At Internet Archive you can browse "Compiled service records of soldiers who served in the American Army during the Revolutionary war" from Massachusetts and other colonies.

Compilation of these service records was begun by the War Department in 1894. The records consist of "a jacket-envelope for each soldier, labeled with his name, his rank, and the unit or special corps in which he served. The jacket-envelope contains card abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in original muster rolls; payrolls; rank rolls; inspection, provision, and clothing returns; receipts for pay and bounty; accounts for subsistence, pay, rations, clothing, and ordnance; abstracts of muster and pay rolls; and correspondence."

You may find it helpful to find your ancestor in Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War before delving into these service records:

A to BER · BES to BYX · C to COR · COS to DRY · DUA to FOY · FRA to GYP · HAA to HIX · HME to JYP · KAB to LSU · LUA to MOP · MOR to PAZ · PEA to RAZ · REA to SEY · SHA to STH · STI to TOZ · TRA to WHE · WHI to ZYR

Note that not all Massachusetts soldiers appear in these records—only those who served with the Continental Army:

The American forces during the Revolutionary War included many types of military organizations created by the Continental Congresses, the States, towns, and counties. The Regular units authorized by the Continental Congresses formed the Continental Army, but this Army was frequently supplemented by units of militia and volunteers from the States. The compiled service records reproduced in this microfilm publication contain records for the Regular soldiers of the Continental Army and for the militia, volunteers, and others who served with them.

These are the available service records for units raised in Massachusetts and the District of Maine:

Reel 0411 - Massachusetts, First Regiment: A - C

Reel 0412 - Massachusetts, First Regiment: D - G

Reel 0413 - Massachusetts, First Regiment: H - L

Reel 0414 - Massachusetts, First Regiment: M - Q

Reel 0415 - Massachusetts, First Regiment: R - T

Reel 0416 - Massachusetts, First Regiment: U - Y; First Regiment, Guards; First Regiment, Militia; First Regiment (Lincoln County), Militia

Reel 0417 - Massachusetts, Second Regiment: A - C

Reel 0418 - Massachusetts, Second Regiment: D - J

Reel 0419 - Massachusetts, Second Regiment: K - R

Reel 0420 - Massachusetts, Second Regiment: S - W

Reel 0421 - Massachusetts, Third Regiment: A - Cl

Reel 0422 - Massachusetts, Third Regiment: Co - G

Reel 0423 - Massachusetts, Third Regiment: H - M

Reel 0424 - Massachusetts, Third Regiment: N - S

Reel 0425 - Massachusetts, Third Regiment: T - W; Third Regiment, Militia

Reel 0426 - Massachusetts, Fourth Regiment: A - M

Reel 0427 - Massachusetts, Fourth Regiment: N - Y; Fourth Regiment, Militia; Fourth Regiment (1777), Militia

Reel 0428 - Massachusetts, Fifth Regiment: A - E

Reel 0429 - Massachusetts, Fifth Regiment: F - O

Reel 0430 - Massachusetts, Fifth Regiment: P - Y; Fifth Regiment (1783)

Reel 0431 - Massachusetts, Sixth Regiment: A - D

Reel 0432 - Massachusetts, Sixth Regiment: E - K

Reel 0433 - Massachusetts, Sixth Regiment: L - R

Reel 0434 - Massachusetts, Sixth Regiment: S - Y

Reel 0435 - Massachusetts, Seventh Regiment: A - G

Reel 0436 - Massachusetts, Seventh Regiment: H - R

Reel 0437 - Massachusetts, Seventh Regiment: S - Y; Eighth Regiment: A - C

Reel 0438 - Massachusetts, Eighth Regiment: D - L

Reel 0439 - Massachusetts, Eighth Regiment: M - Y

Reel 0440 - Massachusetts, Ninth Regiment: A - L

Reel 0441 - Massachusetts, Ninth Regiment: M - Z

Reel 0442 - Massachusetts, Tenth Regiment: A - L

Reel 0443 - Massachusetts, Tenth Regiment: M - Z; Eleventh Regiment

Reel 0444 - Massachusetts, Twelfth Regiment: A - C

Reel 0445 - Massachusetts, Twelfth Regiment: D - G

Reel 0446 - Massachusetts, Twelfth Regiment: H - M

Reel 0447 - Massachusetts, Twelfth Regiment: N - R

Reel 0448 - Massachusetts, Twelfth Regiment: S - Y

Reel 0449 - Massachusetts, Thirteenth Regiment: A - K

Reel 0450 - Massachusetts, Thirteenth Regiment: L - W

Reel 0451 - Massachusetts, Fifteenth Regiment: A - B

Reel 0452 - Massachusetts, Fifteenth Regiment: C - E

Reel 0453 - Massachusetts, Fifteenth Regiment: F - Hi

Reel 0454 - Massachusetts, Fifteenth Regiment: Ho - L

Reel 0455 - Massachusetts, Fifteenth Regiment: M - P

Reel 0456 - Massachusetts, Fifteenth Regiment: Q - S

Reel 0457 - Massachusetts, Fifteenth Regiment: T - Y

Reel 0458 - Massachusetts, Sixteenth Regiment: A - B

Reel 0459 - Massachusetts, Sixteenth Regiment: C - D

Reel 0460 - Massachusetts, Sixteenth Regiment: E - G

Reel 0461 - Massachusetts, Sixteenth Regiment: H - J

Reel 0462 - Massachusetts, Sixteenth Regiment: K - Mc

Reel 0463 - Massachusetts, Sixteenth Regiment: Me - P

Reel 0464 - Massachusetts, Sixteenth Regiment: R - S

Reel 0465 - Massachusetts, Sixteenth Regiment: T - Z

Reel 0466 - Massachusetts, Eighteenth Regiment; Twenty-eighth (Sargent's) Regiment; Thirty-first (Phinney's) Regiment; Bailey's Regiment; Brewer's Regiment Artificers; David Brewer's Regiment; Jonathan Brewer's Regiment; Bridges' Regiment; Brooks' Regiment; Bullard's Regiment

Reel 0467 - Massachusetts, Major Cady's Detachment; Carpenter's Regiment, Militia; Gary's Regiment; Simeon Cary's Regiment; Cogswell's Regiment

Reel 0468 - Massachusetts, 468 Conver's Regiment; Cotton's Regiment; Cushing's Regiment; Davis' Regiment, Militia; Denny's Command, Militia; Dike's Regiment; Doolittle's Regiment; Fellows' Regiment; French's Regiment; Frye's Regiment

Reel 0469 - Massachusetts, Gardiner's Regiment; Jacob Gerrish's Regiment; Samuel Gerrish's Regiment; Glover's Regiment

Reel 0470 - Massachusetts, Hathaway's Regiment; Heath's Regiment; Holman's Regiment; Hyde's Detachment, Militia; Jacob's Regiment; Keyes' Regiment; Learned's Regiment; Leonard's Regiment, Militia; Little's Regiment

Reel 0471 - Massachusetts, Mansfield's Regiment; Murray's Regiment; Nixon's Regiment; Paterson's Regiment; Perce's Regiment; Phinney's (Thirty-first) Regiment; Poor's Regiment

Reel 0472 - Massachusetts, Pope's Regiment; Porter's Regiment; Prescott's Regiment; Prime's Regiment; Putnam's Regiment; Rand's Regiment; Read's Regiment, Militia; Reed's Regiment; Robinson's Regiment

Reel 0473 - Massachusetts, Scammon's Regiment; Simonds' Detachment, Militia; Smith's Regiment; Sparhawk's Regiment, Militia; Stearns' Regiment; Thomas' Regiment; Titcomb's Regiment; Turner's Regiment; Wade's Regiment; Walker's Regiment; Artemas Ward's Regiment, Militia; Whitcomb's Regiment; Whitney's Regiment; George Williams' Regiment; Samuel Williams' Regiment

Reel 0474 - Massachusetts, Wood's Regiment, Militia

Reel 0475 - Massachusetts, Woodbridge's Regiment; Burt's Company, Guards, Militia; Carpenter's Company; Cowell's Company; Crandon's Company; Captain Elijah Demming's Company; Durfee's Company; Captain Pelatiah Eddy's Company; Captain Moses French's Company; Captain Ebenezer Gore's Company; Captain Abraham Gould's Company

Reel 0476 - Massachusetts, Captain James Leach's Company, Matrosses; Captain Simeon Leach's Company; Molten's Company; Perry's Company, Minute Men; Captain Jonathan Poor's Company, Militia; Richardson's Company, Militia; Captain Robinson's Company, Militia; Captain Nathan Smith's Company; Captain Phinehas Stearns' Company; Captain Lemuel Stewart's Company; Captain Wood's Company, Massachusetts (Miscellaneous), A - C

Reel 0477 - Massachusetts (Miscellaneous), D - L

Reel 0478 - Massachusetts (Miscellaneous), M - Z

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks for posting this Chris.

I'm afraid I need more step-by-step help to use the site properly. I'm OK with browsing. But when I try to look for a specific person I've found in MA Soldiers and Sailors, I'm not sure where to go next. For instance,

According to MA Soldiers and Sailors, Volume 3, page 234:
Chadwick, Abiather. Private, Capt. Oliver Belding's co., Col. John Brown's regt.; enlisted Sept. 21, 1777; discharged Oct. 1, 1777; service, 11 days, at the Northward; also, Capt. Amos Porter's co., Col. David Rosseter's regt.; enlisted Oct. 18, 1780; discharged Oct. 21, 1780; service, 4 days, on alarm at Berkshire of Oct. 18, 1780.

I didn't find a list of the regimental commanders on the Internet Archive site nor did I find Rosseter or Brown in the nominal designations of units for MA. Is there a list of the regimental commanders in MA Soldiers and Sailors that I missed that would get me to the right regiment? I hope someone can explain what I'm missing.

Maybe I just answered half of my question. Before I hit reply, I looked up Rosseter and found that he was in command of the 3rd Berkshire County Regiment of the MA Militia. However, when I use the link above for the 3d regiment Abiather isn't there. I guess I need a crash course in military genealogy research and military organization.


Each county in Massachusetts had a certain number of militia regiments. The colony also raised colony-wide regiments to serve with the Continental Army, mostly from the ranks of the local militia regiments. So Abiather served with the 3rd Berkshire County Regiment (a local militia unit), but evidently not with the 3rd Massachusetts Regiment (a colony-wide unit).

Here's a passage from the introduction to one of these Service Record reels:
The American forces during the Revolutionary War included many types of military organizations created by the Continental Congresses, the States, towns, and counties. The Regular units authorized by the Continental Congresses formed the Continental Army, but this Army was frequently supplemented by units of militia and volunteers from the States. The compiled service records reproduced in this microfilm publication contain records for the Regular soldiers of the Continental Army and for the militia, volunteers, and others who served with them.

So, since Abiather served in local militia units in Massachusetts campaigns, but never served with the Continental Army, he doesn't appear in these records. I'll add this passage to the description above to make clear that not every Massachusetts soldier is represented in these service records.

If you want to learn more about the subject, the introduction to the first volume of Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors has an overview of "Revolutionary War Legislation of the Province and Commonwealth."
Thanks again Chris.

Maybe I'll try with someone who appears to have been with the Continental Army. My husband and I together have 38 Rev. War veterans that we know about among our ancestors so there is a choice!

Yeah, I have no Civil War ancestors but dozens of Revolutionary War ancestors. Some served for only a few days, but every one earned a flag on his grave.


I realize this is an older post, but I just stumbled upon it today. It's so great to have all these links in one place so thank you for that! Chris -- how do you find other reels for other states? I can access them through Ancestry but I find the view through their interface very cumbersome. Thanks. Gayle

You can use Internet Archive's search engine to find a particular state's records. Here are the results for Rhode Island.


If you know the reel number, you can also change the URL to find the records. For example, here is reel #1000 (Virginia's Sixth Regiment).

great. thanks!

Hi Chris,

My 5th great grandfather, Pvt. Abraham Winslow of Freeport, was in the 3rd Massachusetts Regiment, 8th Co. from spring of 1781 until Congress disbanded the Continental Army. He was then charged as a member of The American Regiment with protecting arms stored at West Point. He was honorably discharged at West Point on June 30, 1784. His discharge papers survived and are at the DAR in Washington DC. He was killed by a falling tree on 06 Feb 1806. He left behind a widow and 8 young children. Of the several men who testified, one recalled that, "Abraham often said he was one of the last men out." My sister was eager to join the Daughters of Veterans of the War of 1812"  since she owns the house that sheltered President Madison the night the British burned Washington. She insisted that Abraham's service was not of any use in her application. However, Congress disbanded the Continental Army  on 02 Jan 1784, that meant that Abraham's service from Jan-June 1784 when he was a soldier with "The American Regiment" allowed my sister to join the 1812 group. Abraham also allowed her to join the DAR. His widow Betsey Welch Winslow was awarded his pension and upon her death, their remaining 6 children were awarded the remainder of the pension from her estate.


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