British Military - What Do I Want to Know?Edit This Page

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What regiment did my ancestor serve in?

Was my ancestor an Officer?
Was my ancestor a Soldier?

Can I find life events or family relationships in military records?

Most valuable British Army records that may help me find life events or family relationships for my British Army officer ancestor 

Most valuable British Army records that may help me find life events or family relationships for my British Army soldier ancestor

MOST VALUABLE BRITISH ARMY RECORDS FOR REGULAR SOLDIERS

Several War Office (W.O.) class records exist for regular soldiers and their families which have not been mentioned.  The records listed below have extensive coverage for much of the British Army as a whole.  Unless otherwise indicated, the records listed below by title and W.O. class number are located at The National Archives.

  1. Regimental Registers of births, baptisms, marriages and burials:  1760-1924; FHL microfiche 6137402 & 6137403
  2. Chaplains' Returns of births, marriages and burials:  1796-1880
  3. Muster Book & Pay Lists (artillery):  W.O. 10; 1708-1878
  4. Muster Book & Pay Lists (General):  W.O. 12; 1732-1741; 1760-1878
  5. Soldiers Documents:  W.O. 97; 1760-1900
  6. Monthly Returns (sometimes called "Station Returns):  W.O. 17; 1759-1865
  7. Royal Chelsea Hospital Pension Returns:  W.O. 22; 1842-1883
  8. Royal Chelsea Hospital, Chelsea Registers etc.:  W.O. 23, 1702-1892
  9. Commission Books Series 1 & 2:  W.O. 25; 1759-1935 (some at FHL)
  10. Headquarter Records: America Muster Rolls:  W.O. 28; 1746-1785
  11. Registered Files - General Series - Garrison Churches, certificates marr. & lic., casualties, general:  W.O. 32; 1777-1892 (some at FHL)
  12. Certificates of Births, Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths, & Burials:  W.O. 42; 1755-1908 (some at FHL)
  13. Depot Description Books: W.O. 67; 1768-1908
  14. Royal Artillery Description Books:  W.O. 69; 1782-1840
  15. Depot Description Books - Militia Records:  W.O. 68; 1759-1925
  16. Militia Attestation Returns:  W.O. 96; 1806-1915
  17. Campaign Medal Rolls:  W.O. 100; 1793-1912
  18. Medals & Awards - Long Service & Good Conduct:  W.O. 102; 1831-1902
  19. South African War:  W.O. 108; 1899-1904
  20. Royal Chelsea Hospital Admission Books - Outpensioners' (Disability) Records:  W.O. 116; 1715-1913
  21. Royal Chelsea Hospital Admission Books - Outpensioners (for long service):  W.O. 117; 1823-1913
  22. Royal Hospital Kilmainham - Outpensions Records - Admission & Discharge Books:  W.O. 118; 1704-1862
  23. Royal Hospital Kilmainham - Discharge Documents of Pensioners - Outpension Records:  W.O. 119; 1783-1822
  24. Royal Chelsea Hospital Regimental Registers of Admissions - Outpensions (& Militias):  W.O. 120; 1715-1857
  25. Royal Chelsea Hospital Outpensions - Discharge Documents of Pensioners:  W.O. 171; 1782-1840
  26. British Military Records in The Canadian National Archives:  C. Series; 1757-1899 (at FHL)
  27. Pay Master General Army Establishment - Pensions for Wounds:  PMG 9; 1814-1920
  28. South African War Imperial Yeomanry - Soldiers Documents:  W.O. 128; 1899-1902
  29. Royal Hospital chelsea:  W.O. 164; 1720-1899
  30. Medals & Awards - Distinguished Conduct Medal:  W.O. 146; 1855-1909

Was my ancestor in the Militia or a Volunteer?

RECORDS FOR FINDING MILITIA, VOLUNTEERS & YEOMANRY REGIMENT NAME OR NUMBER

  1. Soldiers' documents (Militia, by County):  1760-1881; W.O. 97; FHL has pieces 1-1182; 1209-1279, 1760-1854 only with some alphabetical arrangement
  2. Militia Attestation Returns; whole military (with attachments):  1806-1915; W.O. 96-all; alphabetically arranged.  The National Archives
  3. Army Establishment; Militia, Yeomanry & Volunteers Allowances:  1793-1799; 1817-1927; Pay Master General (PMG) #13, pieces 1-50.
  4. Muster Books & Pay Lists; Militia & Volunteers:  1780-1878; W.O. 13; pieces 1-4675.
  5. Depot Description Books - Militia Records, including Officers' Services:  1759-1925; W.O. 68, pieces 1-568; FHL has many of these - helpful enlistment place for soldier is known.
  6. Militia Attestation Returns; whole military (attachments):  1806-1915; W.O. 96, pieces 1-1522; arranged alphabetically.
  7. Royal Hospital Chelsea Regimental Registers of Admissions - Out-Pensions:  includes Militias
  8. Home Office - Military Internal Defence (Militia & Volunteers):  1782-1840; H.O. 50, pieces 57-363.
  9. Militia Entry Books - Commissions, appointments, warrants:  1758-1855; E51
  10. Quarter Session Records (of each shire/county):  most have militia lists or sometimes lists of able-bodied men from the ages of 16-60; some are in print.

Did my ancestor receive a pension?

Search the WO 97 records to determine if ancestor received a pension. Search the following:

      


 

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