New indexes on Ancestry

17 January 2015

I am quite sure that I won’t be the only one blogging about Ancestry’s new addition …. The UK Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects (1901-1929) have been made available today with no less than 872,395 records (don’t you love it when they are that precise – makes me wonder who sits there and counts them to make sure this isn’t incorrect!).

The original records have been made available to Ancestry by
the National Army Museum (Chelsea, London, England) and the terms of use of the images are made clear (bloggers, authors, publishers beware!) – for the ‘purposes of research, private study or education‘. Well, this blog is designed to educate readers about the genealogical records available for their own research, so I trust that Ancestry and the National Army Museum will appreciate the publicity being given here!

Initially, when I read the title of the index, I expected to find details of the personal effects of the soldiers who died between 1901 and 1929. However, this is not the case. The database actually contains records of the money owed to soldiers of the British Army who died in service from 1901 to 1929. Apparently, a small percentage of soldiers who were discharged from the Army as ‘insane’ are also listed. As Ancestry states: ‘the inclusion of the next of kin makes these records particularly valuable to family historians, as this information can help researchers take a family back another generation or distinguish between soldiers with the same name.’

I entered my surname study interests – Sillifant and Pillifant including ‘exact, sounds like and similar’ – and was a little disappointed to find no records. Hey ho – that’s what happens when you study a rare name, I guess. However, several others came up trumps! Jack Lefevre of the Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire) Regiment died in 1917 and his ‘sole leg’ [sole legatee] was his father, John:


And I counted: Mycock 33, Copsey 26, Outhwaite 12, Lefevre 11, Greathead 10, Cumberbatch 8, Stribling 7, Vodden 3, Benbrook 2 (Banbrook 2 and Bainbrook 1), Oldcorn 2, Praed 2 (although they appear to be related to the same person)…. and that’s just a few surname study names which popped into my head. So, fill your boots surname studiers! I hope you have more success than me….. (fascinating records anyway!)

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