United Kingdom, Militia Service Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915 .
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Record Description

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

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Brightsolid. "United Kingdom, Militia Service Records (WO96), 1806-1915." http://www.findmypast.com : 2012.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in this collection may include:

  • Full name of soldier
  • Year of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Age
  • Date of event
  • Occupation
  • Marital Status
  • Place of residence at time of registration

How to Use the Record

It is difficult to locate an individual’s record without knowing his ship or regiment. If you do not know this, you may find it in other types of records. Once you know the regiment or ship, consult the muster rolls, records of service, or other records available for that ship or regiment.

Beginning Your Search

To begin your search, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:

  • Ancestors name
  • Regiment
  • Ship name

Searching the Images

To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Box Number (Digital Folder Number)" category which will take you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Searching the Index

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

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 Collecton

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.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

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.



Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clemtina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata.