Entries for Westford Men
Found in
Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors
of the Revolutionary War

Page Guide


Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War (MSSRW) is a compilation of service records for all Massachusetts men who are documented to have performed war service between 1775 and 1783.  The task of compiling its 17 volumes was begun as a result of the General Court’s 1891 legislation calling for an indexed list of Revolutionary War service.  The work commenced that same year and the volumes were successively published between 1896 and 1908.   The result was approximately 688,000 entries.

In order to understand the value and shortcomings of the information provided in MSSRW it is important to appreciate how it was compiled.  The entries consist of service summaries from documents found at the Massachusetts State Archives.  These documents include muster rolls, pay abstracts, commission records, discharge papers, and many other service related documents that happen to be found within the Archive collections.  While MSSRW is an immensely valuable resource, there are several reasons why one must be careful in the use of the information found within its pages.  Several of the most important are summarized below:

(i)                 Since it is not possible that any single collection – in this case, that of the Massachusetts Archives contain all service records, MSSRW entries should not be taken as a complete record of an individual’s service.  The entries only summarize information that is found in this single collection of essentially random documents.  For this reason, many holes can exist in the service entries.  This is the case for the vast majority of soldiers.  There are also cases where information that was available did not make it into the soldier's entry.  An excellent example of this can be found in Col. John Robinson's entry in which his service as Colonel of a regiment at the end of the Siege of Boston is not mentioned, but is indirectly mentioned in hundreds of entries for soldiers that served in that regiment.


(ii)              The editors of MSSRW made a conscious decision to list names according to the exact spelling found in the documents, rather than attempt to correct erroneous spellings.  As a result, any one person’s records could be found under several, potentially very different entry names.   Given the nature of record taking in the 18th century, variations is spelling are quite common.

(iii)            Where the Archive records contained information about the soldier’s town of residence, it was included in the MSSRW entries.  Clearly, this makes the identification of a particular soldier significantly easier.  However, such information was often not part of the records.  As a result, it was not always possible for the MSSRW editors to connect different service records to the same person, resulting in more than one entry for the same individual.


In the following compilation of Westford soldier entries I have attempted to address the latter two issues.  First, an effort has been made to include not only the entries corresponding to the definitive spelling, but to include entries found under alternate spellings.  Second, I have attempted to draw multiple entries for the same person together.  This requires either previous knowledge of the soldier’s service, or an understanding of the service trends for Westford soldiers.   Both have been used to connect the entries to a single soldier.  In some cases I have not yet been able to corroborate the connections I have made with another source.  Where this is the case, it has been indicated with the words probably or  “possibly” prior to the entry.  Updates will be made as the research progresses.


In cases where I have not been able to convincingly attribute any MSSRW entries to a particular Westford soldier, I have noted it with “No obvious MSSRW entry”.  This does not necessarily mean that there is no entry for that person, only that I have not yet been able to find any evidence that the existing entries are related to a particular Westford veteran.


The definitive spelling of each name has been primarily taken from the list of Revolutionary War veterans found in Hodgman’s History of Westford.  Where this list has been found to be incomplete, as evidenced by the discovery of service records for Westford men not already on the list, the spelling found in the new source has been assumed.

All entries have been transcribed directly from MSSRW and all editorial notes in square brackets are those of the editors of MSSRW.


Westford Soldier Entries 

MSSRW entries for 282 Westford soldiers can be found alphabetically on the following pages.  Changes/updates will likely be made in the future as further research clarifies the status of certain "Possible" or "Probable" entries.



Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Vols. I thru XVII.  Published by the Secretery of the Commonwealth, Boston: Wright & Porter Printing Co., State Printers, 1896-1908.  
These volumes are available in most Massachusetts libraries.  The introductary material also contains a very good summary of Massachusetts Revolutionary War period legislation relating to the military.

Also available on CD-ROM  as:  Military Records: Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors, 1775-1782.  Family Archive CD series, Broderbund Software.
While very helpful to have in this format, note that searches can only be performed by the soldier's name, not arbitrary text.


© 2003, 2004 -  D.P. Lacroix

Page added: 10 December 2003
Last modified: 10 January 2004

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