Men of what age were likely to have served as soldiers during the American Revolution?

It’s a good rule of thumb that if your ancestor was “of age” during the American Revolution, they likely participated in the Revolution in some way. Yet, many of us look for soldiers. How do we determine which ancestors were likely to have fought?

Local law can actually be a hint. Connecticut, for example, required militia service between the ages of 16 and 60. While younger and older men may have served, it was far less likely that they would do so. They weren’t actively training and may not have had the physical strength to keep up with the rest of the unit. Look for your state’s historic statutes to find the law in force at the time of the War.

While you’re doing that, don’t forget to check for exemptions. Traditionally some forms of public office provided an exemption from militia service, as did other roles. Your ancestor might have been of age but legally not required to serve.

Published by Bryna O'Sullivan

Proprietor of Charter Oak Genealogy, Bryna O'Sullivan specializes in assisting clients with lineage society applications and with French to English genealogical translations.

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