Free Access -- Limited Time Ancestry.com: US Federal Census collections from 1790-1840 available from 2-6 July 2014. http://www.ancestry.com/cs/us/4th-of-july?sf3541939=1 Expires July 6, 2014 at 11:59pm ET. Download free U.S. census research guide. Search for free but you will need a free account to view the full records.
Ancestry.com discontinues Y-DNA and mtDNA testing. The stored DNA associated with these tests will be destroyed. IMPORTANT! Download your raw DNA data at dna.ancestry.com. Your raw DNA data will be exported into a .csv file format, and can be uploaded to other Y-chromosome and mtDNA testing services. Recommendation: Transfer all of your DNA results data to Family Tree DNA. After September 30, 2014, you will no longer be able to view your Y-DNA and mtDNA results on the website, but you will be able to download your raw DNA data at any time. See http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/2014/06/ancestrycom-officially-retires-y-dna.html
Southern California Genealogical Society ~ Benefits of Membership ~ $35 per year http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/about/benefit-memb.html 24/7 access to archived Jamboree Extension series webinars and livestreamed classes and events. Remote access to Fold3.com. Remote access to World Vital Records. U.S. Revolutionary War ~ Selected Resources
To go directly to Revolutionary War Archives Pull Down Menu at top left (to right of Browse)
To Browse by Collection Titles click Search at top left (to left of Browse)
Army Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Index Index of approved and disapproved bounty-land applications for soldiers who served post-Revolutionary War, 1790-1855.
Civil War and Later Veterans Pension Index 99% complete on 5 Jul 2014
Final Payment Vouchers Index for Military Pensions, 1818-1864 These slips serve as an index to final and last payments to over 65,000 veterans of the Revolutionary War and some later wars.
Passport Applications, 1795-1905
Pennsylvania Archives The Pennsylvania State Archives published 10 series of historical records (138 volumes) covering the initial colonial settlement through the Civil War. 99% complete on 5 Jul 2014
Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File The BIRLS database contains information on men and women who enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II.
War of 1812 Pension Files 17% complete on 5 Jul 2014 see Preserve the Pensions -- War of 1812 pension digitization project http://www.preservethepensions.org/ The War of 1812 pension files resulted from a man's service during the war, 1812-1815. They were granted to the veteran, his widow, or his heirs.
War of 1812 Service Records Compiled service records for the War of 1812 include each man's name, rank, details about his service, and often a physical description.
WWII Draft Registration Cards Draft registration cards compiled from multiple registrations beginning in 1940, for men 18 to 45 years old.
WWII "Old Man's Draft" Registration Cards WWII draft cards from the Fourth Registration, often called the "Old Man's Draft," because it registered men who were 45 to 64 years old at the time.
The DAR Genealogical Research System (GRS) includes free online databases containing information on Revolutionary patriot ancestors, descendants of those patriots, as well as the vast array of genealogical resources from the DAR Library. See http://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/Search/
National Society, Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) https://www.sar.org/ Membership tab > Patriot Search
Mocavo http://www.mocavo.com/ Requires free account To see list of collections use Research tab at upper right
Independence Day Collections A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services Compiled from the 1840 United States Federal Census, this database contains the names and ages of pensioners for Revolutionary War or military service.
Lineage Book, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Created by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, this book contains information regarding Revolutionary War ancestors and their descendants. There are more than 150 Volumes to explore.
A National Register of the Society, Sons of the American Revolution Created by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, this register contains information regarding Revolutionary War ancestors and their descendants. There are more than 1,000 members listed in this database.
Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949 Discover the biographies of all the individuals who served the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1788 and the United States Congress from 1789 to 1949.
American Revolution Sites, Events, and Troop Movements http://elehistory.com/amrev/SitesEventsTroopMovements.htm This web application plots significant sites and actions during the American Revolution, 1775-1783. It is an ongoing project to encapsulate interrelated sites, commanders, military units, troop movements, weather conditions, and source documentation into one coherent interface.
Militia Units and Volunteer Units – What’s the Difference?
Militias: Now known collectively as the National Guard, the local militia unit is the oldest type of military force in the American armed forces. As early as 1636, militia units were organized and administered by colonial towns and counties. Able-bodied male citizens between the ages of sixteen and sixty were organized into companies to defend against Natives, foreign powers, criminals, and pirates. During the Civil War, militias were increased in size, but still generally stayed within the boundaries of their local jurisdictions.
Militias vs. “state guards” and “home guards”: Similar units, known variously as “state guards” or “home guards” were created for service within the borders of their own state. Such units, often composed of those outside the normal parameters for enlistment such as age and health, were generally meant to serve as last-resort defenses or for rounding up deserters from army units, especially in the Confederacy. In some cases, all men not already enlisted in a militia or volunteer unit were required to sign up with the home or state guard. These units sometimes ran into problems of conflicting loyalties – either to the state governor or to the Confederate or Union government. Also, in some states home or state guard units were raised by both sides, as was the case in Missouri.
Volunteers: Most Civil War regiments were made of volunteers raised by the states. Volunteer units were often formed within the soldiers’ neighborhoods, states, or territories of residence, lending decidedly regional compositions to those units. Some enlisted in the Regular Army or were assigned to Regular Army units as well. And some who had emigrated westward enrolled in units formed at their place of birth or previous residence. President Lincoln’s April 15, 1861, proclamation called for 75,000 militiamen from the loyal states and territories to suppress the rebellion in the southern states. Subsequent proclamations and Congressional Acts increased the size of the Regular Army and Navy, and also called for additional volunteers and militiamen. States and territories met the requirements by activating the militia, calling for voluntary enlistments, and instituting drafts. The majority of Volunteer units were organized by the states, but a few Volunteer units were organized by the federal government as well. Volunteer units were usually put under the command of Army officers and served alongside Regular Army units. The Federal Draft system, created by Congress in 1863, superseded the state and territorial draft systems.
Draftees: The various draft systems were often inequitable and disorganized. There were many ways to be exempted from the draft, including reasons that are still in place, such as physical or mental disability, or familial obligations. Other reasons may seem outlandish now, such as the exemption of the planter class in the Confederacy. Even for those who were called to service, there were ways out, such as sham medical examinations. Additionally, many who were called up simply disregarded the summons. Others would hire someone to take their place, as was allowed under the laws of the time. This led to a decidedly lower-class characterization of the average draftee and contributed to the negative views of draftees among many other servicemen. In the Union Army, only about 8% of the 2,100,000 soldiers were brought in via the draft, and three quarters of those were paid substitutes, meaning only 2% of the fighting force were drafted themselves. Confederate conscription was more widespread. It was resisted by citizens on both sides.
Regular Army: The Regular Army is also known as the Standing Army or simply the Army. This is the professional force that originated as the Continental Army, later known as the Legion of the United States, and eventually took the name United States Army in 1796. During the Civil War, regular units in the Union Army were designated with the suffix USA.