United States. French Combatants in the Revolutionary War - FamilySearch Historical Records

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United States, French Combatants in the Revolutionary War, 1778-1783
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
United states america-flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
US Locator Blank.svg.png
Location of the United States of America
Record Description
Record Type Published Military Rosters
Collection years 1778-1783
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Name index to the published roster of french soldiers and sailors serving in the french military forces in America during the Revolutionary War.

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General Information about Revolutionary War Records[edit | edit source]

After the French and Indian war ended 1773, the British Parliament imposed a series of taxes on their American colonies in an attempt to recover some of the cost of the war, to have the colonies pay for their own defense, and to assert authority over the colonies. The taxes were not well received by the colonists, who felt that as they lacked representation in the Parliament, their rights as Englishmen were being violated and the taxes were unlawful. The colonists attempted to gain representation in the British Parliament without success. When gaining representation failed each colony began to form their own parliaments or governments. These colonial government bodies would then overturn British laws that they felt were unlawful and created an undue burden. In response, Britain sent in more soldiers, and the colonies were occupied by a standing army. The already overburdened colonists were required to feed and clothe the army. This series of events lead to the outbreak of war on April 19, 1775. The colonists’ original aim was to restore their rights as Englishmen; however, by early 1776 the idea that the American Revolution was a bid for independence began to form and take root, and by July the Colonists had declared their independence from the rule of the British Empire.

In 1775, when war seemed like a possibility, a congress was formed with delegates from all 13 original colonies. This congress, the Continental Congress, was a loose confederation of the colonies soon to become states. As part of their duties, the Continental Congress formed an army originally of enlisted men of short duration, but over the course of the war became a standing army of both enlisted men and conscripts, soldiers who were drafted into service. In addition to the Continental Army formed by the Congress, states, counties, and towns formed militias who fought and protected around their local area or for with the Continental Army. Revolutionary War records are the enlistment or muster roles both for the local militias and the Continental Army, pension files, and bounty land warrants. These records may include information on leave, mustering out or separation from the army, and any pension or benefits received as part of service or upon separation from the army or the militia. Military Rosters and Enlistment or Muster Rolls provide a record of when a soldier or sailor served, where they served, and for how long. They also provide details of who they served under, rank, promotion, leave information, and when their service ended. These records tell where a soldier or sailor lived and where the enlisted which were not always the same place.

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