Monday, 16 June 2014

Further search tips: WO 363/4 on findmypast

A little while ago I published some search tips for getting the most out of the newly published WO 363 and WO 364 on findmypast.

I'm finding quite a few service and pension records on findmypast that I failed to find on Ancestry. Having been closely involved with the indexing of these series on findmypast, and with the training of the teams at the transcription company that was given this difficult task, it's gratifying to see so many men emerging online for the first time. One of these is John Angus Corstorphin Wilson.

John Wilson was a patient at one of the hospitals in Chailey that I researched.  His entry in a nurse's autograph book is above, but I had been unable to find a service record for him on Ancestry. I'd managed to find his medal index card and so I knew that his six digit TF number was 326251:


So this was my search on findmypast:

and here was the result:
This shows that findmypast has indexed the man's name and his number (which was what was asked) and of course I downloaded all of the images straight away. But for this project, we also wanted - where it was obvious - details of a man's former or later service also to be indexed. Now it's not all that clear on findmypast that this has been done and it's worth pointing out here because it can easily be missed.
If we go to the index page for John Wilson, right at the bottom (in that dead, "below the fold" area) we see further details for this man:
So the good news is you could search for this man on his Royal Artillery number (18471) when he joined the regiment in 1898. You can search for him on his original TF number (167) when he re-joined the army in 1914. Or you can search for him, as I did, on his six-digit TF number.
The bad news is that if you don't scroll down to the bottom of his indexed page, you'll miss this vital information altogether.
(Incidentally, in the interests of even-handedness, I note that this man's record does now appear on Ancestry).
Screengrabs from findmypast except the medal index card which is from Ancestry.

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