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gpeace68

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  1. The date of the muster roll is 11th October 1784 and the note next to his name says "Inlisted 25th August 1783". I forgot to include the following excerpt from the Woollright book (page 90): "[Major General Campbell] arrived at Annapolis on 16th of July [1784], and saw the six companies of the 57th under Captain Thompson. Only 11 officers and 200 of other ranks were present under arms, as many as thirteen officers (including the lieutenant-colonel and the major) being absent, and the men were in their old clothing. The total strength of non-commissioned officers and men (including the detachment at Fort Howe), was 357, of whom only seven were under five years' service, and 65 under 5 feet 6 inches in height." Since only seven of 357 men had less than five years' service in July 1784 (my ancestor was still in the regiment at that time and was discharged in 1786), there is a 98% chance that he enlisted originally before July 1779.
  2. Thank you, jf42. The information that you provided is very helpful. One of the universities local to me has a copy of the Katcher book, so I will examine it soon. i know that the 57th Regiment of Foot was on New York Island on 31 July 1783 because a muster roll was signed at that location on that date. Most muster rolls that I have searched for that regiment cover six-month periods from 25 Dec to 24 Jun and 25 Jun to 24 Dec. But the period around the evacuation of New York was probably not business as usual. The next muster roll after the 31 July 1783 one was signed at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, on 11 Oct 1784. This is the muster where my ancestor is shown as enlisting on 25 Aug 1783, so this muster covers more than one year. I agree that muster rolls usually show where a soldier was transferred from or to. I looked at the muster rolls for the 57th up to 1786 and most do show that information. But in the muster roll covering August 1783 to October 1784 (over 14 months), no information is given for any officer or soldier about transfer to or from another unit. The only designations next to some names (along with the date) are "enlisted", "discharged", "died", and "deserted". My hypothesis is that, for this one muster roll, they lost track of some of the information about other units so they did not record it. As to whether my ancestor enlisted on New York Island on 25 Aug 1783 or if he enlisted in Britain: (1) the regiment was still on New York Island on that date because the book History of the Fifty-Seventh (West Midlands) Regiment of Foot (1755-1881) by H.H. Woollright (1893) says that the regiment only transferred to Nova Scotia in Oct 1783, and (2) my ancestor wrote on a land grant application that he served during the American Revolutionary War (a claim that would not be true if he enlisted in Britain and joined the regiment in Nova Scotia). Woollright also says that orders were issued in June 1783 to reduce the regiment from ten to eight companies. As a result 10 drummers and 67 privates were discharged in August 1783 and provided passage with their wives and children. That is why I don't think that new men were being recruited on New York Island on 25 Aug 1783. My theory is that there may have been some shuffling between regiments to accommodate those who wanted to stay with a regiment in Nova Scotia and those who wanted to be discharged to Britain. In addition to many men shown as discharged on 25 Aug, there were also very many shown as enlisted on that same day.
  3. I am researching my family history and I have reached a dead end for an ancestor who was a private in the 57th Regiment of Foot from 1783 to 1786. I found the muster rolls that show he enlisted in the 57th on Aug. 25, 1783. That was about a week before the formal end of the American Revolutionary War with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on Sept. 3, 1783. He enlisted while the regiment was on New York Island (modern day Manhattan Island) and he went with the regiment to Nova Scotia in October 1783. Many regiments reduced their ranks at that time (the 57th eliminated 2 of 10 companies). I doubt that my ancestor would have been recruited as a raw recruit. I believe that he transferred from another British regiment, but the previous regiment was not recorded in the muster roll. To avoid searching the muster rolls for every other regiment existing at the time, I want to search only the rolls for the regiments that were also deployed on New York Island in the summer of 1783. Is there a source that shows the deployments of all British regiments during this period? I have tried to search on the internet, but the results are spotty and unreliable. Thanks
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