Saturday, 28 June 2014

Ancestry re-indexes First World War army records and adds new sets

Ancestry has launched three new First World War Collections, and updated several other key sets.

First the new sets:

Canada, Ledgers of CEF Officers Transferring to Royal Flying Corps, 1915-1919

England, The National Roll of the Great War, 1914-1918

UK, De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, 1914-1919

The following have also been updated:

British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920

British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920

British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919

Ireland, Casualties of World War I, 1914-1922

UK, Citations of the Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914-1920

UK, Silver War Badge Records, 1914-1920

UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 and 1939-1947

Of these, note that Ancestry, like FindmyPast, has now completely reindexed its First World War army service records, sourced from WO363 and WO364, and listed here as both service and pension records (they are all service records, some were used for pension applications). With Ancestry, included in the indexed entries are all family members named in the records - not just the soldier himself. So now you can search for children, wives and more. Peter Calver has worked through an example of this on his latest Lost Cousins newsletter, accessible at

I've had a look myself, and from what I can see it looks like additional names have only been indexed if the relationship has been specifically given. I'm also unclear as to how much of the content has been reindexed - for example, I have the service record of my 2 x gt grandfather's brother, John Graham, born in 1887 Belfast, though indexed on Ancestry as 1888 in the WW1 Service Records collection. The fact that it is the right John Graham is confirmed by a letter included with the papers from my three times gt grandfather Edwin - but Edwin's name has not been picked up by Ancestry from this letter as his father. So Ancestry may have only looked at certain documents in doing so. Nevertheless, a better index is always appreciated.

Have fun!

(With thanks to Peter)


Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And FindmyPast - please reinstate the original Scottish census citations on your new site.


  1. I get your post via email and it arrives each morning while I am sleeping (I am in Ottawa - saw all your presentations at BIFHSGO). Before I get out of bed, I check my emails on my phone and always enjoy your news. This morning's was perfect for a Sunday. Looks like you had a very interesting trip and it makes me quite jealous. Thank you!

  2. The "England, The National Roll of the Great War, 1914-1918" are not new to ancestry, they have been on there for months.