 1800. The Acts of 1853 and 1855 finally removed all restrictions
on widows' pensions relating to date of marriage.
Revolutionary War pension files average thirty pages in length,
but can be as long as two hundred pages. As part of a project
completed in 1912, pension application papers of a survivor and
widow were consolidated in a single envelope if the claims seemed
to be based on the service of the same person. Approved Revolutionary
War bounty-land warrant application papers were also flattened
and consolidated with pension application papers at that time.
Revolutionary War pension application files have headings normally
consisting of the name of the State or organization for which
a veteran served, his name, and either the letter: "S"
for survivor, "W" for widow, or "R" for rejected,
followed by a file number.
There is also a "No Papers" file for Revolutionary War
pension application files that were destroyed in the 1800 War
Department fire or the 1814 British burning of Washington, DC.
"BLW" files (Bounty Land Warrant application files)
are normally combined with the "S", "W", or
"R" Revolutionary War pension application files.
Veteran Pension Application Information
A veteran's Revolutionary War pension application normally provides:
rank, unit, period of service, age or date of birth, residence,
sometimes birthplace. Property schedules sometimes also provide
names and ages of a veteran's wife and children.
Widow's Pension Application Information
The application of a widow seeking a pension or a bounty land
warrant may provide: her age, residence, maiden name, date and
place of marriage, date and place of death of her husband, and
names and birth dates of children still at home.
Bounty land acts (state and federal) entitling Revolutionary War
veterans to bounty land were issued during the time period 1775-1855.
Revolutionary War Army privates who served in the Continental
Line and Navy sailors were entitled to 100 acres. Later acts of
Congress made Revolutionary War vets eligible to receive 160 acres
(a quarter-section). Those who had earlier been awarded 100 acres
could select more public domain land to make up the difference
(60 acres). Bounty land warrants were initially redeemable only
in special military districts. Beginning in 1847, bounty land
warrants could be used to claim any public domain federal land.
Most Revolutionary War military bounty land (state and federal)
was located in the present-day states of: Maine, Ohio, Kentucky,
Tennessee, and Indiana. Most military bounty land was awarded
by the federal government, although some states also did including:
Georgia, Massachusetts (in Maine), New York, North Carolina (in
Tennessee), Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia (in Ohio).
State Bounty Land Grants are covered in Revolutionary War Bounty
Land Grants: Awarded by State Governments by Bockstruck, Lloyd
Dewitt. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996.
Less than 1 in 10 ex-soldiers actually settled on the bounty land
awarded to them by Congress; most sold their warrants to speculators.
Most Revolutionary War soldiers claimed bounty lands in the Virginia
Military District (4 million acres) and the U.S. Military District
of Ohio (2.5 million acres).
The U.S. Military District in Ohio
Bounty warrants for land in this district were issued to men who
served in the Revolutionary War in the Continental Line from any
state. Land entries in this district ended in 1832.
Bounty Land Scrip
Scrip was issued for outstanding U.S. Military District of Ohio
warrants when available land there ran out. Scrip (which was issued
in acreage denominations) could only be redeemed at General Land
Offices in: Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. In 1842, scrip was declared
redeemable at any GLO office.
Acts of 1850, 1852, and 1855
The acts of 1850, 1852, and 1855 were unique in that they were
not passed in order to encourage enlistment, but rather to reward
men who had previously served and been awarded no bounty land
at that time, or had served but had been awarded less than 160
acres of land for their service.
Navy Personnel and Privateers
If your ancestor was a privateer, you should check the microfilm
The Revolutionary War Prize Cases: Records of the Court of Appeal
in Cases of Capture, 1776-1787. M162. 15 rolls.
Information about Revolutionary War veterans, units, equipment,
etc. may be found in the following Lists and Archives:
Cyndi's List: American Revolution
Delaware Public Archives Guide To Revolutionary War Records
Worldcat.Org Search For State Soldier Lists In Books
Library Subject Headings Of Interest
Maryland. Militia--History--18th century.
Military pensions--United States--Revolution, 1775-1783.
United States. Continental Army--History--Registers.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--British forces.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Campaigns.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Registers.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Registers of dead.
United States--History --Revolution, 1775-1783--Regimental histories.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783 --Regimental histories--
Revolutionary War Web Sites of Interest
American Revolution Resources
General Land Office Records
Library of Congress
If you have any questions, Mr. Pearson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This presentation was well received and generated quite a few