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.
Welcome to my site! I have many motivations for maintaining this site. However, I am first and foremost interested in those men who performed military service during the Revolution, both those in favor of separation from Britain and those against. Some of you may (or may not) be aware that there is no comprehensive index 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 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 single 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 staff.
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 that I have made a special effort to include herein references to women, African Americans and those who were marginalized by 18th century society. You will also 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.
Working with these records requires a great deal of time and money. Therefore, I gratefully accept donations that help me to continue my work. Thank you very much.
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6 thoughts on “About”
Discovered my 4GGF Ephraim Wilson (M881,Roll907) in your list of Revlutionary soldiers. May I ask how to get a copy of this micro film? Respectfully, Anthony Lee Gentry
The M881 microfilm rolls from the National Archives are digitized at such sites such as ancestry.com and fold3.com. The title to the ancestry.com database is “U.S. Compiled Revolutionary War Military Service Records 1775-1783.” The database at fold3.com is, in my opinion, a bit easier to browse. Since little to no biographical data are found in these records, I recommend that you take special care to ensure that the man mentioned therein is your ancestor, and not another man of same/similar name.
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Thanks for your reply. Very carefully pursuing genealogical research on maternal side of family (Wilson) for four years and enjoying it greatly. Had muster and pay receipts from Fold3 and payout for Ephraim and didn’t realize M881Roll907 was what I was looking at. Also land purchases (Lyman Chalkley)for he and Isabella and for selling it to George and Sampson Matthews vis-a-vis France’s Scott Key(lawyer). Very interesting stuff!! Respectfully Anthony Lee Gentry
Hi Bevin! I discovered my husband’s 4th ggpa John Pankey’s contribution and support of the War. The reference is APA 238. What is this and where can I obtain a copy?
You may obtain a copy by contacting the Library of Virginia in Richmond. The citation is to Record Group 48, Auditor of Public Accounts, Inventory Entry 238, “General Claims Approved,” arranged by county.