Virginia Militia in the War of 1812is a two-volume work containing the names of some 40,000 Virginia militiamen. The first volume was originally published in 1851 by the Virginia Auditor’s Office, and the second, much larger, volume was published a year later as a “Supplement.” When it was originally published the first volume carried the title Pay Rolls of Militia Entitled to Land Bounty Under the Act of Congress of Sept. 28, 1850; while the second volume was designated Muster Rolls of the Virginia Militia in the War of 1812, Being a Supplement to the Pay Rolls.
Both volumes have now been reprinted under the simple title Virginia Militia in the War of 1812, and an index–entirely lacking in the original publications–has been added to each volume for the ease and convenience of the researcher. Since the rolls were printed somewhat haphazardly–neither in chronological order nor in regimental order, and certainly not in alphabetical order by soldier’s name–these new indexes are absolutely indispensable.
Copied from rolls in the Auditor’s Office at Richmond, the two volumes have identical formats: both are arranged by company, under which are columns which give the soldier’s name, rank, the time of his service in months and days, and a final “Remarks” column which sometimes provides alternate readings of the soldier’s name, names of substitutes, and service notes, including such details as whether the soldier was discharged, transferred, or had deserted. In many cases the militia companies are identified in relation to the Virginia county in which the company was raised, making research in early Virginia records just a touch easier.
Both of these volumes have lain in relative obscurity until now–probably for want of an index–so we are delighted to add them to our list of important genealogy reference books and to make them available for research. Publication of these scarce and invaluable books should give a tremendous boost to Virginia genealogy.