German Genealogy Tip #3: Look Up Hessian Mercenaries in the American Revolution

According to Wikipedia, “About 30,000 German soldiers fought for the British during the American Revolutionary War, making up a quarter of all the soldiers the British sent to America. … Nearly half were from the Hesse region of Germany (which is the origin of their name); the others came from similar small German states. … Hessian prisoners of war were put to work on local farms and were offered land bounties to desert and join the Americans. Some did, while most returned to Germany.”

Did you know that there is a database where you can look up Hessian mercenaries who fought in the American Revolutionary War? The database is sponsored by Philipps University Marburg in Marburg, Germany. It is located here, at:

You can search by place name or by person name. Simply type in a Hessian town name like “Nentershausen” or a name like “Schuchardt,” and see all the Hessians who fought in the American Revolution from that town or with that name. The database also usually states when each soldier was recruited, appointed, transferred, took leave, died, and/or deserted.

4 thoughts on “German Genealogy Tip #3: Look Up Hessian Mercenaries in the American Revolution

  1. Donald Long

    Josiah. I am learning to work with HETRINA. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for suggesting this database.

  2. Major (Ret.) Cheri L. Rumler

    I am trying to validate whether or not my two ancestors, George Rumler and John Rumler, where Hessian soldiers under the command of Gen. Charles Cornwallis, during the American Revolutionary War, during May-June 1776 time frame. According to research, Gen. Cornwallis and ‘Hessian soldier’s came to America on the H.M.S. Bristol. Is there an existing manifest for the H.M.S. Bristol with the names of those Hessian soldiers? Can you be of any help with this request? Sincerely, Major (Ret.) Cheri L. Rumler


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6  +  1  =