Thursday 8 November 2012

Genes Reunited releases military records

From Genes Reunited ( - note my comments below on the Kilmainham Pension records:


To coincide with Remembrance Day, UK family history site, Genes Reunited has released a variety of military records taking its collection to 8.5 million.

The British Army Service Records are just one of the latest records added to the site and they include the Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service records from 1760-1913. These records are an important resource for family historians as they provide rich information on the soldier’s name, place of birth, regiment and the dates of service within the British Army.

Another fantastic record for family historians are the recently added Prison Hulk Registers from 1811-1843. These records detail the conditions on the prison ships and give an insight into the characters of the prisoners onboard. We’ve found a 14 year old boy, James Smith, who was described by officials as “An unfortunate depraved boy almost past reformation.” The records also detail the crimes committed and we’ve uncovered a 16 year old convicted for 7 years on the Prison ships for stealing cheese.

New WW1 and WW11 Prisoner of War records have also been added to Genes Reunited. These records hold vital information; the Prisoner of War 1939 – 1945 records detail the prisoner’s name, rank, regiment, camp number, camp type and camp location.

Rhoda Breakell, Head of Genes Reunited, comments: “From the Harold Gillies Archive to the Military Nurses 1856 – 1940 we’ve released a huge variety of records. These new records will be an invaluable resource for people wanting an insight into the lives of their ancestors. ”

From today people interested in tracking down their ancestors can visit and search the latest records listed below:

· WWII Escapers and Evaders
· Military Nurses 1856 - 1940
· Army Reserve of England and Wales 1803
· 1st Foot Guards attestations 1775-1817
· Regimental Indexes 1806
· Manchester Roll of Honour 1914-1916
· Manchester City Battalions 1914-1916
· Royal Artillery Military Medals 1916-1991
· Royal Artillery Honours & Awards 1939-1946
· Harold Gillies Archive
· Royal Red Cross Register
· British Officers taken Prisoner of War between August 1914 and November 1918
· Prisoners of War - Naval & Air Forces of Great Britain & Empire - 1939-1945
· Prisoners of War - Armies and land Forces of the British Empire 1939-1945
· Oldham Pals 1914-1916
· Oldham Roll of Honour 1914-1916
· Prison Hulk Registers 1811-1843
· Ted Beard - RAF Nominal Roll 1918
· British Army Service Records 1760-1915 [WO 96 and WO 97]

WO 96 - Militia
WO 97 - Pensions 1760-1913

WO 119 - Kilmainham Pensions (listed in error - see below)
WO 121 - CHEPS discharges  (listed in error - see below)
WO 122 - CHEPS discharges (foreign regiments) (listed in error - see below)
WO 128 - Imperial Yeomanry (listed in error - see below)
WO 131 - CHEPS deferred pensions 1838-1896 (listed in error - see below)

The newly added military records can be viewed on a pay-per-view basis or Platinum members can choose to add on the record set to their package for a low cost. The military records have been added to the existing military additional features package.

COMMENT: The release mentions that the Kilmainham records from WO118 are included, these being pension admission book records for British soldiers discharged to pension in Dublin, which have hitherto not been made available online. I can't find these however in the drop down list on the site. I don't have a subscription, so cannot tell, for example, if they have been lumped in with the Chelsea Pension Records. I did try a search for a Robert Henderson on GR which shows 95 returns, but only 65 on FindmyPast, so it may be possible. I have asked GR to clarify.

UPDATE 2.55pm and 3.35pm: Genes Reunited has confirmed that the records for Kilmainham are NOT yet online - this was included in error, as were all those listed above now in italics - just in case you've spent ages looking for them!


Scotland 1750-1850 - 5 weeks online Pharos course, £45.99, taught by Chris Paton from 2 NOV 2012 - see
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... (from June 12th 2012)

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