Author Topic: Did my ancestor serve in the armed forces (~1809 - ~1814)?  (Read 1148 times)

Offline M_ONeill

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Re: Did my ancestor serve in the armed forces (~1809 - ~1814)?
« Reply #9 on: Friday 12 October 18 23:08 BST (UK) »
So I suppose this could be an unrelated William - though it seems a strange coincidence that the peninsular campaign fits into the gap in my 4x great grandfatherís children so neatly.

Not really. An estimated 250,000 men were in British Army in 1813 (according to "British Army during the Napoleonic Wars" on military.wikia) Many of these soldiers were Irish and Scottish of course.  As well as regular Army there were militia regiments.

The army was reduced in December 1814, mainly by disbanding 2nd battalions of 22 regiments.

So youíre saying itís possible that my ancestor also fought in that campaign (or one like it), he just didnít live to receive the awards? I read that only a small percentage of the soldiers who fought in the napoleonic war ever received the Military General Service medal due to having already passed, or illiteracy.

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Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Did my ancestor serve in the armed forces (~1809 - ~1814)?
« Reply #10 on: Saturday 13 October 18 15:54 BST (UK) »
So I suppose this could be an unrelated William - though it seems a strange coincidence that the peninsular campaign fits into the gap in my 4x great grandfatherís children so neatly.

Not really. An estimated 250,000 men were in British Army in 1813 (according to "British Army during the Napoleonic Wars" on military.wikia) Many of these soldiers were Irish and Scottish of course.  As well as regular Army there were militia regiments.

The army was reduced in December 1814, mainly by disbanding 2nd battalions of 22 regiments.

So youíre saying itís possible that my ancestor also fought in that campaign (or one like it), he just didnít live to receive the awards? I read that only a small percentage of the soldiers who fought in the napoleonic war ever received the Military General Service medal due to having already passed, or illiteracy.

It's possible. The medal was for campaigns 1793-1814 so a great many men didn't survive to claim it.
My comment "Not really" refers to your observation about it being a strange coincidence that another, unrelated William Monk would have been serving during those years. I disagree that it was strange. It was merely coincidence. Taking into account the huge number of soldiers in the British Army at the time, an estimated quarter of a million at peak strength, it's not surprising that there was more than one with the same name.

Attestation papers and pension documents usually have next-of-kin.


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Offline M_ONeill

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Re: Did my ancestor serve in the armed forces (~1809 - ~1814)?
« Reply #11 on: Saturday 13 October 18 17:11 BST (UK) »
Oh I see, I get your meaning now. I was more referring to the dates matching with the absence, rather than the name - but I've since seen quite how many men and regiments were serving from 1808 to 1814 and I suppose it's less strange than I thought :)

I guess I should start researching what my ancestor may have been doing - it seems to be fairly difficult though. Most of the sources I've seen seem to require you at least know the soldier's regiment in order to search them.

I've been trying to see if I can find out if there were any regiments especially recruiting near Rock, but then most of the 'named' regiments apparently recruited nowhere near where their names would suggest.

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Did my ancestor serve in the armed forces (~1809 - ~1814)?
« Reply #12 on: Saturday 13 October 18 20:14 BST (UK) »
I've been trying to see if I can find out if there were any regiments especially recruiting near Rock, but then most of the 'named' regiments apparently recruited nowhere near where their names would suggest.
When I used to watch "Sharpe" tv series I couldn't understand how a Yorkshire lad was serving in a regiment from hundreds of miles away.
Some even recruited in different countries! E.g. English regiments in Ireland.
There were also local militias. Some members of militias went on to join regular army regiments.

Offline M_ONeill

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Re: Did my ancestor serve in the armed forces (~1809 - ~1814)?
« Reply #13 on: Saturday 13 October 18 21:02 BST (UK) »
Well I read somewhere that the government added the local names to the regiments basically as an attempt to drive up recruitment - it's PR more than anything!

I've started dipping my toe into the world of Napoleonic War records (Chelsea Pensioner books and the like) and I've realised there's definitely more William Monks serving than the initial few I found. I can tell this is going to be probably quite a hefty research project - it's an entirely new field for me!

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Did my ancestor serve in the armed forces (~1809 - ~1814)?
« Reply #14 on: Sunday 14 October 18 14:36 BST (UK) »
It was only a supposition that William Monk might have done military service.

Offline josey

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Re: Did my ancestor serve in the armed forces (~1809 - ~1814)?
« Reply #15 on: Sunday 14 October 18 14:47 BST (UK) »
Is an occupation for William given on any of his childrens' baptisms?
Seeking: baptism Philip Murray 1813 nr Chatham Kent, death Ralph James Dunn b 1808 1861 - 1868 in Newington 1861
IRE: Kik DRAY[EA], PURCELL, WHITE: Mea LYNCH: Tip MURRAY, SHEEDY: Wem ALLEN, ENGLISHBY; Dub PENROSE: Lim DUNN[E], FRAWLEY, WILLIAMS.
87th Regiment RIF: MURRAY
ENG; Marylebone HAYTER, TROU[W]SDALE, WILLIAMS Con HAMPTON, TREMELLING Wry CLEGG, HOLLAND, HORSEFIELD Coventry McGINTY
CAN; Nova Scotia [Halifax, Pictou]: HOLLAND, WHITE, WILLIAMSON

Offline M_ONeill

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Re: Did my ancestor serve in the armed forces (~1809 - ~1814)?
« Reply #16 on: Sunday 14 October 18 15:21 BST (UK) »
So I've only seen either transcripts of baptisms, or have details from lookups rootchatters were kind enough to do for me, so sadly I don't know.

The one record I have of him is as an agricultural labourer in Rock in 1841.

Offline josey

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Re: Did my ancestor serve in the armed forces (~1809 - ~1814)?
« Reply #17 on: Monday 15 October 18 08:50 BST (UK) »
Then I think it would  be worth trying to find images of the parish registers of the baptisms, which often have more detail than the transcriptions.

ADDED: Why not get the 1844 death certificate to see that WIllliam's occupation, abode & informant? Only £6 for a .pdf file from GRO.
Seeking: baptism Philip Murray 1813 nr Chatham Kent, death Ralph James Dunn b 1808 1861 - 1868 in Newington 1861
IRE: Kik DRAY[EA], PURCELL, WHITE: Mea LYNCH: Tip MURRAY, SHEEDY: Wem ALLEN, ENGLISHBY; Dub PENROSE: Lim DUNN[E], FRAWLEY, WILLIAMS.
87th Regiment RIF: MURRAY
ENG; Marylebone HAYTER, TROU[W]SDALE, WILLIAMS Con HAMPTON, TREMELLING Wry CLEGG, HOLLAND, HORSEFIELD Coventry McGINTY
CAN; Nova Scotia [Halifax, Pictou]: HOLLAND, WHITE, WILLIAMSON