Author Topic: Napoleonic War  (Read 310 times)

Offline Gordon163

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Napoleonic War
« on: Friday 29 October 21 22:39 BST (UK) »
Hi

My 3rd gt-grandfather, James McKenzie, was in the 21st Regiment of Foot (Royal Scots fusiliers, I think.) From what I can see of the regiment's history, they were fighting the French in the Low countries and then in Louisiana. At sometime during his service, he married (?) Agnes (surname not known). The first daughter was born at Liff, Angus c1816. I think he had returned to Scotland by then.

Does anyone know if there are records of military marriages during the Napoleonic Wars, please?

Thanks.

Gordon

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Re: Napoleonic War
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 31 October 21 01:06 BST (UK) »
There are some records from 18th century. Guides to what exists:

GenGuide "Army Chaplains' Returns, Regimental Registers"
https://www.genguide.co.uk

National Archives guides to military research - https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk "Births, Marriages and Deaths in the Armed Forces".

There are also compilations of data from church registers done by volunteers. One from that era is called "Soldiers, Sailors and Strangers".
Cowban

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Re: Napoleonic War
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 31 October 21 04:56 GMT (UK) »
Have you checked in the Liff parish registers? One of my ancestors was in Sicily and Spain with one regiment, then in France after re-enlisting in a second regiment. On his return to Scotland in 1818 he had the birth of his son born in Sicily in 1808 entered in the local parish register (although not the daughter born in France in 1816).


Offline Gordon163

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Re: Napoleonic War
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 31 October 21 14:24 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks for these references.

I shall enjoy looking through them.

Gordon

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Re: Napoleonic War
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 31 October 21 18:08 GMT (UK) »
Re. reply 2 by GR2, I've also come across foreign-born children of soldiers being baptised after return home to  Britain.
Was James McKenzie a private or an officer? A proportion of privates were allowed to be accompanied by a wife. Some wives went unofficially. A soldier was supposed to obtain permission to marry from his commanding officer but some may have married without permission.
When was the regiment in Louisiana? Did it go directly there from the Low Countries or return to Britain between those campaigns?
Cowban

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Re: Napoleonic War
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 31 October 21 18:25 GMT (UK) »
The son was actually baptised in Sicily by the brigade chaplain in 1808. The details were copied into the parish register in 1818. Presumably there was some kind of certificate given originally, as the chaplain is mentioned by name in the entry in the parish register.

Offline Gordon163

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Re: Napoleonic War
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 02 November 21 12:42 GMT (UK) »
Thanks, both, for further interesting information.

James McKenzie was a private. He enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers at Cookstown, Tyrone, Ireland in March 1800 and was discharged in July 1817. From his discharge document (on Findmypast ), he seemed to think that he was incapacitated in some way, but the Army put it down to general fatigue. After discharge, Census records show that he was a gardener. The discharge document mentions a 'battery', so I guess he was on cannons, rather than front line infantry.

Wikipedia says that the regimental barracks were in Ayrshire and the regiment took part in the Siege of Bergen Op Zoom in March 1814 and the battle of New Orleans in Jan 1815. (It might have been in Scotland, briefly, in between.)

James McKenzie's baptismal record, at Kirriemuir, in 1779, mentions his residence at Ballinshoe (the locals, apparently, call it Benshie). I suspect that his parents may have worked for the Fletcher family, who had a small fortification there. The Fletchers obtained the property from the Earl of Airlie, who was exiled, after being on the wrong side at Culloden in1745. Sir Robert Fletcher was a General and an MP. The Fletchers had their own private chapel and burial ground, just outside Kirremuir.

Gordon

Offline ShaunJ

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Re: Napoleonic War
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 02 November 21 14:17 GMT (UK) »
Quote
From his discharge document (on Findmypast ), he seemed to think that he was incapacitated in some way, but the Army put it down to general fatigue.

The records says simply that he was discharged by reason of "being weakly and worn out". 

 
Quote
The discharge document mentions a 'battery', so I guess he was on cannons, rather than front line infantry

It says that he had "received a contusion in a battery before New Orleans".  The fusiliers would not have had cannon. I think this is "battery" in the old sense of an attack. It might be worth reading up  on the actions of the 21st at New Orleans.


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Re: Napoleonic War
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 02 November 21 21:36 GMT (UK) »

My 3rd gt-grandfather, James McKenzie, was in the 21st Regiment of Foot (Royal Scots fusiliers, I think.) From what I can see of the regiment's history, they were fighting the French in the Low countries and then in Louisiana. At sometime during his service, he married (?) Agnes (surname not known). The first daughter was born at Liff, Angus c1816. I think he had returned to Scotland by then.


James McKenzie was a private. He enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers at Cookstown, Tyrone, Ireland in March 1800 and was discharged in July 1817.

Wikipedia says that the regimental barracks were in Ayrshire and the regiment took part in the Siege of Bergen Op Zoom in March 1814 and the battle of New Orleans in Jan 1815. (It might have been in Scotland, briefly, in between.)

James McKenzie's baptismal record, at Kirriemuir, in 1779, mentions his residence at Ballinshoe (the locals, apparently, call it Benshie).


It says that he had "received a contusion in a battery before New Orleans".   

"Outline History - 21st Regiment of Foot" on GENUKI Ayrshire pages.
https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/sct/Ayr/Military/21st

There were 2 battalions during the wars against Napoleon's France. If James enlisted in 1800, went to America with the regiment, was in action at New Orleans and wasn't discharged until 1817, he must have been in the 1st Battalion.
2nd Battalion was raised at Ayr in 1804 on resumption of the war with France, following a temporary break in hostilities after the Treaty of Amiens. It was raised under the Defence Acts from men in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire. It remained on home duties for a decade, acting as a depot for 1st Batt. 2nd. Bn. then went to Holland and took part in the Siege of Bergen op Zoom in 1814. 2nd. Bn. returned to Scotland from Ostend 1815 and was disbanded at Stirling, January 1816. 

1st Battalion went here, there & almost everywhere.
1795 returned to Scotland from overseas.
1803-1805 Ireland (according to GENUKI; need a source for presence in Ireland 1800)
c.1805 England
1806 Sicily
1807 Egypt
From Egypt to Italy again.
1812 Spanish coast
1813 Italy
1813-1815 America
June 1815 England
July 1815 Low Countries
1815-1817 (approx.) France as part of army of occupation
1817 returned to Scotland
(Timeline is from GENUKI source; need specific sources for collaboration & accurate dates.)

As you can see from the above timelines, the battalion which was at Bergen Op Zoom in 1814 was a different battalion to that which was at the Battle of New Orleans 1815.

James may have married anywhere, Ireland, Scotland, England, Europe, Egypt, America. May have been married by an army chaplain, or by a local clergyman in a local church, or possibly in a civil service while in France. He may not have had a formal marriage. What do you know about his wife?
Cowban