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About the War of 1812 Database

War of 1812 Pay Rolls and Muster Rolls - Abbreviations for Ranks

The War of 1812 database is an index of approximately 40,000 names, published by the Commonwealth of Virginia, appearing in Pay Rolls of Militia Entitled to Land Bounty Under the Act of Congress of Sept. 28, 1850 (Richmond, 1851) and its supplement, Muster Rolls of the Virginia Militia in the War of 1812 (Richmond, 1852). The supplement includes militia companies and parts of companies omitted in the published Pay Rolls.

These published materials are accurate transcriptions of the original records from the Office of the Auditor of Public Accounts. The original records are very fragile and poorly organized. They were transcribed, indexed, and published in the 1850s to facilitate payment of Federal pensions to War of 1812 veterans.

Due to the fragility and organization of the original records, Library of Virginia patrons requesting copies of these records will receive photocopied information from the published sources Pay Rolls of Militia Entitled to Land Bounty Under the Act of Congress of Sept. 28, 1850 and Muster Rolls of the Virginia Militia in the War of 1812. For research purposes, these published sources are considered the official record of Virginia Militia War of 1812 military service.

Also indexed in this database are names contained in House of Delegates documents and Legislative Petitions concerning individuals’ service in the War of 1812. Legislative petitions are archival materials. House of Delegates documents are found in Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (Richmond, Va.). Usually the year and page number are cited.

When available, photocopies of additional relevant information will also be provided from the following published sources: Stuart L. Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, GA: 1988) and Virgil D. White, Index to War of 1812 Pension Files (Waynesboro, TN: 1989). Pension applications indexed by White are federal records, and copies should be ordered from the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.

Key to citations in this database:

Legislative Petitions are also cited as follows: Campbell (name of county) [Legislative] Pet. #10349 (petition number), Dec. 4, 1833 (date of petition).

Microfilm copies of the published Pay Rolls and Muster Rolls may also be borrowed from the Library of Virginia through the interlibrary loan system of local public libraries.