Pierce’s Register

Register of the Certificates issued by John Pierce, Esquire, Paymaster General and Commissioner of Army Accounts for the United States, to Officers and Soldiers of the Continental Army Under Act of July 4, 1783


Author: U.S. War Department
Publication Date: 1915
Reprint Date: 2002
Pages: 566 pp.


Pierce’s Register is one of a handful of books regarded as indispensable for locating information on Revolutionary War soldiers; and since it is based on official Paymaster records, it is also regarded as unimpeachable. Among the initiated it is acknowledged as the classic starting point in Revolutionary War research. With its 93,000 names it is very nearly a complete roster of the officers and soldiers of the Continental Army.

By act of Congress certificates of payments for arrears were issued by the Paymaster General to soldiers for sums owed them at the end of the war. In all, 93,298 certificates were issued and a register compiled therefrom. A few copies of the Register were printed for official use, but as far as is known only one copy was alphabetically arranged. In 1915 the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution transcribed and published this alphabetical Register, adding to it a certified copy of a general index. It is this 1915 publication, reprinted with the permission of the DAR, that is now available from the Genealogical Publishing Company.

The work consists of a straight alphabetical list of names showing the certificate number and the amount owed. With the general index the researcher is able to determine the state and in some cases the regiment of the men whose names appear in the Register. The work is complete for the Continental Army, but it does not include any account of militiamen (who were paid by their respective states); nor, owing to the peculiar relations existing between South Carolina and the federal government, does it include any of the names of men from South Carolina.

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