United Kingdom, Militia Service Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland|
|Location of United Kingdom|
|Record Type||Militia Service|
|The National Archives|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues With This Collection
- 7 Citing This Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
This collection contains records for the years 1806-1915
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.
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
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
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915. Click on camera icon to see images.|
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
- Scotland Guided Research, Ireland Guided Research, England Guided Research
- Scotland Record Finder, Ireland Record Finder, Wales Record Finder England Record Finder
- Scotland Research Tips and Strategies, Ireland Research Tips and Strategies, Wales Research Tips and Strategies, England Research Tips and Strategies
Regiment Search Strategies
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:
- 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
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