Skip to Main Content

Citadel Alumni Genealogical Research Guide

This guide will help researchers use The Citadel Archives collections to conduct genealogical research on Citadel alumni.

Official Registers of Officers and Cadets

The Official Register of Officers and Cadets of the South Carolina Military Academy was first published in 1849 with a new edition printed annually until 1988. There are no issues from 1865-1882 while The Citadel was closed following the Civil War as well as from 1945-1946 due to World War II.

PRO TIP: In accordance with FERPA guidelines, access to Registers circa 1930 and later must be requested through The Citadel's Registrar's Office.

Registers list the students by class year (1st Class = Senior, 2nd Class = Junior, 3rd Class = Sophomore and 4th Class = Freshman) in order of their merit in academic courses and conduct. The students were ranked against each other academically based on the average attained in each department of study. Their ranking on the conduct roll has to due with how many demerits they obtained and how serious the offenses were. The class rolls also list all or some of the following information: district or county from which the student comes from, date of admission and age when enrolled.

Registers contain more information as the years progress and may include all or some of the following information:

  • Brief History of the South Carolina Military Academy
  • List of Board of Visitors
  • List of Academic Board (Officers/Faculty and Staff)
  • Classification of Cadets (Beneficiary vs. Pay)
  • List of Distinguished Cadets at the Annual Examination
  • Conduct Roll for the Corps
  • Explanation of Merit and Conduct Rolls
  • Battalion Organization
  • Appointments to the Academy for the Following Year
  • Courses of Instruction and Study
  • Information on the Appointment and Admission of Cadets
  • List of Graduates since its Founding in 1842

So how do I search the Registers?

1. From the Digital Collections homepage, you will click on "Browse Collections," which will take you to a list of all the collections we have online. The Official Registers collection is the first collection on the third page.

2. Click on the collection to view the list of Registers that we have online. Once you find the year you are looking for, click to open the Register.

3. When you open the Register (for example purposes, 1852 is used here), the first thing you will see is a PDF scan of the original Register that we have in the Archives. You can scroll through the entire scan, zoom in and out on the pages, print/download the scan, as well as search the document.

PRO TIP: Because the Registers are printed and not handwritten, you can search directly within the PDF scan and there is no typed transcription given.

4. To search the Register, click on the magnifying glass at the top of the scan. A search box will appear. You will then type the name of the alumnus in the search box. We recommend starting by searching only the last name. Most of the names of cadets in the Registers list the last name with a first initial or abbreviation such as "Wm" for William or "Jno" for John. We also recommend trying different spellings of the last name as there could have been a spelling error in the document. 

I am going to use A. H. Little as an example since I know he appears in the 1852 Register. If you type Little in the search box, this is the result:

If you look at the top of the scan, at the end of the search bar, it will tell you how many matches you have. The name Little returned two matches and you can use the arrows next to the search box to scroll through them. The matches will be highlighted in green. If the name you are searching for does not have any matches, the search box will turn red and it will say "phrase not found".

6. That's it! You have successfully searched a Official Register and hopefully found the name of the alumnus you were looking for. If you have any questions, please email us at We are happy to help you!