Home Guard Records now on Forces War Records

http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/What exciting news ….. Forces War Records have just put online 40,000+ Home Guard Officers Records. People of a “certain age” will remember fondly the tv programme Dad’s Army with Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Jones and “stupid boy”!! However recent research has shown that the Home Guard was made up of a larger number of young men than first thought. These Home Guard were either too young, in reserved occupations or not fit enough for active service. The men, young and old, who made up the Home Guard were a valuable asset to the defence of the United Kingdom, if there had been an invasion they would have been called upon to undertake dangerous operations to repel the enemy. We may have enjoyed the humour of Captain Mainwaring and his platoon, but in reality it was a serious business.

The Home Guard records are usually enrolment forms, award recommendations and cabinet papers and date from 1940 – 1944. These records have been transcribed and indexed so are easy to search and use. This particular dataset is for Officers only, but hopefully it will be followed for the lower ranks. When researching ancestors who might have been in the Home Guard bear in mind that initially they were known as the LDV, Local Defence Volunteers.

A typical entry will give Queen & Home Guard

  • Name
  • Rank
  • Unit
  • Nationality
  • Gallantry Awards
  • Duty Location
  • Resided Town & County
  • When joined Home Guard

Forces War Records is the only website to offer this dataset and I am sure it will generate a lot of interest amongst genealogists. I must say that the more I look at Forces War Records the more I find to like about the site. It’s easy to use and the cross matching with information about Regiments, Bases and Ships adds valuable background history. The site has records dating back to 1350.


Copyright ©2012: Linda Elliott www.madaboutgenealogy.com

Forces War Records Improved Search Facility

Forces War Records Genealogy

The Forces War Records website is now offering an improved search facility, the new search engine means that searches can be undertaken by service number, specific years, nationality & type of service. Then there are filters that can be used depending on whether the person died in active service, were issued a gallantry award, or mentioned in despatches. This makes searching for military ancestors so much more efficient.

Forces War Records offers 4.5+ million records comprising service records, regimental/unit data, information on specific battles, medals, veteran contacts plus military tutorials specific to genealogy

A site worth considering when searching for your military ancestors.


Image Wikimedia – British soldiers in World War I at Kilkis, Greece

Masters & Mates Certificates now online

Masters & Mates Certificates genealogyGreat news for those with maritime ancestors, Ancestry.co.uk has added another dataset to their Occupations Collection, this time it is Masters & Mates certificates 1850 – 1927. As England is an island nation I am sure that most of us have some ancestral connection to the sea and these records will help fill in the details of our families lives.

The certificates may vary slightly, but generally they contain the date of the certificate (they were also know as tickets), the mariners name, where and when they were born, how many years in the merchant navy, which type of experience they had e.g. coasting and lastly the mariners signature.  All great family history information.



NSW Colonial Secretary Papers 1788 – 1825

New South Wales Colonial Secretary Papers 1788 – 1825Just this minute Ancestry has added a new dataset to their Australian Collection. Hot off the press is the New South Wales Colonial Secretary Papers 1788 – 1825, NSW was the first part of Australia to be settled by the British so these documents are important to those who have early Australians on their family tree.

I’ll get around to posting a more in depth post later, but the Colonial Secretary Papers include requests for permission to marry, land grants, convict petitions and much more. Lots of lovely papers to browse through or to focus in on for an ancestor.


British Convict transportation registers database 1787-1867

British Convict Registers

Have you got criminals on your family tree? If so then the British Convict Transportation Registers 1787-1867 database will be of interest to you. It has been compiled from the British Home Office (HO) records which are available at all Australian State Libraries.

The database contains over 123 000 of the estimated 160,000 convicts transported to Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries. Details are given such as names, term of years, transport ships and more.

A search for my ancestor John Silcock gave the following information …

  • John Silcock one of 224 convicts transported aboard the Eliza
  • Departed England 2 February 1831
  • Arrived Van Dieman’s Land
  • Convicted at Southampton Special Gaol Delivery for a term of 7 years.
  • Free pardon.
  • Original source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/8, Page Number 5

A search of the original records may given further information, but the index alone gives quite a lot of detail.