A few words about this site

Please do not request that I add your ancestor to this index.

Please note that I make no grandiose claims to the “completeness” or “exhaustiveness” of this index. It is a work in progress and will never be completed.

Please note that this blog is not endorsed or sponsored by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. All opinions expressed herein are mine and mine, alone.

Welcome to my little project! I have many motivations for maintaining this site. However, I am first and foremost interested in those men who took up arms in defense of Virginia during the Revolutionary War. Some of you may (or may not) be aware that there is no comprehensive index, published in traditional codex form or otherwise, of Virginia’s military men in the Revolution. I may mention two authors that attempted to present a comprehensive listing of Virginia’s Revolutionary War soldiers but, in spite of their magnificent efforts, fell short of this goal. The first, and by far the most important, is Hamilton J. Eckenrode’s List of the Revolutionary Soldiers of Virginia: Special Report of the Department of Archives and History for 1912, reprinted in 1989 by the Virginia State Library as Virginia Soldiers of the American Revolution. One of the major problems with using Eckenrode’s work is that, particularly with respect to militia service based on sources in the Virginia State Archives (now Library of Virginia), his references were 1912 references that are difficult to correlate with their 21st century designations. I intend to clarify and “update” these sources to which Eckenrode was referring in his index. At the risk of insulting your intelligence, I will also underscore that Eckenrode’s index is an index and, because names have been removed from their context, many modern researchers have attributed military service to one man in a particular part of Virginia when the service actually belonged to another man of same or similar name in a completely different part of the state. I hope to rectify this problem by describing the context in which each of these men appears in the given sources. The second major index with which researchers may be familiar is John H. Gwathmey, Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution (Richmond: Dietz Press, 1938). Gwathmey relied quite heavily on Eckenrode for his materials, but his major contribution was his extracts of the appointment of militia officers from the county court order books.

My second major motivation for maintaining this site is my love for the collections of the Library of Virginia, which contains the most comprehensive archival holdings with respect to Virginians in the Revolutionary War era. Very few, and I do mean very few, people are competently aware of the massive manuscript collections held by LVA relating to the Revolution that are held in textual form only and, furthermore, that are completely unindexed. This site is a meager effort to identify at least some of the individuals who are “buried” in these manuscript collections. My conviction in the importance of the forgotten Revolutionary War era records in LVA is so strong that it forces me to expand the present index to non-soldiers. You may safely assume that some of the individuals mentioned herein are recorded on a singular unindexed record that exists in textual form only in LVA. You will not find these records at ancestry.com or familysearch.org, or anywhere else for that matter. Perhaps it is appropriate for me to state that this site is not sponsored by LVA, nor is any part of it endorsed by the Library or any of its wonderful employees.

You will find that I will cite a wide breadth of sources herein: sources from the National Archives; sources from the Library of Virginia; county level sources such as the county court order books, which are grossly underutilized by most researchers; and etc. You will also find, pleasantly I hope, that I have made a special effort to include herein references to women, African Americans and those who were marginalized by 18th century society. Some of you, perhaps less pleasantly, will notice that I do not shy from including “tories,” but I feel that the actions of these individuals contribute to a more complete and realistic telling of the Revolutionary War story. Therefore, I will not ignore them. This is probably a good place to state that I am uninterested in performing psychoanalysis on any of the personalities indexed on this site. I am interested in providing a summary of the historical record and will leave cause and effect arguments to others.

Speaking of cause and effect, this site is primarily “geared” towards genealogists. However, if some historians find material herein to be helpful to their research, I will not object.