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According to 18th-century immigration authority Clifford Neal Smith, the vast majority of German and English soldiers who, for one reason or another, became separated from their Revolutionary War units, ended up settling within a few miles of their discharge, desertion, or capture (POWs). Mr. Smith drew his conclusion from a careful examination of muster rolls from 1774 to 1783, as found in the Public Record Office in London. This consolidated work, which is based on those records, identifies several thousand soldiers who fall into this category. The records are arranged by regiment and thereunder alphabetically by surname. For each soldier, the author has transcribed his full name, status (deserter, dischargee, or prisoner of war), a date, and the source of the information. For the overwhelming majority of these individuals, these records may be the sole clue that links them from America to their European homeland.
Mr. Smith originally published the components of this work as British-American Genealogical Research Monograph 9, Parts 1 and 2, and Monograph 10. Each of the three original booklets was indexed separately, so users of this consolidated volume must consult each index in hopes of arriving at the name of their ancestor(s).