Monday, June 29, 2015

Did your Ancestor fight at Waterloo?

Newly added to the records available from are those of the British troops who fought in the Napoleonic Wars and Anglo-American War, including the historic Battle of Waterloo.  Digitized from documents held by the National Archives in series WO 12, the collection comprises some 460,000 pay and enlistment records, known as Muster Rolls.
According to the Ancestry website, "this series comprises selected muster books and pay lists of the Cavalry, Foot Guards and regular infantry regiments of the line. Also included are special regiments or corps, colonial troops, various foreign legions and troops, garrison battalions, veteran battalions and depots. The majority of muster books and pay lists cover the period from 1812 to 1817, during the Napoleonic Wars and the Anglo-American War, though some rolls go back as far as 1779 and also up to 1821. Several regiments that participated in the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815 are included in this collection."
Muster rolls and pay lists were troop lists taken on a monthly or quarterly basis for pay and accounting purposes and may provide enlistment dates, movements, and discharge dates of soldiers. For most regiments or units in this collection, records have been indexed from one muster roll per year. Rolls and lists not indexed may be browsed by category and piece description.
Records vary but may include the following details:
  • name
  • start date
  • end date
  • regiment
  • where stationed
  • rank
  • pay 
So have a look and see of any of your ancestors fought during these wars, and the collection could help you fill in the details of their service, the battles the fought in, how much they were paid and if they were ever held as prisoners of war.  Remember access to Ancestry is free in all our library branches.

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