New York Colonial Muster Rolls, 1664-1775

Report of the State Historian of the State of New York. Reprinted in Two Volumes


Author: New York State Historian
Publication Date: 1897, 1898
Reprint Date: 2000
Pages: 1,294 pp.

Item #: 4070-m Categories: , , ,


Originally published as appendices, or supplements, to the Annual Report of the State Historian of the State of New York for the years 1897 and 1898, these two volumes contain transcriptions of all colonial muster rolls on deposit in the state capital at Albany for the years 1664 to 1775. Incorporating a variety of records, including pay rolls, size rolls, petitions, minutes of meetings and official proceedings, journals, correspondence, and various field reports, this offical record of New York’s colonial militia covers the period concerning the capture of New Netherlands from the Dutch (1664), the recapture of New York by the Dutch (1673), the restoration of New York to the English (1674), the unsuccessful expeditions against Canada (1689-1690 and 1709-1711), the French and Indian War, including the Battle of Lake George in 1755, and the outbreak of the War of the Revolution in 1775, listing all militia companies raised to quell mutinies, insurrections, and uprisings, or to do battle with the French and Indians and to protect New York’s borders–usually from French and Iroquois incursions or threatened hostilities from Connecticut.

Chiefly of interest to information-starved New York researchers and to others whose roots reach back to colonial New York, this work identifies approximately 30,000 men who served in the various militia companies during the period before the Revolution, including privateers and free-lancers such as Captain William Kidd. Arranged chronologically, and then more or less by county, city, town, and manor, and thereunder by militia company–each headed by a captain–the muster rolls are both spare and full, spare during the early years and comparatively rich in later years. At a minimum, each militiaman is noted in connection with his date of enlistment, his company and company commander, his rank, and his place of residence. But more often than not, information provided in the muster rolls includes such important items as place of birth, age, occupation, height, and physical description. Altogether this is an extraordinary body of information, little known until now, but of immeasurable value to anyone undertaking early New York genealogical research. In fact, it is one of the last great New York resources to be reprinted, though ironically it may prove to be a starting point in research.

Published originally as Appendix “H” of the Second Annual Report of the State Historian of the State of New York (1897) and Appendix “M” of the Third Annual Report (1898), all names mentioned in the two volumes are indexed together at the end of Appendix “M”.

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