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Source Information

Ancestry.com. New York, Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data:

Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca 1865–1867. Microfilm publication, 37 rolls. New York State Archives. Albany, New York.

About New York, Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca 1861-1865

The state of New York contributed the greatest number of men to the Union Army during the Civil War and sustained the heaviest losses of any state in the Union. This database contains registers of these men, which were compiled between the years 1861 and 1865, as an organizational aid to award pensions and other veterans’ claims. The series in this database consists of printed forms which town clerks filled in by hand throughout New York State. Chapter 690 of the Laws of 1865 required each town clerk, upon receiving "suitable blanks" from the chief of the State's Bureau of Military Record, "to make out a full and complete record of the names of all the soldiers and officers who composed his town's quotas of the troops furnished to the United States."

For the genealogist this register has a great deal of information about any ancestors who served during the Civil War. It provides details about regiment, rank, place of enlistment, and may provide several other particulars about the soldier’s life. Had your ancestor been a member of these fighting forces they would have come from one of the wealthiest states in the nation. Supplying almost one sixth of all supplies to the Union’s force during the war, New York also contributed 467,047 troops, including 6,089 men in the regular army, 42,155 sailors and marines, and 18,197 who paid commutation (an exchange of services for the reduction of a penalty or punishment).

The New York State Military Museum records the following active organizations during the war: "Cavalry, 27 regiments, 10 companies; artillery, 15 regiments, 37 companies; engineers, 3 regiments; sharpshooters, 8 companies; infantry, 248 regiments, 10 companies; and 20 major-generals."

Some of the above information was taken from:

  • Military Affairs in New York 1861–1865, Military History. New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center.New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, 2008.

Information in this database:

  • Surname
  • State, county, town
  • Birth date
  • Residence
  • Rank
  • Regiment
  • Length of enlistment
  • Place of enlistment
  • Discharge date

Information you may find in this database:

  • Parents’ names
  • Previous occupation
  • Death date
  • Cause of death
  • Place of burial
  • Bounty paid

Related Website

The New York State Archives was established in 1971 and opened its doors to the public in 1978. It is a program of the State Education Department, with its main facility located in the Cultural Education Center on Madison Avenue in Albany. There it cares for and provides access to more than 200 million documents that tell the story of New York from the seventeenth century to the present. From its main facility, it also administers statewide programs that reach out to state agencies, local governments and community organizations. Archives staff are located in nine regional offices around the State to address the archives and records management concerns of every area of the State.

New York State Archives

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