Military Records at the Pennsylvania State Archives

The Division of Archives and Manuscripts holds voluminous records providing evidence of enrollment or service with Pennsylvania military units during the period 1775-1985. Unfortunately, most of the records of military service created prior to 1861 contain scant genealogical or descriptive data . Among those military service and war records that offer genealogical potential are the following:

Images of military service cards for some of these conflicts may be viewed online through:

ARIAS

The ARIAS (the Archives Records Information Access System) is designed to facilitate citizen access to archival records created by all branches and levels of Pennsylvania State Government. Records series currently online or in the process of being digitized are:

  • PA National Guard Veteran's Card File, 1867-1921. {series #19.135}
  • Civil War Veterans' Card File. {series #19.12}
  • Revolutionary War Military Abstract Card File. {series #13.50}
  • World War I Service Medal Application Cards. {series #19.196}
  • Spanish American War Veterans' Card File of United States Volunteers. {series #19.78}
  • Mexican Border Campaign Veterans' Card File. {series #19.110} 
  • Militia Officers Index Cards, 1775-1800. {series #13.36}

Currently, about 1,500,000 card images are accessible on the ARIAS website, and the State Archives plans to make additional records available in the near future. The original paper records were microfilmed. From this microfilm, the images were digitized for presentation on the Web. The content, sequence and image quality among the records series will vary depending on how they were originally written/typed and subsequently filmed. In some instances, certain information may be illegible. Efforts were made to optimize the records for readability and presentation purposes for the Web.

  Military poster

If you need further assistance, you may contact an archivist at ra-statearchives@pa.gov