About These Pages
A muster roll is a register of all soldiers in a company, present or accounted for on a particular day, or for a period of time. The commander of the company, usually a captain, was required to sign the muster roll, pledging on his honor that the roll correctly represented the true military service of all men in the company. The original muster roll was then sent to the Texas Adjutant General's Office as a record of the men's military service. A copy, made at the same time and often signed by the captain, might be kept for his own use.
Muster rolls for much of the period of the Revolution (1835-1836) were reconstructed later by members of the companies and filed with the Adjutant General's Office. Most of these original and reconstructed rolls and lists were lost in a fire in the Adjutant General's Office on October 10, 1855. Surviving muster rolls can be found in the Texas State Archives (Adjutant General's Records) and other libraries and archives. Copies of these rolls, made in the 1850s before the fire, are in volumes at the Texas General Land Office.The purpose of this Index is to assist researchers in locating
The hope is the Index will eventually include all the surviving Republic of Texas military rolls, with the help of reviewers and contributors of additions and corrections. Corrections rarely catch up to a book; this Index can become more accurate over time.
The bulk of this Index was created from the online index to the muster roll collection of the Texas State Archives (see A1 in Archive References). The Archives' index was reformatted to allow room for references, adding information on military organization, commander, and places of deployment, where available. An example of this new format can be found in the section Index Format. The remainder of the Index has been assembled from sources other than the Texas State Archives.
Online Transcriptions (TRAN Pages)
Transcribing century-and-a-half-old handwritten muster rolls is a difficult task, particularly if working with a photocopy. These online transcriptions are a best attempt at reading handwriting, but are always open to correction if someone provides supporting evidence from other Republic records. It is not the intent of this Index to "correct" the spelling of names on the muster rolls, which is not good research practice, so the transcriptions are literal. The associated NOTE pages, however, do show alternative name spellings from other Republic records.
The transcriptions are in plain ASCII text with formatting that depends upon a font with equal spacing (e.g., Courier New). Some transcriptions of large muster rolls are about 150 characters in width. These wide transcriptions usually can be printed by temporarily selecting a smaller font and the "landscape" orientation of the printer paper.
The NOTE pages present names from the roll in alphabetical order by surname, some rolls with additional reference to the names' position on the roll (Roll Number). The name spelling is literal, the same as on the roll transcription. The NOTE pages contain reference to what appears to be the same name in other Republic records, possible leads for the researcher to follow. For the militia, who were recruited locally, the online Land Grant database of the Texas General Land Office (see Research Help page) may be helpful, although the appearance of a name does not necessarily mean it is the same man.
For NOTE pages for the 1836 rolls from the Thomas Jefferson Green Papers, the 1986 book by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas [T1] has been referenced. Most of the Green Papers' rolls align in time with rolls in T1, so many of the men are in listed in both. Sometimes a given name will appear in T1, thereby identifying an initial in the roll being transcribed. The rolls in the Texas General Land Office's volume, MUSTER ROLLS #1 1850, and the corresponding rolls in T1 appear to both be copies of the same original rolls, occasionally giving us alternate name spellings.
It is seldom possible for this Index to uniquely identify a person whose name appears on a muster roll. Except for names that have been thoroughly researched, it cannot be known if "Joseph Allen" on a muster roll is the same person as a "Joseph Allen" in other records. For this reason, inclusion of a land record in NOTE is done only if the association is supported by other records.
The LIST pages present names from the roll in alphabetical order by surname. The name spelling comes from the transcription except for a few cases where the name has been corrected by a Republic agency or the literal spelling is misleading (e.g., "Eginor" for Eigenouer). In these cases both spellings are indexed. For convenience some of the LIST pages include remarks from the rolls. The Name Index is constructed from the LIST pages
Organization of the Rolls
The grouping of the rolls is eclectic and can be improved. The grouping called "Revolution and Following Year 1835-1837" is basically that of the Texas General Land Office muster roll books, with other rolls added. No attempt is being made to define rolls of "The Revolution" as other rolls of this same time period can be found in the other groups.
The Militia rolls are organized alphabetically by captain's name and may contain rolls of "The Revolution" or the Army. The "Army of the Republic 1836-1845" rolls are organized by military company. The Navy rolls follow the organization of the online index of the Texas State Archives, listing companies by ship.
The organization of rolls in "Campaigns of 1842" is an experiment using the work of J. M. Nance to group the rolls by military campaign, which may help a researcher find records of a company's activities.
Appreciation is due the many people who offered helpful suggestions and direction in the assembling of this beginning index of military rolls of the Republic. Special thanks are due:
Web Page Maintenance
All links to other web sites are concentrated in the Research Help page. These offsite links should be verified and corrected at least once a year. Changes should be made with an ASCII "plain-text" editor, for example: Windows Notepad. The new page should be uploaded to the server as a "raw" ASCII transfer. (Commercial web preparation programs usually rewrite the HTML of the whole page when uploading. The page will look fine on that PC, but may not display correctly on other browsers.)
H. David Maxey - 2007