Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

Introduction

This website attempts to identify the dates and deployments of various British military units prior to 1870 within Canada and elsewhere in the western hemisphere. The goal of this site is to provide an overview of the  British Army and soldiers who served in this region. It also serves as a finding aid for family historians looking for regiments and the soldiers who served in them. Hopefully it will also be of interest to general historians.



Regimental Information

In general, the following Information is included for each unit:

Regimental or unit number
Regimental or unit name
Outline history,  major campaigns and battles
Deployment dates in North America
Stations
Demobilisation/disbandment information
Links to soldiers' attestation and discharge papers on microfilm
Battalion level information is provided in some instances where regiments were deployed in part only. Similarly, company level information is included for units such as the Royal Artillery which were traditionally on "attached" assignment to infantry and other units.  I have also constructed a table showing geographic distribution of regiments of foot by era to assist researchers. This site does not encompass detailed unit histories - particularly for eras or regions outside of the stated scope. Where possible, however, links to more detailed histories are provided. For details on the major military campaigns in book form, see the recommended reading list. For outlines of selected  conflicts and battles on the Web see the Olive Tree Military Section. For other websites related to this topic see the Sources page.


Soldiers Documents

All regiments on this website have a link indicating the corresponding microfilm  which provides individual soldiers' attestation and discharge papers . These documents exist for many soldiers who survived their service time and were discharged. They usually provide place of birth, age on enlistment, army service and details of appearance.  This document group is generally known as W0 97.  The group WO 120 provides summary information similar to that in group WO97. The microfilms listed do not include general  regimental documents such as muster rolls (WO 10 through 16) and pay lists.

You can use the Public Record Office catalog to see if a specific name occurs within record group WO 97. It is helpful, but not necessary to know the regiment number or place of birth in order to limit the results returned. An  overview of the various types of records available for British regiments can be seen at the GENUKI site. Both new and experienced researchers can benefit from the information on that site before plunging into the actual records.

Examples of the type of information available can be seen in the 1818  WO97 documents for  Sgt.John Gibson and Pvt. William Pender   and the 1818 WO120 document for Sgt. William Shea.

Copies of regimental records can be consulted at:
  Family History Centres.Microfilms must be ordered and used at the Centres: shipping charges apply. The Family History Library (FHL) microfilm number is provided for every regiment.

The Public Record Office  in the UK.

Selected volumes are kept at the  National Archives of Canada (MG13, WO 97).  NAC microfilm numbers are provided on this site for the volumes in their collection.  NAC reels are available for loan; see their web site under Services.



British Regiments in Canada


Regimental summaries & links to records
Cavalry
Royal Artillery
Guards
Infantry I (Regiments of Foot, 1st through 50th)
Infantry II (Regiments of Foot, 51st through 104th)
Sappers & Miners, Fencibles, Newfoundland Companies and other units
Other pages
Distribution of  Regiments of Foot by Geographic Region and Date
Recommended  reading list
Sources and links

Search this site


I am indebted to the the Light Infantry Benevolent Society in England for much of the deployment  information,  Ron Dale of Parks Canada, the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa and the Public Record Office in Kew, England for additional information and insight.

If you have any suggestions or found this site helpful please let me know
Wes Cross


Page Stats 

Updated March 5  2012
Original launch November 29, 2003