Boer War Records online

File:Caton-Woodville 1.jpgOur good friends at FindMyPast have just added some Boer War records to their military collection. This time round they are all medal rolls which are useful genealogy records. The additions are

  • Queen’s South Africa medal rolls for: Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia), Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps, Maritzburg Ambulance Corps, Natal Field Artillery and Natal Volunteer Hotchkiss Gun Detachment
  • King’s South Africa rolls for: 9th Lancers, 12th Lancers, 10th Hussars, 11th Hussars and Imperial Yeomanry
  • Talana clasp for 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, Leicestershire Regiment and King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Also they have completed the Wepener clasp roll

We have Meurig Jones to thank for allowing FindMyPast to offer these records to subscribers.

image – The Boer War by Richard Caton Woodville 1856 – 1927

Criminal Records 1817 – 1931

Criminal Records 1817 - 1931

FindMyPast has just released a new collection of criminal records 1817 – 1931, additional records will be added in the coming months to make the complete dataset 1770 – 1934.

The original records are kept at The National Archives and among the records which will be available online today are:

  • Admiralty registers of convicts in prison hulks between 1818-1831 (ADM 6)
  • After trial calendars of prisoners from the Central criminal court between 1855-1931 (CRIM 9)
  • Calendar of Prisoners in Home Office records 1868-1929 (HO 140)
  • Criminal petitions 1817-1858 (HO 17)
  • Metropolitan Police records of habitual drunkards for the period 1903-1914 (MEPO 6)
  • Prison Commission records for 1880-1885 (PCOM 2)

A search for Henry Matkin gave the following details

Number 72
Name Henry Matkin (indicted with No. 41 in the Calendar)
Age 28
Trade Glazier
Degree of Instruction Imp.
Name & Address of Committing Magistrate J Vaughan Esq. Bow Street Court
Date of Warrant 5 May 1885
When received into Custody 13 May 1885
Offence Assaulting Joseph Payne, a police constable acting in the execution of his duty
Before whom tried J D Fletcher Esq.
Verdict of Jury Not guilty
Previous Convictions —–
Sentence or Order of Court —–

Depending on which type of record you get come up in a search depends on the information given. Some records have accompanying photographs of the accused, sadly there was no such photo of Henry (he is one of my ancestors).

A very interesting set of records to have at our fingertips especially for those who like me have more than their fair share of criminal ancestors!


London Livery Companies 1400 – 1900

The Institute of Historical Studies have placed online a searchable database of Apprentices and Freemen in the City of London Livery Companies between 1400 and 1900. The database is a work in progress and is a collaboration between The Centre for The Records of London's Livery Companies Online (ROLLCO).Metropolitan History, The Clothworkers’ Company, The Drapers’ Company, The Goldsmiths’ Company and The Mercers’ Company.

The database at the time of this post contains information from The Clothworkers’ Company 1545 – 1908 and The Drapers’ Company 1400 – 1900 and a sample of the data from the The Goldsmiths’ Company 1600 – 1700. More data will be added this later year.

A search for the name Pottinger in the records of the Clothworkers’ Company yielded 32 results. As an example one of the entries in the list of Pottingers gave the following information.

Year of event 1736
Name Eliza Pottinger
Gender Female
Occupation Sawyer
Location Facing The Vine Tavern, Holborn
Company Archive Clothworker
Event Apprenticeship
Role Master
Status Widow

As can be seen quite a lot of useful information can be found just from the index. No doubt further details can be found on application to the Livery Company Archives.

FindMyPast has an Index of Apprenticeship Taxes that has been compiled by the Society of Genealogists. It’s not all that easy to use, be prepared to work through several pages before you hit the surname you require. Below is an example of what you can expect to find.

58/191 – 1772 POTTINGER, Geo to Jn Morbey of Banbury, Oxon tay £5

The original taxation documents are held at the National Archives.

It is worth running a surname search through the A2A website as some Apprenticeship papers show up there with details of where the originals can be found. The index alone gives quite a lot of useful information. An example

Apprenticeship agreement between John Hill of Stratford upon Avon and William George Morris of Stratford upon Avon, scrivener, for a term of 5 years. 1801. The agreement also attests that John Rowden Westbury [the guardian of John Hill] shall provide clothes and wearing apparel.

Ancestry has the Freedom of the City of Londonclip_image002[5] Admission Papers, 1681-1925 which would be worth searching as many apprenticeship papers are included in the collection plus many apprentices went onto become Freeman of the City. The information that can be found is

  • Surname
  • Date of indenture
  • Parent or guardian’s name
  • County of residence
  • Master’s name

\With this collection you get to see a scan of the original papers which is always preferable to an index or transcript.

Finally should you find an apprentice or master in one of the databases it is always worth looking at their websites, some links below. The sites usually give excellent histories of the company as well as insights into their present work.

Do search for Apprentices and Masters in your genealogy, the results can be most rewarding!




Royal Air Force Nominal Roll

Royal Air Force Nominal Roll

FindMyPast has just released another dataset in their military series. This time it is Royal Air Force Nominal Roll for 1 April 1918. This date was the establishment of the Royal Air Force so recorded on the roll are all the servicemen who part of the very start of the RAF. These records will add to the family history of those with ancestors in the Senior Service.

The collection has records for 181,000+ men and you will be able to find the following information from the roll.

  • Job in the RAF (trade classification)
  • Rank
  • Date and terms of enlistment
  • Rate of pay

Some records may have additional information. The first members of the RAF were originally from the either the Royal Flying Corps or the Royal Naval Air Service as these two organisations were merged to form the RAF.

Prison Ship Records 1811 – 1843 now online

Prison Ship Records 1811 – 1843 now online

Prison Ship records now online has added to their collection 8,900 records of prisoners who were held on hulks or prison ships. Those with ancestors unfortunate enough to be imprisoned on these hulks will find these records will add to their family history considerably.

Hulk is the term used for ships that were used by the British government to house prisoners, often those who were awaiting transportation to the penal colonies as part of their sentence. As can be imagined the mortality rate for those held on these ships was high, disease was rife as was violence between the guards and the prisoners and between the prisoners themselves.

The time period covered by these records is 1811 – 1843, a time when there was much unrest in England because of the invention of agricultural machinery which meant that many farm workers were unemployed. This transcript collection has been provided to FindMyPast by Barbara Chambers who is sister to Jill Chambers the acknowledged expert on the Swing Riots. A link to Jill’s website is in the links below.

The records are for the following hulks; Bellerophon, Euryalus, Hardy and Antelope, there are also a few records from Parkhurst Prison.

Wikipedia has a good article about prison hulks which you may find useful if you haven’t come across the term before. They also have an article in which there is a list of British prison ships which could be very useful if you have ancestors who worked on these ships as well as if you have ancestors who were the poor souls imprisoned on them. Links to these websites is below.

Below is an example of an entry for John Taylor.

First name(s) John
Last Name Taylor
Hulk Bellerophon
Recieved From Justitia Hulk Woolwich 19 February 1823
Age 14
Status Boy
Offence Felony
Where And When Convicted Durham 27 February 1822
Sentence 7 years
When Mitigated
How & When Disposed Of
Married Or Single
Read Or Write
Character From Gaoler A notorious bad character