British Military - What Do I Want to Know?
What regiment did my ancestor serve in?
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 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.
- Regimental Registers of births, baptisms, marriages and burials: 1760-1924; FHL microfiche 6137402 & 6137403
- Chaplains' Returns of births, marriages and burials: 1796-1880
- Muster Book & Pay Lists (artillery): W.O. 10; 1708-1878
- Muster Book & Pay Lists (General): W.O. 12; 1732-1741; 1760-1878
- Soldiers Documents: W.O. 97; 1760-1900
- Monthly Returns (sometimes called "Station Returns): W.O. 17; 1759-1865
- Royal Chelsea Hospital Pension Returns: W.O. 22; 1842-1883
- Royal Chelsea Hospital, Chelsea Registers etc.: W.O. 23, 1702-1892
- Commission Books Series 1 & 2: W.O. 25; 1759-1935 (some at FHL)
- Headquarter Records: America Muster Rolls: W.O. 28; 1746-1785
- Registered Files - General Series - Garrison Churches, certificates marr. & lic., casualties, general: W.O. 32; 1777-1892 (some at FHL)
- Certificates of Births, Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths, & Burials: W.O. 42; 1755-1908 (some at FHL)
- Depot Description Books: W.O. 67; 1768-1908
- Royal Artillery Description Books: W.O. 69; 1782-1840
- Depot Description Books - Militia Records: W.O. 68; 1759-1925
- Militia Attestation Returns: W.O. 96; 1806-1915
- Campaign Medal Rolls: W.O. 100; 1793-1912
- Medals & Awards - Long Service & Good Conduct: W.O. 102; 1831-1902
- South African War: W.O. 108; 1899-1904
- Royal Chelsea Hospital Admission Books - Outpensioners' (Disability) Records: W.O. 116; 1715-1913
- Royal Chelsea Hospital Admission Books - Outpensioners (for long service): W.O. 117; 1823-1913
- Royal Hospital Kilmainham - Outpensions Records - Admission & Discharge Books: W.O. 118; 1704-1862
- Royal Hospital Kilmainham - Discharge Documents of Pensioners - Outpension Records: W.O. 119; 1783-1822
- Royal Chelsea Hospital Regimental Registers of Admissions - Outpensions (& Militias): W.O. 120; 1715-1857
- Royal Chelsea Hospital Outpensions - Discharge Documents of Pensioners: W.O. 171; 1782-1840
- British Military Records in The Canadian National Archives: C. Series; 1757-1899 (at FHL)
- Pay Master General Army Establishment - Pensions for Wounds: PMG 9; 1814-1920
- South African War Imperial Yeomanry - Soldiers Documents: W.O. 128; 1899-1902
- Royal Hospital chelsea: W.O. 164; 1720-1899
- 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
- Soldiers' documents (Militia, by County): 1760-1881; W.O. 97; FHL has pieces 1-1182; 1209-1279, 1760-1854 only with some alphabetical arrangement
- Militia Attestation Returns; whole military (with attachments): 1806-1915; W.O. 96-all; alphabetically arranged. The National Archives
- Army Establishment; Militia, Yeomanry & Volunteers Allowances: 1793-1799; 1817-1927; Pay Master General (PMG) #13, pieces 1-50.
- Muster Books & Pay Lists; Militia & Volunteers: 1780-1878; W.O. 13; pieces 1-4675.
- 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.
- Militia Attestation Returns; whole military (attachments): 1806-1915; W.O. 96, pieces 1-1522; arranged alphabetically.
- Royal Hospital Chelsea Regimental Registers of Admissions - Out-Pensions: includes Militias
- Home Office - Military Internal Defence (Militia & Volunteers): 1782-1840; H.O. 50, pieces 57-363.
- Militia Entry Books - Commissions, appointments, warrants: 1758-1855; E51
- 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: