APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2005-07 > 1120551974
From: "Mills" <>
Subject: RE: Muster Rolls Re: [APG] another citation question
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 03:26:14 -0500
>This does not answer my question, so probably I was unclear. At
NARA-DC, I have seen the microfilmed indexes, and handled the little
cards in envelopes that are summaries of service. My question was in
response to someone who said that most people do not bother to look
at original muster rolls. My question is, where might original
muster rolls be found? Does NARA - DC have many of them, or are most
at State archives? Or are they all over and it just depends on the
state? Or have most of them been destroyed? >
Carolyn, for NARA, the "short answer" is a 2-pronged process:
FILMED MUSTER ROLLS:
Go to www.archives.gov. Select "Research Room," then under Resources, select
"Microfilm Publications Catalog," then "Search the Microfilm Publications
Catalog. In the search box, type "muster rolls." This will give you a list
of the 6 sets of muster rolls that have been filmed. Selecting "Full record"
for each of them will tell you how many rolls there are. For many of its
multi-roll microfilm publications, NARA also has a free Descriptive Pamphlet
(DP) that will give you more detail as to what is on each roll. As a rule,
those DPs are also filmed at the first of roll 1.
UNFILMED MUSTER ROLLS:
At "Research Room," select "Guide to Federal Records," then select
"Alphabetical Index" and "M." There, you'll find numerous listings for
"muster rolls," with a Record Group and section number for each. Use this to
find the relevant passage in the Guide, which is fully on line. (For
example, 94.2.2 means to look in the guide under RG 94, section 2.2.)
If/when you find a set of muster rolls in which you are interested, check to
see if the discussion mentions a Preliminary Inventory (PI), which is a
*far* more detailed account of what the RG offers. As an example, if you
find in RG 94 a reference to muster rolls that would seem to cover the right
time period, scroll down and you'll find a citation of Bethel's PI to that
RG. Now you want the PI to get much more specific facts. Some of these PIs
are still in print and can be acquired free from NARA. Or you can go to
Willow Bend/Heritage Books which has been making many of the unavailable PIs
available. (For the unit we teach on NARA/Gov Docs in Course 4 at the
Samford IGHR, we require students to have a copy of the PI for RG 94--not
just for in-class learning, but also because it is so rich in military
records that most people know nothing about.)
As for searching at federal vs. state levels, if your soldier was in federal
service, you need federal muster rolls. If your ancestor was in a state unit
that was called up by the federal government, thoroughness would mean
looking for both federal and state-level muster rolls. If your ancestor was
in a state unit that was not called by up federal forces, then the state
level would be the place to look.
But, of course, not all muster rolls still exist. In 1853, newspapers across
the country raised a hullabaloo because a janitor in the War Department was
discovered lighting the fireplaces every morning with old War of 1812 muster
rolls. As the newspapers said (I paraphrase), "Our old soldiers are now
reaching the point that they need pensions. How will they prove their
service without those muster rolls?"
Hope this helps,
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
*Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian*
*Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers,
Writers, Editors, Lecturers & Librarians*
*Isle of Canes* www.isleofcanes.com
"You'll never look at American History the Same Way Again"
---*Historical Novels Review"
I'll have a look at the Source and see what I missed, thanks for the
suggestion. This is a topic I just don't know that much about, but
thought others might know off the top of their heads.
My interest is more for my own ancestors than for clients, so as you
all would understand, I haven't had time to research it!!! I have
someone who served at the Lexington Alarm, apparently for 3 days
according to a published CT source, but I have no idea where they got
the info. Another served in the War of 1812 in New York according to
a contemporary, but NARA has NO service record for him. He died
before Sept. 1813 when his probate was filed.
At 9:58 AM -0700 7/4/05, Linda Merle wrote:
>During the War of 1812 (M602, 234 rolls). The actual service
>records have not been filmed....."
Carolyn Ybarra, Ph.D.
Family Research Services
1017 El Camino Real, #332
Redwood City, CA 94063
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