United Kingdom, Militia Service Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

United Kingdom

Access the Records
United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915
CID2046942
{{{CID2}}}
{{{CID3}}}
{{{CID4}}}
{{{CID5}}}
{{{CID6}}}
{{{CID7}}}
{{{CID8}}}
{{{CID9}}}
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United Kingdom
Flag of the United Kingdom.png
Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
UK LOC United Kingdom.png
Location of United Kingdom
Europe Country Gray Borders.png
Record Description
Record Type Militia Service
Collection years 1806-1915
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
The National Archives


What is in This Collection?

This collection contains records for the years 1806-1915

This collection includes records of militia servicemen from the United Kingdom. The National Archives record series number is WO 96. This collection is provided in cooperation with findmypast.

Military records are of great genealogical value and may provide information not found in any other source. These records identify individuals who served or were eligible to serve in the military. Military service (other than the militia) was usually a lifetime career. Officers came from the upper classes; soldiers usually came from the poor.

The British Military Records page contains more information about this collection.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. The United Kingdom, Militia Service Records collection is available to the Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers, and to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The images can be viewed at a FamilySearch Center near you.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Service Record Statements

  • Full name and rank of soldier
  • Corps in which soldier served
  • Period of enlistment
  • Record of promotions, reductions and transfers
  • Year of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Age
  • Date of event
  • Occupation
  • Marital status
  • Place of residence at time of registration

Attestation Records

  • Name of enlistee
  • Battalion and regiment assignment
  • Parish, town and county of current residence
  • Parish, town and county of previous residence
  • Age, occupation, and marital status
  • Number of children under 14 years
  • Record of any previous service
  • Any record of penal servitude
  • Time period to serve for present enlistment

Description Records

  • Detailed physical description
  • Religious denomination
  • Certification by a medical examiner

Collection Content

This collection contains solely military records; the records themselves vary, as they contain information from militia service records, Imperial Yeomanry, soldier's documents, and records from the South African War.

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person you are looking for
  • Approximate date of service

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference. See below for assistance in citing this collection. Save or print a copy of the image if possible
  • If in the appropriate period, use the information which has been discovered to find the individual in civil records. Particularly useful for research in nineteenth-century England are the England Census and the England Civil Registration records
  • If known, the soldier's ship or regiment can provide an avenue to his vital details. Once the particular unit has been identified, consult the muster rolls or records of service to discover a wealth of personal information about the individual

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which individual is correct. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, occupation, or names of parents, to determine which candidate is the correct person. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records
  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names; transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record. Also remember that it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name. See Abbreviations Found in Genealogy Records for examples of common abbreviations
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches
  • Look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description, if possible

Record Finder

Consult the England Record Finder and Wales Record Finder to find other records

Regiment Search Strategies

Army Officers

The basic unit of the Army is the regiment under a colonel or lieutenant colonel. Regiments are usually divided into two or more Battalions. The main types of regiments which should be searched are:

  • Cavalry
  • Infantry
  • Corps (e,g, Army Service Corps; Royal Signals; Royal Engineers etc.)

Prior to 1847, English army service was usually for life. Some soldiers were discharged early for disability (liberally defined) or age (often by age 40).

Pre-1872 army records are organized by regiment. Most regiments have published histories that tell the places where they served and the battles they fought. For a bibliography of these histories, see:

Pre-1751 infantry and cavalry units were known by the names of their colonels, i.e. Sir Thomas Adams Regiment of Foot.

Post-1751 a numerical system was adopted to name the regiments, with rank in order of precedence, i.e. Queens 9th Regiment of Foot.

If your ancestor does not appear in the Army List for the right time period, consult the card index to officers, available only at the Public Record Office.

If an officer was living during 1828 or 1829, you can use the indexed returns of service. "Birth certificates" submitted with widow’s pension applications may reveal an officer’s name. If you still cannot find a record, use the search strategies for soldiers.

Royal Navy personnel

If your ancestor was in the navy after 1852, search the index to Continuous Service Engagement Books, or the Surname Index to the 1861 Census Returns of Ships.

Before 1853 the source to use depends on what you know about your ancestor. If you know:

  • The name of a ship on which he served, search the ship musters, pay lists, and ship logs for the time period he should have been aboard
  • A port where your ancestor landed on a specific date, search the List Books, a geographically arranged list of ship locations at the Public Record Office (class ADM 8)
  • A battle or campaign in which his ship was involved, search the medal rolls
  • The name of an officer serving with your ancestor, search the Navy List for that officer’s ship

Since many seamen also served in the Merchant Marines during their careers, search the records described in British Merchant Marine

Known Issues With This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.


Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing "Militia Service Records 1806-1915." Index and images. findmypast .co.uk. www.findmypast.co.uk : Brightsolid, n.d. WO 96. The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

Top of Page

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.