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Revolutionary War Damage Claims, 1776-1782

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This database indexes 7,435 names recorded on 2,662 damage claims filed by New Jersey citizens. The claims describe losses incurred during the Revolutionary War at the hands of British forces, the Continental Army, New Jersey militia, and the militias of neighboring states.

On 20 December 1781 the Legislative Council and General Assembly passed an act (Chap. V, Laws of 1781, p. 6) authorizing appraisers in each county to make inventories for each damage claim, and then to file the inventories with the Legislature at their first sitting after each annual election. The act, as amended on 27 December, stipulated that the appraisers meet beginning in August 1782. Some inventories were recorded as late as 1786.

There are no inventories on file for Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem, or Sussex counties. With the single exception of damages against the Americans claimed in Red Bank by James Whiteall (A : Monmouth : Account of James Whiteall, Red Bank, 1779), there are none recorded for Monmouth county.

The State authorized the filing of claims but never approved compensation to the claimants.

The index may be searched by any combination of first and/or last name, and filtered by county, location, gender, ethnicity, the years the damages occured, and whether the damage was done by the British or by the Americans.

The database includes a number of claims for lost slaves. In most cases the name of the slave is not recorded, or only a first name is given. Entries for slaves can be found by filtering for "African American." Slave entries are cross-referenced to the claimant's surname. Therefore, a search on a slaveowner's surname, combined with the ethnicity "African American," will return the entries for lost slaves claimed under that surname.

Entering the initial letter or string of letters into the name fields will return all records beginning with that string. To search a string within a name use the wildcard character * followed by the string. For example, the surname "Smith" may be searched to include the variant "Smyth" by entering "Sm*th" in last name field. To sort the search results click on the header of each column.

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