Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Find My Past just became cheaper

It just became 10% cheaper to find your relatives. Click on the link to save on the price of a subscription to Find My Past. Go on, do it!

Monday, 7 February 2011

War Poets

From Martin Chown of the War Poets' Association:

"I am on the WPA Committee organising this first study tour to cover the
writings of two lesser known war poets Blunden and Rosenberg- the one who
died, and the one who survived.

A new approach to the literature and perspectives of the First World War
will be taken with this special study tour to the Battlefields on the 95th
anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Fall In, Ghosts is the first
tour to feature specifically the contrasting experiences and writings of war
poets Edmund Blunden and Isaac Rosenberg, whose reputations at home and
abroad have grown steadily over the past ninety years.

The tour will follow, for Blunden, his classic account Undertones of War.
This has just been re-published by Penguin with a new introduction by
military historian Hew Strachan. Both poets will be illustrated by their
poetry at relevant sites.

I hope you will be able to pass this on to people who might appreciate this
new approach to the literature of the first World War, especially covering
lesser known poets whose voices and experiences covered two years of
warfare, whose poetry was either fortunate to be sent home and published, or
lost in the mud, and published later.

The flyer can be found directly on the website: and the
organisers have a closing date of 30 April 2011."

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Army Ancestors on-line - 18th & 19th Centuries

This is a general overview of on-line sources to check. It is not complete and will be updated.

Find my 18th and 19th Century Army Ancestors

Find My Past has published the complete WO 97 series of Army pension records on-line. These, as the title suggests, are records for men who left the army between 1760 and 1913 and received a pension. There are over one million records in this series.

WO 96 is the series for militia attestations and covering the period 1806-1915. There are around 500,000 records in this series and these too will be available on the Find My Past website from September 2011.

Ancestry has the WO 363 and WO 364 series on its site. Although both record series are supposedly exclusively First World War series for soldiers' service papers and soldiers' pension papers respectively, there are many thousands of service records and pension records which pre-date WW1. The earliest I have found dates back to 1850.

Find My Past has:

Army Lists for 1787, 1798 and 1878 (Officers)
Peninsula Medal Roll 1793-1814
The Waterloo Medal Roll 1815
Harts' Army Lists for 1840 and 1888 (Officers)
Indian Army and Civil Service List 1873
Anglo Boer War Roll 1899-1902

Ancestry has:

UK military campaign & award rolls 1793-1949 (BUT excluding WW1 and WW2)
UK naval medal and award rolls (BUT excluding WW1 and WW2)
UK casualties of the Boer War 1899-1902 (inferior to the Find My Past roll)

Dix Noonan Webb has published the following FREE medal rolls:

Military General Service Medal 1793-1814
Naval General Service Medal 1793-1840
Army of India Medal 1799-1826
Indian Mutiny Medal 1857-1859

Finally, Kevin Asplin has nominal rolls, casualty rolls and medal rolls too numerous to mention on his hugely useful site.