Records of Military Service
The New York State Archives holds many records that document the military service of individuals. The records usually take the form of financial claims or one-page abstracts or cards. Information on the military and naval service records available at the State Archives for various conflicts is provided below. The National Archives holds service, pension, or bounty land warrant case files for persons who served in the U.S. armed forces. For searches of records of Federal military service prior to the early 20th century, contact National Archives, Reference Services Branch (NNIR), Washington, DC 20408. For more recent records, contact National Personnel Records Center (MPR), 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132.(Most World War I and World War II service records were destroyed by fire in 1973.)
War Records Search Service
War Service Records & Searches describes the war service records at the State Archives. Archives staff will search selected record series documenting war service in which information on individuals is accessible by name, and will provide copies or abstracts of records on specific individuals. Requests must be submitted on the military service search request form and there is a fee for this service.
Muster rolls for the colonial militia were destroyed by fire in 1911. The rolls were published in Annual Report of the State Historian, 1895-96 (Albany: 1896-97). Grants of land to British officers and private soldiers who fought in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) and resided in the colony are recorded in Military Patents, 1764-1797(A0447). The applications for those grants are found in Applications for Land Grants (A0272) (see reference to microfilm and calendar, below).
The Archives holds two major series of records relating to bounty land grants in the Military Tract of central New York: Military Patents, 1764-1797 (A0447) and Applications for Land Grants (A0272). Series A0272 is available on microfilm, and is abstracted and indexed in Calendar of N.Y. Colonial Manuscripts Indorsed LandPapers, 1643-1803 (Albany: 1864; repr. 1987). Data on military patents to Revolutionary War veterans is available in The Balloting Book, and Other Documents Relating to Military Bounty Lands in the State of New-York (Albany: 1825; repr. 1983).
Most other New York records relating to Revolutionary War service were destroyed or damaged by fire in 1911. The surviving Revolutionary War Accounts and Claims ("Revolutionary Manuscripts") (A0200) have been microfilmed, and a name index is in preparation. Documents in series A0200 were abstracted and indexed in New York in the Revolution as Colony and State, 3d ed., 2 vols. (Albany: 1904). Certificates Submitted by Disabled Revolutionary War Veterans Claiming Pensions ("Pension Board Minutes")(A0174) are available on microfilm.
War of 1812
Payroll data on militia men who were mustered into Federal service during the war is available in Abstracts of Payrolls for New York State Militia (B0810). Veterans' claims for reimbursement for clothing, arms, and equipment furnished at their own expense are found in two series (A0020,A3352); the claims are indexed in Index of Awards on Claims of the Soldiers of the War of 1812 (Albany: 1860; repr. 1969). This publication is available online to New York State residents through Ancestry.com New York.
Researchers can search a database of New York soldiers who served in the Civil War and they can learn more about the origins of the database and about other Civil War records held by the New York State Archives. We also provide tips for researching Civil War soldiers and links to other indexes for New Yorkers who served during the Civil War.
Summary data on New York men who served in the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps is available in card form in Abstracts of Spanish-American War Military and Naval Service Records (B0809). Additional information on National Guard and Naval Militia members is found in Abstracts of Muster Rolls for National Guard Units Mustered into Federal Service (B0801). Series B0801 is abstracted and indexed in New York in the Spanish-American War, 4 vols. (Albany: 1900-14).
Mexican Border Conflict
Data on National Guard members is found in Abstracts of Muster Rolls for National Guard Units Mustered into Federal Service during the 1916 Mexican Punitive Campaign (B0802).
World War I
Summary data on New York men who served in the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps and on women who were Army or Navy nurses is found in Abstracts of World War I Military Service (B0808). These summary cards were prepared from Federal personnel records which were destroyed by fire in 1973. Additional information on National Guard members mustered into Federal service is found in Abstracts of National Guard Service in World War I (13721). Descriptions of these records and of others relating to "home front" activities are available in A Spirit of Sacrifice: . . . A Guide to Records Relating to World War I Held in the New York State Archives. For searches of World War I draft registration cards, contact National Archives.
World War II and Later Conflicts
The State Archives holds no military service records relating to these conflicts. Administrative records relating to "home front" activities during World War II are described in They Also Served: . . . A Guide to Records of the New York State War Council.
Other Military Service Records
The Archives holds two series of registers of N.Y. Militia and National Guard commissioned officers (1800-1909) (series 13728, 13729) and National Guard Muster Rolls (1878-1954)(13726). These record series are organized by unit or date; they contain military service data only and arenot indexed. Commissioned officers appointed between 1783 and 1821 are listed in the Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment, comp. Hugh Hastings, 4 vols. (Albany: 1901-02). Personnel files (1920-current) of the New York State National Guard are held by the N.Y. Division of Military & Naval Affairs. The N.Y. State Military Museum holds a card index to Militia and National Guard officers, 1857-1915, which is also available online to New York State residents through Ancestry.com New York.