Census Genealogy

Census Genealogy


For Bwrrd October 2020.





When you go looking into your family’s history, then sooner or later you will need to examine a census return, it will give you a place and exact time where an ancestor was with a reasonable degree of certainty.





With that in mind here is an outline of the censuses of England and Wales.





The first known census of what is now England had been for William the Conqueror, becoming the Domesday Book in 1086. Over the next centuries there were various forms of census. However, attempts to take nationwide censuses were resisted until 1801 and thereafter there has been a census every ten years except 1941 superseded by WWII, but the need for identity cards resulted in the 1939 register of England and Wales.





 The 1801 census resulted from Government concerns about feeding the population, so what was recorded was numbers of people rather than their names to estimate the rate at which the population was growing or declining, what proportion was of working age etc. and then how to feed or manage the population, this persisted until 1831. Looking for names in these censuses will be a fruitless exercise.





The Population Act 1840 changed the nature of subsequent censuses. All households were given Schedules to record individual names with a warning that giving misleading information was fineable. A census enumerator would visit each household, ship or institution in an area allocated to them in a single day, and deliver the Schedule, returning on the Monday after the night of the census to collect and check the Schedules. These were then processed locally, then district wide, finally centrally in London for publication.





The census information available today is from these enumerators’ transcript books, the original schedules were destroyed except for the 1911 census in England and Wales.





Information available in the 1841 census:





  • Address
  • Surname and first name – (If, as happened in lodging-houses, hotels and inns, a person who slept there the night before went away early and the name was not known, “n.k.” was written where the name should have been.
  • Age – correct if 15 or under but rounded down to nearest five years if over 15.
  • Sex.
  • Profession, trade, employment or of independent means – Occupations were recorded as abbreviations, for instance Ag. Lab. (agricultural labourer), Coal M (coal miner) or H.L.W. (handloom weaver).
  • Born in the county of the census – Yes, No or Not Known.
  • Born on the island of the census – Yes, No or Not Known – for the Channel Islands and Isle of Man only.
  • Born in the country of the census (Yes or No, or sometimes S for Scotland, E for England and Wales, I for Ireland or F for Foreign Parts).




For the family historian there are problems with the 1841 Census. A few parishes are known to be missing from the records. The rounding issue in adult ages causes confusion and sometimes the householders or enumerators ignored the instruction to round down ages and inserted the actual age. In the 1841 census if an age ends in a 0 or a 5, its worth assuming a 5-year or more margin. A final note is that the writing is often very difficult to decipher in these documents and transcription is sometimes inaccurate.





From 1851 on, the head of household was asked to provide more information. The relationship to the head of the household was collected, correct ages noted and more birthplace detail. It’s important to be aware that not everyone listed at an address lived there, and not everyone who lived at an address was necessarily there on census night – this would include travellers and visitors. Data requested in all the 1851 to 1911 censuses was:





  • Address
  • Names -surname and first name, sometimes middle name or initial were given.
  • Age (exact).
  • Occupation.
  • Born (parish and county).
  • Born (country) – name of country given.
  • Relationship to head of household.
  • Condition as to marriage – married, single, widowed, widower.
  • Disability – ‘blind, or deaf-and-dumb’.
  • (From 1891 in the Welsh census, language spoken was added.)




As well as collecting the fundamental data, major changes occurred for the 1911 census. The Government had concerns about “fertility in marriage” so the years of marriage, numbers of children born, and living was recorded. Detailed occupational information was also taken.





An example, searching on a David Lloyd George in the 1911 census gives:





The postal address on the Schedule was 11 Downing Street, Westminster, D Lloyd George was signed on the return and the postal address 11 Marie Place, Dover., was written under the signature.





The residence had 24 rooms.





There were 8 persons living there, 3 males and 5 females.





These were:





1.David Lloyd George aged 48, Head of the household, Married , born Manchester, Lancashire, he was Chancellor of Exchequer, he did not report he was working at home, he was not born in a ‘Foreign country’ nor did he report any infirmities such as being “Totally Deaf”, “Deaf or Dumb”, “Totally Blind” “Lunatic” “Imbecile” or “Feeble Minded” (the actual words used in the 1911 census).





 2. Margaret Lloyd George aged 46, Wife of the Head of the household, Married for 23 years, 5 children born alive, 4 children still living, 1 had died, she listed no occupation, she was born in Criccieth, Caernarvonshire.





3. Richard Lloyd George aged 22, Son of the Head of the household, Single, he was a Civil Engineer, employed contracting, he was a worker not an employer, born Criccieth.





4. Megan Lloyd George aged 8, Daughter of the Head of the household, born Criccieth.





5. John Rowland aged 33, Private Secretary to the Head of the Household, he was Married (on the form he was noted as having been married 8 years, with 3 children born alive 2 living 1 having died, because this information was only to be entered for females this was crossed out on the original form, even the great and good make mistakes but useful family history), his occupation was Private Secretary to Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was born in Tregaron.





6. Sarah Jones aged 39, Servant of the Head of the Household, Single, a Housemaid, born Criccieth.





7. Annie Jones aged 25, Servant of the Head of the Household, Single, a Parlourmaid, born Llanystumdwy (the transcription in a genealogy site reads – Slanysteymding! Beware of transcription!).





8. Lizzie Jane Jones aged 16, Servant of Head of Household, Single, a Kitchenmaid, born Fourcrosses, Caernarvonshire.





Copyright prevents showing the actual return, but it can be viewed at your local library or archive via their subscription to the various genealogy sites.





Looking at the original shows probably 2 people completed the form, including possibly, Lloyd George.





Ages and places of birth enable further searching. The number of years of marriage and wife’s first name will help to locate marriage records. From the marriage record you will probably find the father and occasionally the mother and then there’s the 1901 census…





One document 8 names, a myriad of information, will work for your ancestors too.


British Army World War 1 Records


WW1 Records.





A bit of background…





At the beginning of the Great war in 1914 the peacetime army of Great Britain was about 234,000, with then a mobilization of 380,000 plus 313,000 from the Territorial Army, giving a nominal army of nearly 1,000,000 men from a population of 42.1 million[1], by the end of the war there had been well over 6,000,000 soldiers who had served in the British Army. All their records were maintained and stored by the War Office at the end of the hostilities[2], however bombing in 1940 resulted in destruction of probably 60% of these documents, the remainder, about 2,000,000 records were rescued, these are now classified as WO363 the ‘burnt documents’ in the National Archives[3], about 750,000 records were undamaged, records for soldiers who were discharged for illness or wounds, also including those in the British Army before August 1914 and who were eligible for an Army pension because their term of service came to an end in or before 1920 these are the unburnt documents  WO364 in the National Archive[4].





The reason for this preamble is if you had an ancestor involved in the British Army in the Great war there is about a 1 in 3 chance that some record of their service survived the second Total war of the 20th century. In the wider scheme of things, the destruction of paper records is little compared to the loss of life caused in war but to the family historian (and every other type of historian!) these records if you can find them are a vital source. Reason for which I hope to show you here…





Copyright will prevent me from showing an exact copy her but in a redacted form I will summarize one albeit a very fruitful one I discovered for a client. There were 20 pages in the record with some duplication.





The record is a UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 from WO363.





From the first page I know he was in the Territorial Force and the document is the Army Form B. 268A, it is a Discharge during the period of Embodiment document. On this page I get the Army Number and rank of the soldier. His full name and that he was in 4th Bn. The Welsh Regt and the Company he was in, in this case A.  His date of discharge ** April 1916 and place of discharge. There follows his age in years and months, and in a tangible delve into the past his height in feet and inches, chest measurement, complexion, eye colour, hair colour, any distinctive marks (such as scars etc.) his trade and civilian address where he intends to live, a cornucopia of detail.





Now I can get an insight into his character, his military conduct is noted (sometimes with a charge sheet). The Campaigns Medals and Decorations are recorded for example Mediterranean Expeditionary Force Gallipoli 1915-16 and his length of service over 8 years in this instance.





Because the form was official, he signed it, so his hand putting pen to the paper (copy) I can see and for me this is an even closer link to the person.





The next page in the set of documents I found was his Attestation into the Territorial Force, so I have his full name confirmed, his age at attesting, his full address and occupation at that time. Also, whether he had previously been in armed service. Finally, another signature, which can be compared with that of his discharge. This attestation also included the clause that he would become liable to be ‘embodied’ in a time of national emergency, a long way off when this particular form was signed in April 1908, I wonder if he had any inkling of what was to come, because the documents show he kept rolling along in the Territorial Force re-enlisting at least four times up until 1914.





The soldier’s statement of service in this period including his Territorial Army training is noted, so he can be placed in specific locations on certain dates, always useful, and on the document here, one sentence with huge connotations: “Welch Regt. 4th Batt. Mobilized rank Pte. 5th August 1914”.





His war service is then documented, he became part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force 1915-16, this page would also document wounding or Gallantry, in this instance the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.





His next of kin and address is provided on this page too, more invaluable detail for the genealogist.





There will sometimes in the war service record be a medical history with height, weight, chest, physical development, vaccination marks, sight assessment, distinguishing marks, previous illnesses etc. This soldier had been in the Military Hospital in Devonport with influenza, had recovered.





A specific casualty Form in Active service was kept if you can find one, I found this soldier’s, which gives an insight into battle conditions. He had dysentery in Gallipoli, in August 1915, was taken to Cairo for treatment in September 1915, transferred to Mustapha in Alexandria in October 1915, developed Dermatitis in November 1915, and was eventually discharged back to his battalion, but survived another few months for his period of enlistment to expire in 1916 and home.





So, for this family there was enough detail to touch the past.





In other military records from the Great War, I have found names and dates of birth of children, marriage records which the army used to prove next of kin, prisoner of war details and sometimes copies of letters sent to the War Office by family members. One poignant set were the letters of a wife asking about her husband, another soldier had written to her to say her husband was missing in action, reading between the lines the friend of the casualty ended up in trouble, the War Office wanted to know the name of the soldier writing to the (eventual) widow. There were a set of about 10 letters in this file kept by the War Office.





All the information found moves the names of the people found from mere words on paper or a screen to a vision of the real person, which even in sometimes tragic circumstance helps connect us, and whatever your thoughts on war gives an idea of the life and sacrifice happening at the time.





If you would like to know more get in touch, there are a myriad of record sources…





Subjects I haven’t covered here and which I certainly will in the next months include: Army Officers, Navy, Air Force, Merchant Seamen, Government papers, Gazettes, War Graves…










[1] Marwick, A., 1990. Europe on the eve of war 1900-1914. 4th ed. Milton Keynes: Open University Press in association with Open University, pp.66,67.





[2] Greatwar.co.uk. 2021. British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920 (Soldiers). [online] Available at: <http://www.greatwar.co.uk/research/military-records/british-soldiers-ww1-service-records.htm#:~:text=British%20Army%20WW1%20Service%20Records,%201914-1920%20(Soldiers)%20There,The%202%20Million%20%E2%80%9CBurnt%20Documents%20%E2%80%9D%20(WO%20363)> [Accessed 11 February 2021].





[3] Greatwar.co.uk. 2021. British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920 (Soldiers). [online] Available at: <http://www.greatwar.co.uk/research/military-records/british-soldiers-ww1-service-records.htm#:~:text=British%20Army%20WW1%20Service%20Records,%201914-1920%20(Soldiers)%20There,The%202%20Million%20%E2%80%9CBurnt%20Documents%20%E2%80%9D%20(WO%20363)> [Accessed 11 February 2021].





[4] Greatwar.co.uk. 2021. British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920 (Soldiers). [online] Available at: <http://www.greatwar.co.uk/research/military-records/british-soldiers-ww1-service-records.htm#:~:text=British%20Army%20WW1%20Service%20Records,%201914-1920%20(Soldiers)%20There,The%202%20Million%20%E2%80%9CBurnt%20Documents%20%E2%80%9D%20(WO%20363)> [Accessed 11 February 2021].


Officer Ancestor WW1


If your WW1 ancestor was an officer, then they are going to be listed in The Gazette, service personnel commissioned, promoted, posted or awarded a medal or other honour are “gazetted” (you can also be gazetted if you are bankrupted!).





The Gazette has been recording national and international events since November 1665, inaugurated as The Oxford Gazette. It is a prime resource which can be used to draw out a soldier’s career.  In times of conflict such as World War 1 it recorded despatches from the front, honours and awards for gallantry or meritorious service – as well as officer commissions, appointments and promotions, and casualties.





The Gazette website notes:





The Gazette is formally the combination of three publications: The London Gazette, The Belfast Gazette and The Edinburgh Gazette. The Gazettes are official journals of record.





As a publication, The Gazette consists largely of statutory notices. This means that there is some legal requirement for the notice placer to advertise an event or proposal in The Gazette.





There are over 450 different types of notice that are advertised in The Gazette, including:





  • 242 notice types required by law to be published in The Gazette
  • 82 notice types required by law to be published in The Gazette, as well as somewhere else (for example, a newspaper)
  • 54 notice types required by law to be published, but the law doesn’t specify where
  • 36 notice types that may be published in The Gazette
  • 41 notice types that are optional publication, so are not required by law to be published




The Gazette website provides information on these different types of notice and the legislation that governs their publication here.





The legal power to print and publish The Gazette is a prerogative power conferred on the Queen’s Printer by letters patent. Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order, in this case issued by the monarch. The Queen’s Printer and the Controller of HMSO have historically been viewed as one and the same person, and it can be inferred that the functions of the Queen’s Printer are to be carried out by HMSO operating from within The National Archives, under the direction of the Controller and Keeper (who is the chief executive of The National Archives). The National Archives (HMSO) manages the publication of all three of the individual Gazette titles (London, Belfast and Edinburgh) for the Queen’s Printer, under a concessionary contract.





Notices printed in The Gazette are afforded legal standing, and The Gazette itself is afforded special protection by the Documentary Evidence Act 1882.[1]





Just as an example, a random search (not quite I searched for Captain Colclough) in a matter of minutes I found…





‘Admiralty, 23rd September 1915.





Royal Naval Reserve.





Lieutenant Robert John Williams to be – Lieutenant Commander. Dated 10th. August, 1915.





Lieutenant Frank Colclough Ree to be Lieutenant Commander. Dated 27th August, 1915.





Sub-Lieutenant Charles Jancey Davis to be – Lieutenant. Dated 10th June, 1915.’ [2]  





‘Admiralty, 28th December 1915.





Royal Naval Reserve.





In accordance with the Regulations for the Royal Naval Reserve, Lieutenant-Commander Frank Colclough Ree has been placed on the Retired List. Dated 27th December 1915.





To be temporary Engineer Sub-Lieutenant— Henry Charles Handcock. Dated 22nd December 1915.





Temporary Sub-Lieutenant David James to be temporary Lieutenant. Dated 28th December 1915’.[3]





Six names found already, and in a Colclough biography Frank Colclough Ree was in the Royal Naval Reserve and not long before he was retired, he was promoted. Food for thought?





A few other ways to find an officer might be in The National Archives which has manuscript army lists 1702-1752, service records 1764-1913, pension records – widow’s pensions, half-pay pensions, etc. and selected birth, marriage and death certificates for British Army Officers 1755-1908[4].










[1] The Gazette. About The Gazette. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/all-notices/content/100507 : accessed 21 February 2021





[2] The Gazzette. The London Gazette Publication date:28 September 1915Issue:29310Page:9549 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29310/page/9549/data.htm : accessed 21 February 2021.





[3] The Gazette. The London Gazette Publication date:31 December 1915Issue:29421Page:13024  https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29421/page/13024/data.htm : accessed 21 February 2021.





[4] National Archives (Great Britain) Research guides: A-Z index.





http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides-keywords/ :





accessed 21 February 2021.


The National Archives


A lockdown plus has been access to The National Archive online, register, search discovery… https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/





Exploring Discovery[1] channeling my narcissist, who would I happen upon driven by the Karma of my previous life?





Miss Mildred A. Colclough[2], she has 70, -seventy- pages of records, surely enough to look into her life. A nursing Colclough, why would I not look?





Here are some bits and pieces…





First snippet is she looks to have retired in June 1939, next page a letter to Miss Husband Principal Patron T.A.N.S. (Territorial Army Nursing Service) Royal Infirmary Glasgow, from The War Office London SW1. Accepting (among others) the resignation Miss Mildred Adelaide Colclough from 7th June 1939 and noting she was entitled to retain her T.A.N.S. badges.





A letter from her dated December 21st, 1921 from ‘The Disabled Officers Home and Club, 46 and 48 Westbourne Terrace, Hyde Park W.2.’ acknowledging her promotion. Handwritten and signed by her.





Letter confirming her promotion (named on a list) from Maud McCarthy matron in Chief T.A.N.S. 18th December 1923.





Personal letter from the above Miss McCarthy to ‘Miss Colclough’ congratulating her on promotion from Staff nurse to Sister, dated 18th December 1923, promotion effected from 10 November 1923, addressed to Miss Mildred A. Colclough, Sister T.A.N.S., Nursing Home 46 Westbourne terrace, Hyde Park.





Promotion recommendation headed 4th Scottish General Hospital. Career history trained at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital; Rochester. Enrolled 7.10.18, called up 22.10.18, age 35 demobilized 30.4.19. Reports ‘Very Good recommended for promotion’.





Letters acknowledging promotion process underway from above Miss McCarthy.





Date of arrival at 4th Scottish Hospital, Glasgow, 22 October 1918, permission for Miss Mildred Colclough staff nurse T.A.N.S. to be released from duty as no longer needed on 30th April 1919.





Document giving her Age and address in 1919 on demobilisation address 38 Netherby Road Edinburgh. Aged 23 last birthday, stationed at 4th Scottish General Hospital, the disability form, Army form Z 22.  –  W 3165a.





Notification of Gratuity Granted on account of cessation of service with satisfactory conduct.





Handwritten letter giving her insurance number 45956 as a member of ‘The Nurses Insurance Society’.





Document noting £7 insurance arrears contribution for civilian nurses in tempera Army employ.





Handwritten letter 20th October 1919, enquiry if she was entitled to Victory Medal Ribbon even though she had not seen overseas service, reply that she was not.





Territorial army nursing service document, she was previously Nurse at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Rochester Kent, sent to 4th Scottish Hospital, address for pay was 4 Nelson St. Edinburgh.





War officer letter outlining her pay would be £40 first year annual increment £2 10/- and addition of £20 if undertaking to serve abroad. Also required to state if both parents were British.





Handwritten letter applying for TANS, stating she was 23, had completed 4 years of general training at Rochester and had had Theatre Sister experience, asking for London appointment if possible (went to Scotland), or overseas.





Handwritten letter 29 August 1918, stating her parents were British, her deceased mother was English, stepmother was Australian, father was an officer in the Accountant branch of the Navy for 18 years. A reference can be supplied by Mrs. Harold Fairweather, wife of Dr H Fairweather honorary surgeon at the hospital, their address was 11 New Road Avenue New Road, Chatham.





The snippets above all the pages accessible via The National Archives for Mildred give a fascinating insight into her adult life (I think so anyway).





The genealogical aspect kicks in, she mentions her parents, including her stepmother.





I spent an hour or two looking. Her probate shows she never married, died 1947 and had lived on the Motor Yacht Magnet Cubitt Yacht Basin Hartington Road Chiswick, London.





Her parents were Beauchamp Urquhart Colclough born Thayetmyo Burma 1867 died Surrey, England 1949, he retired from the navy with the rank of Paymaster Rear Admiral (check him in The National Archives too)[3] and Anabel Mildred Annie Gooch born Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland died Hampshire England 1911, interestingly a remnant of the ‘empire’ as far as Mildred was concerned her parents were British and were in those times considered to be absolutely so. Her stepmother was Beatrice Sophie Pearson born new South Wales 1873 and declared to be Australian by Mildred.





Just for Colclough’s for now, my search quickly finds Beauchamp Urquhart’s father was Beauchamp Colclough born 1829 Dublin, died 1900 Hampshire a retired H.M. Navy Captain. His father was Beauchamp Urquhart Colclough born about 1800 Elm Grove Co. Carlow, Ireland, his father was Beauchamp Colclough born 1766 Lower, Kildavin, Carlow, Ireland died 1847 Chippawa, Upper Canada (another story here surely). His father was not surprisingly Beauchamp Colclough too, born about 1732 Kildavin, Co. Carlow died 1766 at Kildavin, this Beauchamp’s father was for a change, Henry Colclough born Duffry Hall, Co. Wexford about 1705 died Co. Wexford 1770, his father was Dudley Colclough born about 1670 Duffry Hall, Co. Wexford died there 1712, his father was Patrick Colclough born about 1645 Duffry Hall, Co. Wexford died 1691 he was in the Irish parliament at the time of James II in 1689[4]. Patrick’s father was Sir Dudley Colclough born about 1613 he died 1633 in France where he had escaped to, to avoid Cromwell’s clutches a friend it seems to Charles II’s mother which helped after the restoration[5]. Sir Dudley’s father was Sir Thomas Colclough born 1564 Rosegarland Co. Wexford died 1624 and buried at Tintern Abbey Co. Wexford, last for now Sir Thomas’s father was Sir Anthony Colclough born Bluerton Staffordshire about 1520 the first of us who ventured to Ireland[6]. So Mildred A. Colclough as well as our career shared some ancestors, that’s genealogy for you a winding path into the past.










[1] National Archives (Great Britain). Discovery. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ : accessed 26 March 2021





[2] War Office (Great Britain). Directorate of Army Medical Services and Territorial Force: Nursing Service records. COLCLOUGH, Mildred A 1914-1919. WO399-10476. National Archives (Great Britain),





Kew, England. Collection: WO 399 – War Office: Directorate of Army Medical Services and Territorial Force: Nursing Service Records, First World War.  https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C10803412 : accessed 26 March 2021.





[3] Admiralty (Great Britain). Naval Officer’s service record. COLCLOUGH, Beauchamp Urquhart CBE. ADM 196/12/513 . National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: ADM 196 – Admiralty: Officers’ Service Records (Series III). https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7586619 : accessed 05 April 2021.





[4] Library Ireland. The Irish Parliament of King James the second 1689.   https://libraryireland.com/Pedigrees2/irish-parliament-king-james.php : accessed 05 April 2021





[5] See my blog https://colclough-resource.blogspot.com/2013/03/im-starting-this-blog-as-resource-for.html





[6] Ibid.


Admiralty Nursing records


On from the nursing connection of last week, and persevering with The National Archives, here is some more exploration of the records and information you might find. I’m taking a bit of time to transcribe the records I’m accessing, with the hope of making them part of a nurse archive for genealogy.





While lockdown persists and the records are accessible online, I will outline some details you could find on your relation.





Before that, an interesting aside, we have a family story about my maternal grandmother in Ireland who continued to work as a nurse at Letterkenny Asylum after her marriage in 1916, the story goes she was ‘grassed up’ by a relation for working after she had married, and then as married women working was frowned upon she had to finish. The expectation was that if married, “…most women stayed at home to look after the children while their husband worked and brought in a weekly wage. The majority of working women were unmarried, and they were limited to roles in teaching, nursing or domestic work. For most, the expectation was that they would get married and have children…”[1]. Any other families have this type of memory passed down?





Back to the details you might find in the records in discovery[2].





ADM 104. Nursing Sisters Service Register[3] usually between about 1890 and 1929 in here will be:





The full name.





Date of birth.





Dates appointed to positions such as Nursing Sister and Head Sister.





Training Qualifications, the place they qualified with the length of time taken.





Date of appointment to specific positions:





              Noting the rank (Nursing sister or Head sister)





              Hospital (naval hospital) appointed to with date of arrival and date of discharge.





              Place (hospital) discharged to.





              Reason for discharge if appropriate often naming the nurse they were to replace.





Annual report produced in April or May noting:





              Conduct.





              Ability.





              Tact in dealing with staff and patients.





              Zeal.





              Sympathy with patients.





              Temperament.





              General remarks including efficiency in:





                             Medical nursing





                             Surgical nursing.





                             Physical fitness.





                             Administrative capacity.





              Special notations. Such as details of promotions or demotions, transgressions, reports etc.





If appropriate a date of death also (if death in service).





Sometimes a home address with father’s name.





These records which were kept with true imperial precision were, in essence for pension and monitoring purposes, not to give the likes of me a telling insight into the person detailed and the person detailing, but they do.





An extract from the special remarks to illustrate…





Date circa 1915.





Miss B***t “Asks to be removed on account of discomfort in quarters caused by the unreasonable and ungovernable temper of Miss *******e, head sister states that in some instances latter was to blame but Miss B***t shows little tact with reserve sisters and she has no control over a very excitable temper, and it is not helpful. It would add to the efficiency of the hospital if a sister of tact and experience was appointed.”





The same year her report stated. Conduct: satisfactory, Ability: above average, Tact in dealing with staff: average, Zeal: above average, (Tact and) Sympathy with patients: above average, Temperament: Impetuous, quick tempered, very kind to patients. Medical nursing: above average, Surgical nursing: exceptional, Physical fitness: average, Administrative capacity: above average.





There is a lot of reading to be done between the lines, this however is exciting detail for any relative of this lady. Many of these nurses would have no direct descendants as they remained nursing and unmarried until at least late middle age but surely will have nieces, nephews, cousins etc.





Fascinating.





If you need an assistance check my website out.





www.genealogy-and-you.com










[1] HistoryLearning.com. Women in 1900.  https://historylearning.com/the-role-of-women-1900-1945/women-in-1900/ : accessed 08 April 2021





[2] The National Archives. Discovery. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ : accessed 07 April 2021.





[3] War Office (Great Britain). Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. ADM 104. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines, Coastguard, and related bodies. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/browse/r/h/C27195 : accessed 07 April 2021.


Mustering a post


Following on from the previous piece on WW1 army officers I will outline over the next few weeks a few more sources you might consider in your UK military ancestor search, I will just widen the time frame, and try to work logically.





First one to mention and the subject of this piece is:





 “The Soldier in Medieval England” a database formed out of a project headed by Professor Adrian Bell of the Henley Business School and Professor Anne Curry of the University of Southampton to challenge assumptions about the emergence of professional soldiery between 1369 and 1453. The database has grown with input from ‘citizen historians’ like you and I, among others. The datasets used are:





1.Musters Dataset, held in The National Archive a record of the army ‘mustered’ to leave the country between 1369 and 1450, kept and maintained to account for the money spent on overseas campaigns. A captain raised forces for the crown and had a contract specifying size of force, type of troops, length and location of service. The muster was to check if the captains had kept their side of the contract, if troops had not turned up, they had not ‘passed muster’. The database includes English garrisons in Calais, as well as garrisons in Wales, Scotland and England. There are also musters of ‘standing forces’, these would have been troops serving with the lieutenants of Gascony and Ireland.





2.French Garrisons. Data recorded for the soldiers who served in the English garrisons in Northern France, principally Normandy, at the end of the Hundred Years War from the capture of Harfleur by Henry V in 1415 to the fall of Lancastrian Normandy in 1450. Also holding data on garrison reinforcements, armies operating in the field or undertaking particular sieges in France during this period. These soldiers were regularly mustered and review on a monthly to quarterly basis dependent on the nature of service. The Musters occasionally include information on the geographical origins of the soldiers when the English rulers became concerned about the loyalty of local troops after the successes of Joan of Arc.





3.Protections Dataset, the letters of protection and appointments of attorneys granted and recorded on the Treaty (or French) Rolls , Gascon rolls and Scottish Rolls for the years 1369-1453. They are legal instruments that would be taken out by soldiers prior to undertaking military service outside England, in order to protect their interests whilst they were absent. The letter of protection protected an individual from prosecution or legal action whilst serving overseas; by letters of attorney an individual appointed legal representatives to act on his behalf whilst absent. However, both types of letter only indicate an intention to serve, and do not in themselves prove that service was actually given.





4. The ‘Agincourt roll’, was a part of the Musters dataset and now separate, it contains the names of some retinue leaders and men-at-arms (but no archers) who were with Henry V in the battle of Agincourt in 1415. Unlike the documents in the Muster dataset, created for accounting purposes, this list is a result of heraldic and genealogic interest of the Tudor age.





With many thanks to the project: Information on soldiers has been taken from the AHRC-funded ‘The Soldier in Later Medieval England Online Database’, www.medievalsoldier.org [1].





Given all the above what can you discover?





Raise your hand anyone wouldn’t search on their own name you don’t need to be a narcissist!





I searched for John Colclough with first name variations and there I was not.





Take John out…





I found one Colclough.





Thomas Colclough, Rank: Archer, Service: Garrison of Rouen, Captain: John of Lancaster (1389 – 1435) duke of Bedford, Lieutenant / Sub-Captain: Handford, John, Sir (b. 1391) seigneur de Maisons-sur-Seine. Service date: 15 06 1435, Source type: Muster Roll, Reference: BNF, MS. Fr. 25772, no. 954.





With background research opening up who knows where this might lead.





For further reading try:





Was your ancestor on the Agincourt … – Medieval Soldier





English Knights at Agincourt





Exploring a medieval muster roll





Agincourt Carol – Wikipedia





The Battle of Agincourt – The National Archives





My genealogy services at





Genealogy services, family history, house history, DNA





www.genealogy-and-you.com





[1] AHRC. The Soldier in Later Medieval England Online Database. www.medievalsoldier.org : accessed 03March 2021


Army Lists


http://www.genealogy-and-you.com





The Army list or more specifically Army Lists have been kept since at least 1702 a list was published in 1740, annually from 1754 until 1879, then quarterly from 1879 until 1922[1]. As part of The National Archive referenced WO 651754-1879 are printed annual Army Lists. “These official lists give the names of the officers of the several regiments with the dates of their commissions, etc. Lists have been officially posted up with manuscript corrections. For some years the list is in two volumes. In addition to the regular volumes there are special lists of the forces in North America (1783), of British American half-pay officers (1782-1783) and of foreign corps (1794-1802).”[2]





An indication of an officer’s career with some lateral thinking can be readily deduced from an Army List.





With this in mind unable, to suppress the narcissist I looked for a Colclough in 1754 Army list[3], not one there. Scrolling through my eye was caught by a certain Maitland, left out of the “Additions &t.  to the Half Pay, to 20th February 1755” section in the said list[4]. Before exploring Maitland, a note on Half-Pay. It was devised as a retaining fee in the early 18th century, an officer not required in active service was granted this Half-Pay status but could be called up at any time in for instance the Jacobean rebellion of 1715 all were recalled. Latterly in the 19th century it became a way of avoiding service by a convoluted means, wealthy young men could buy a commission to get on the promotion ladder, and the next day go to Half-Pay (signed off by the Crown) and made sure they weren’t called up if the service was in an unpleasant place, but now as a captain they could buy a vacant Major commission in a fashionable regiment go on Half-Pay and onwards and upwards. One day’s ‘full’ service had the same value as many years and entitled the new officer Half-pay status with the associated rank[5]. Anyway Mr. Maitland was not retained or allowed to be retained as he had, in the publication capitals not mine. “PAPIST”[6] written next to his name! Must be story in there…





Taking my fruitless search for a namesake in the 1754 Army List(s) and putting it to one side, here is a more fruitful way of looking in the Army Lists. I would expect you have a name, and what you need ideally is the name of the regiment and some dates.





For example: An ancestor named Robert Shean known to have been an army surgeon in the 1830’s, possibly served with served with the Bedfordshire regiment in 1834. I will look in the army list for 1834 in the National Archives. Find that the Bedfordshire Regiment was known as the 16th (Bedfordshire) regiment of Foot. Then scroll through the names and there is the Surgeon, Robert Shean, appointed to position 26th October 1830. These snippets of information can be used to search for him in 1835 and 1833, possibly the 1841 census, marriage records and onwards…





Building your family tree is teasing the last piece of valuable data from snippets and knowing where to look. I can help.





http://www.genealogy-and-you.com










[1] S&N Genealogy Supplies Ltd. Army Lists. https://armylists.org.uk/index.php : accessed 05 March 2021.





[2] National Archives (Great Britain). WO – Records created or inherited by the War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/browse/r/r/C259: accessed 05 March 2021.





[3] Public Record Office (1982). War Office: printed annual army lists. 1754. The national Archives. Kew, England. Catalogue reference: WO 65/1/1. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ : accessed 05 March 2021.





[4] Ibid. p. 61.





[5] Woodham Smith, Cecil Blanche Fitz Gerald (1958). The reason why : a behind the scenes account of the charge of the Light Brigade. P. 31. Harmondsworth : Penguin. www.thearchive.org : accessed 05 March 2021.





[6] Public Record Office (1982). War Office: printed annual army lists. 1754. The national Archives. Kew, England. Catalogue reference: WO 65/1/1. P. 61. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ : accessed 05 March 2021.


Where there’s a will there’s a Genealogy way.


I’ll have break from the military for this week, I needed some transcribing practice, it’s a bonus the names are interesting to me.





Will of John Colclough alias Rowley, Potter of Burslem, Staffordshire.





Testamentary Records. England. 07 May 1657. COLCLOUGH, John. Will. Prerogative Court of Canterbury: Will Registers. PROB 11/264/200. The National Archives, Kew, England. Will of John Colclough alias Rowley, Potter of Burslem, Staffordshire | The National Archives : accessed 10 March 2021.
My surname originated probably in Staffordshire.





Elsewhere I have noted the Colclough/Wedgwood connection, here is a tangible glimpse, I have transcribed it so any errors or omissions in transcription are mine, but you can get the gist. I needed the transcribing practice. We can tease some genealogy out from it too…
An image of the original referenced from above.













So the transcript is:





In the Name of God Amen The





Seventeeth daie of November in the year of Or Lord God. One





Thousand six hundred Ffifitie Six. I John Colclough als’ Row





Ley of Burslem in the countie of Stafford Potter. being





sick and weak in bodie but of good and perfect memorie bless





& praysed be the Lord therefore do make and ordayne this my last





will and Testament in manner following. Ffirst I commend my Soul





To Almightie God my most merciful Creator, Trusting by shorlie





meritts of Jesus Christ my saviour to have the same recd into Abrahams





Bosome, And my bodie to Christian buriall in the Parish Church or Chann:





Sell of Burslem in such ceremie and decent manner as my Executor





Hereafter herein named shall think fitt. And for such Lands Tenements





howses buildings monies goods debts cattles & chattles as it hath





pleased the Lord in great mercie to bestow upon me. I give devise





bestow and bequeath in manner & forme following. Ffirst I give devise





& bequeath to Thomas Wedgwood of the church yard in Burslem afore





said, his heirs and Assignies for ever. Both these my two Cottages or Pr





emisis in Burslem aforesaid. Th’ one heretofore called Machins howse &





the other Ormes howse now in the possession or occupation of me and





my assignes or under servants withall howses edifices buildings stables





outhouses gardens backsides Lands & appy [fixure] to them and with to





them belonging together with all my right title interest claims &





domains to them and other of them. Also I give to the said Thomas





Wedgwood & his Assignes all my potting Boards, and all other necessarie





implements and materials belonging to the trade of potting (Lead and





Lead saw onlie excepted). Also I give and bequeath unto [indecipherable text] half





Brother William Colclough of Burslem aforesaid and Katherine





Colclough his wife and John Colclough their sonne the summe of [ten]





Ten pounds apiece to everie one of them. ALSO I give to the said John





Colclough six Silver spoones with everie one of them a J. C. upon them





Also I give devise and bequeath to the said John Colclough and his





Assignes. One Tenure or the remainder of a Lease which I have of in





or to one Close field or Croft called Little Elgreave situate in Burslem





aforesaid. Also I give to my reputed half sister Margaret Drakeford





alias Rowley Ffive pounds. Also I give unto Moses Wedgwood of Burslem





aforesaid Potter all such summe or summes of money as he oweth or





anie way handeth indebted unto me upon anie account whatsoever Also I give





unto William Wedgwood his brother All such monies as he oweth or





anie way handeth indebted to me. Also I give devise and bequeath





unto the aforesaid Thomas Wedgwood and his Asignes one Tenure





or remainder of a Lease which I have of, in or to that field Close or





Pastures called the Horse pastures He therefore paying to his





Brother Aaron Wedgwood and Marie and Sarah his sisters as it





is my will and mynd the summe of ffortie shillings apeece to every





one of them within the space of Six mon. this [niyt] after his Entry





upon the same. Also I give unto Margaret Wedgwood of Ashley





widow the summe of ffortie shillings over and besides the monie she





now oweth me. Also I give unto everie one of my servants Two





shillings six pence apiece. Also I give unto Clive Astburie of





Shelton one pound. Also after funerall expenses & Probate dis.





charged I give devise and bequeath All the rest residue remain-





der of all and singular my goods moveable and immoveable debts monies





Cattle & Chattles to the aforesaid Thomas Wedgwood for ever. Onlie it





It is my will and mynd That Gilbert Wedgwood his father shall have





the usage of all the goods of mine now standing in his howse at





Burslem aforesaid, Th’ aforesaid silver spoons onlie excepted. And





of this my last will and Testament I do constitute ordaine nomint.





& appoint my Loveing friend the said Thomas Wedgwood Sole





Executor, hopeing he will execute and perform the same according





to the dutie I repost in him. And I desire my Loving kinsman the





said John Colclough to see the same done accordinglie And I





doe herby utter admit and make voyd all former & other wills





whatsoever. IN WITNESS whereof my last will &





Testament. I the said John Colclough alias Rowley havg. putt my





Hand & seald. Dated the day & time above written. One Thousand &





Six Hundred Ffiftie Six (John Colclough alias Rowley) Sealed





Signed and published in the presence of Gilbert Wegwood John





Colclough John Shawe./





This will was proved at London





The seventh day of May in ye year of Our Lord One Thousand Six





Hundred Ffiftie seven. Before the Judges for Probate of wills &





Granting of administrations lawfullie authorized by th’ oath of





Thomas Wedgwood sole Executor named in the said will To whom





was committed Administration of all and singular the goods chattels





and debts of the said deceased. He being by virtue of a commission





trust Legallie serve well and truelie to Administer the same.





*****************************************************





So to find some genealogy in the will:





William Colclough married (date not apparent from this document, however if John Colclough the son was an adult as seems likely as he appears to have witnessed the will, the marriage could be estimated as around 1630 as a starting point for further research). Katherine (Maiden name not known from this document).





William and Katherine were parents of  John Colclough (see above) can be estimated birth as around 1630 as a start for research.





Family lived Burslem Staffordshire.





William Colclough and John Colclough alias Rowley were half brothers so shared a parent it is likely that was their father but again not absolutely clear from the will.





John Colclough alias Rowley had a reputed (his words) half  sister Margaret it can be implied her maiden name was Rowley and she married a Mr. Drakeford. Margaret and John Colclough alias Rowley shared a parent, again the implication s that this was a different parent than William Colclough and John Colclough alias Rowley shared.





From this document it appears William Colclough and Margaret Drakeford were not related, but this also needs further research.





Onto the Wedgwood’s. Gilbert Wedgwood is Thomas Wedgwood’s father, Thomas is certainly an adult so born early 17th Century, Gilbert likely late 16th starting point for research, living in Burslem.





Gilbert’s other children Thomas Wedgwood’s siblings are Aaron a brother, Marie and Sarah sisters their ages are not clear but likely to be young adults.





Margaret Wedgwood a widow is mentioned, can be deduced she was the wife of  a deceased brother of Gilbert, needs to be checked, she lived Ashley in Staffs.





There are two more Wedgwood’s mentioned Moses and his brother William, to start research a useful deduction would be they are brothers of Gilbert, uncles of Thomas, Aaron, Sarah and Marie, this would have to be checked and verified as cannot be proved from the document.





Finally a Clive Astburie of Shelton is noted,  of interest Astbury a potting name of  high status, viz. John Astbury born 1688 died 1743 Shelton in Staffordshire, English Potting technology pioneer, earliest of the great Staffordshire potters a precursor of Josiah Wedgwood. John Astbury | English potter | Britannica : accessed 12 March 2021.





Along with the Genealogy there is going to be a wealth of social history of the Potteries hidden in plain sight in the will just from the mention of an Astburie.


After the Will interlude, I’ll make quick return to Army records.


If your ancestor was an enlisted man you will need to have an idea of the regiment they were in, because before about 1873 the records surviving are usually organized by regiment. This is especially pertinent if your ancestor was not pensioned, most weren’t!





You can search the National Archive Discovery catalogue by name for non-commissioned officers and soldiers listed in some of the muster rolls and pay lists from the early 18th century to 1898 as well as description books for 1756 to 1900. The description books give the age, place of birth, trade and service. You might strike lucky!





FindmyPast and FamilySearch host a collection of British Army Service Records 1760-1915, holding about a million pieces, including records of men pensioned out of the Army (1760-1913) or who served in militias (1806-1915). You should discover between four and eight pages for Army or Militia with name, place of birth, regiment/s, year of discharge and dates of service. Sometimes you’ll get a physical description and information on family members.





Back to The National Archives there will be militia regiments records from around the middle of the 18th century, but as I mentioned you will probably need to know the name of the regiment to search for an individual. As well as these sources you might consider the Edinburgh Army Attestation Registers covering 1794-1887, at Edinburgh City Archives. These include men from various parts of Scotland and some from England and Ireland, who enlisted not only in the regular army, but also in the Royal Marines, the East India Company Army and various militia and volunteer regiments.





Ancestry too, holds many records a free index is available to some, for instance Gateshead, Durham, England, War Honours Scrapbook, 1914-1920, “This collection is a scrapbook of newspaper clippings of photos and names of soldiers from the Gateshead area in World War I. Most of the clippings are portrait photographs of individual soldiers with information about their unit, rank and condition, such as wounded, killed or missing. The scrapbook also includes articles about memorial and awards given and there are also a few group photos”[1].





The Genealogist has a database of browsable books including regimental histories.





You might also consider Archive.org https://archive.org/index.php it is a bit more convoluted to search in here but all the same a valuable resource for history.





One lockdown plus has been access to The National Archive online, register, search discovery… https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/





Do you want me to find your ancestors?





Visit my website





www.genealogy-and-you.com





Contact me at info@genealogy-and-you.com










[1] Ancestry.com. Gateshead, Durham, England, War Honours Scrapbook, 1914-1920. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/search/categories/mil_lists/ : accessed 26 March 2021.


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