Commonly Asked Questions
How Many Rangers were there? We estimate that there have been 8,000 to 10,000 Texas Rangers since 1823. The Staff adds a biographical file for every Texas Ranger as they are newly identified or join the service. “New” Rangers are found in the historical record every year and added to our files.
Please be aware that the absence of records does not necessarily rule out service as a Texas Ranger. Many service records were lost over the past two centuries years due to floods, fires and state administrative decisions not to keep certain records. The Texas Rangers are not unique in this; a fire at the National Archives in 1973 destroyed 80% of the Army service records from 1912-1960 and 75% of the Air Force service records from 1947-1964!
When will an index of all Texas Rangers be available? There is no State or public funding for such a project, so work proceeds as time is available. The Texas State Library and Archives has has placed some of its surviving early service records on line here: Texas Adjutant General Service Records 1836-1935.
Please be aware that (1) the records are incomplete due to loss and destruction; (2) some of the organizations listed were NOT Texas Ranger units—especially Confederate and Spanish American War Units—and (3) this does not cover the modern Texas Rangers.
Tax deductible donations may be made in support of our work to build biographical files on all known Rangers. Click here to contact the Staff about supporting the work of the Texas Ranger Research Center. Thank you.
Firearm and Badge Research: For reasons of liability, the staff will not appraise or authenticate firearms or badges. We will assist you with identification and suggest avenues for further research.
For firearms appraisals, we suggest reviewing Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values as a general guide. Seek the services of a qualified antique firearms appraiser (check references!) for current market values. Firearms authentication and appraisal is a highly specialized field where minor differences can have a major significance
For badges, please see our page on Texas Ranger Badges.
Warning: The vast majority of guns and badges that appear on the market with alleged Texas Ranger provenance is supported only by hearsay, opinion, or second and third-hand affidavits. This is especially true of items offered at online auctions, gun shows, in antique shops and flea markets. Fake or poorly substantiated letters of authenticity abound, as do false inscriptions, tags and decorations. Research should be done before purchase, not after, and the burden of proof should be placed upon the seller. An ironclad right-of-return should be obtained before purchase.
Please remember that sale, purchase or trade of current design Texas Ranger badges is prohibited by Texas law.