User:Dchin/Sandbox/Royal Hospital Chelsea, Documents of Soldiers Awarded Deferred Pensions (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Record Description
Record Type Military
Collection years 1838-1896
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
The National Archives

What is in This Collection?

This collection consists of military records from the Royal Hospital Chelsea for the years 1838-1896. The original records are held by the National Archives and the index was created by FindMyPast.

From 1692 until 1955, all army veteran pensions were administered and paid from the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Payments to retired officers, called half-pay, were not considered pensions, so the records in this collection primarily contain information on regular soldiers.

The records for the years 1760 through 1872 are arranged by regiment, then alphabetically by surname. After the Cardwell Army Reforms in 1873 until 1882, the records are grouped in local units, then organized by surname. From 1883 to 1914, these records are arranged in one alphabetical series.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images of digitized records available for all users. However, the rights to view images on this website are ultimately granted by the record custodians. Due to their restrictions, the images in this collection are not available for general viewing, but may be accessed at a local Family History Center, at the Family History Library, or online by members of the supporting organization(s).

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

The records may also be viewed at the FindMyPast website.

Collection Content

This collection contains discharge documents of pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and nominal rolls of soldiers awarded pensions to commence some after the dates of their discharges.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The following lists indicate potential information given in each type of record. It must be remembered that every record may not provide all of the listed information, as these records can vary over time and even between soldiers.

Pension Records may include:

  • Full name of pensioner
  • Reason for discharge
  • Name of Regiment
  • Age and occupation of pensioner
  • Parish, town and county in which born
  • Date and place where enlisted
  • Details of service rendered, including ranks held
  • Length of service in years and days
  • Physical description, including disabilities as a result of service

How do I Search the Collection?

Before beginning a search in these records, it is best to know the full name of the individual in question, as well as an approximate time range for the desired record. When entered into the search engine on the Collection Page, this information provides the quickest, most reliable path to finding the correct person. Of course, other information can be substituted as necessary.

Search the Index

You will be able to search this collection when it is published.

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 index entry record for future reference. See below for assistance in citing this collection. Save or print a copy of the image if possible.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the estimated age given in the pensioner record to calculate an approximate year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find the individual in other records. Particularly useful for research in nineteenth-century England are census records, parish registers, and civil registration records.

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, or occupation, 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. 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 some common examples of 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.
  • It is possible that the individual left the army for such reasons as to not qualify for a pension. Unfortunately, corresponding records for those who left the Army for reasons other than discharge have largely been destroyed.

Citing this Collection

Citing sources correctly makes it easier to refer back to information that has already been discovered; proper citations are therefore indispensable to keeping track of genealogical research. Following established formulae in formatting citations also allows others to verify completed research by helping them find and examine records for themselves.

To be of use, citations must include information such as the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records, if available. The following examples demonstrate how to present this information, and can serve as templates for creating proper citations for both this particular collection and individual records and images within the collection:

Collection Citation:
A citation will be available on the Collection Details page when the collection is published.
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.

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.