Napoleonic War Records1775-1817
About the Napoleonic War Records
Army of Reserve 1803
Search 26,314 records of Other Ranks who were part of the 1803 England and Wales Army of Reserve.
Acts of Parliament were passed in July 1803 which required each county in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to provide a stated number of men to make up an Army of Reserve. These men were called up for the 'defence of the realm' at a time when there was a very serious threat of invasion.
The men were only required to serve in Britain and they enlisted for a limited period, commonly five years. The men from each county were allocated as reservists to a specific regiment or a specific numbered reserve battalion, of which 16 were formed. Several counties were grouped together and their men sent to the same regiment or reserve battalion.
These records cover the men who signed up from England and Wales. Many of them went on to enlist as regular soldiers for an unlimited period of service. These are records of the Exchequer and the source of the marching money is specifically the Land Tax records.
These records provide valuable information about your military ancestors. Due to the nature of the records, however, the information provided varies greatly from soldier to soldier. All the records give The National Archives reference number. The records originate from E182 (Deserter Bounty Certificates) and WO12 (Muster Books and Pay Lists) at The National Archives.
For more detailed information about the army reserve of England & Wales 1803 records, visit www.britisharmyresearchnapoleonicwars.co.uk
Regimental indexes 1806
Search 97,463 regimental records of Napoleonic era Other Ranks from 1806. The records cover the 1st-50th Regiments of Foot and the Cavalry, Foot Guards and Royal Waggon Train.
Where provided, these records will tell you the following information about your ancestors: first name, last name, enlistment date, rank, regiment and The National Archives' reference number. The records originate from WO25 (various registers) at The National Archives these records are specifically Service Returns no.1.
These records are a basic finding aid and do not give any places of birth, although there are some clues as to where men were being recruited from at this time.
For more information about the regimental indexes 1806 records, visit www.britisharmyresearchnapoleonicwars.co.uk
Foot Guards attestation papers 1775-1817
Search 9,309 records of Other Ranks' attestations to the 1st Foot Guard between 1775 and 1817.
The index contains the following information about your ancestors, where available: first name, last name, place of birth, date enlisted and, in some cases, other remarks. The information about these records originates from the Guards Regiment.
The attestations for the 1st Foot Guards are held at the Regimental Archives of the Grenadier Guards. For more information about the 1st Foot Guard attestations 1775-1817 records, visit www.britisharmyresearchnapoleonicwars.co.uk
Content courtesy of Barbara Chambers.
Begin with the basics
The name of the person you are searching for may not be recorded in the way you expect. Henry John Davies, for example, may have been recorded as Henry Davies, Henry J Davies, H Davies, or even H J Davies. We suggest that you initially search using the person’s last name only. If you receive too many results, you can then add a first name to narrow them down.
First name and last name variations
If you don’t find the result you want first time, it is worth trying every possible variation in the first and last name fields.
Your ancestor might have used a different first name in everyday life from the one that appears on official records. For example, your great-uncle Jack’s birth name might have been John. Last names can often be spelled in many different ways, for example, Smith, Smyth or Smythe.
We’ve added an ‘Include variants’ tickbox next to both fields to allow for common differences in spelling or incorrect spelling. If you can’t find someone recorded under the name you expect, try ticking the ‘Include variants’ boxes to include variations of the name in your results.