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Military Research Advice Needed

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Military Research Advice Needed

Postby Irishkiwi » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:46 pm

My gg grandfather ROBERT McLARNON enlisted on 28 Nov 1817 at HQ District Dundalk Ireland and served with the 45th Regiment of Foot (Sherwood Forresters) in Burma and India. He had three sons the first two verified (birth certs) as being born in Moulmein, Burma the youngest one to confirm but understand born India.

Timeline for ROBERT McLARNON with some estimations
Birth date : 1799 Parish of Artrea, Derry,NORTHERN IRELAND

Enlisted in army : 1817 age 18yrs 

First son born : 1829 ( Thomas Robert ) - 30 yrs 

Second son born : 1830 ( William George) - 31 yrs

Third son born : 1831 (James Alexander) 32 yrs

Died : Nov 1835 36 years

He died in Secuderaband,India on 24 Nov 1835. As yet have not found the marriage licence for Robert Mclarnon and Margaret Brown. I do not know where ROBERT is buried but do have his will.


States on his army records the following: 
"His wife MARGARET (who was nee BROWN) with three children enroute to Europe with a number of women"
I then have found she remarried a ANDREW SCALLAN on 7th Jan 1837 in the Parish of St Margaret near Rochester in the County of Kent. 
States he was of the parish and she was a widow of the Parish of Chatham ,Kent .

MY QUERY is :How did she travel back to England? A two year gap before she remarried so how did she live? I have looked up that perhaps? she may have lived at the Brompton Barracks (to confirm) but would she have received a widows pension. Have looked at National Archives in the Uk but did soldiers wives receive a pension ? Where did the children go to school. ? Also at some stage they seemed to have returned to Northern Ireland .

I have ANDREW SCALLAN'S army records. He left Charlemont in Northern Ireland in 1848 with Margaret and came to NZ as a Fencible .
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Re: Military Research Advice Needed

Postby Sylcec » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:03 am

Congratulations on so much information! Would be interested to know how you got his service record - or was it passed down through the family?
Have you read this history of the 45th Regt Ft? See Chapter 10 of this book: http://www.archive.org/stream/historythstnott00dalbgoog#page/n160/mode/2up which details the service in Burmah and South India. From this, it appears that the Regiment was in Ceylon for a period before going to Burmah. If you look at page 138 you will see that it details the numbers of deaths from fever at Secunderabad where there is (or was) a regimental memorial.

Robert and Margaret could have met and married before leaving Ireland, in Ceylon, in Madras presidency of India or in Burmah. If any of the places outside of Ireland she may well have been a widow of another soldier.

How did Margaret get home? Well, of course the smart answer is by ship! I was going to suggest that she returned with the remainder of the regiment, but she must have gone before them. She was probably looked after by the Regiment - after all she was British as were her children - rather than mixed race which would have resulted in them staying in India. So, she would have embarked with some other returning soldiers, wives, widows etc, but I think it unlikely, though not impossible, that you will find her listed by name on a passenger list - she may be included in, e.g. "5 widows and 10 children of various regiments". You could try on FIBIS http://www.fibis.org in the database for passenger arrivals and departures transcribed from the Madras Almanacs 1810-1860.
Good hunting! Sylvia
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Re: Military Research Advice Needed

Postby Irishkiwi » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:24 am

Hi Sylvia
Thank you so much for your reply.
I originally about ten years ago hired a professional researcher specialising in military in England to get the copies for me as live in NZ.I collected them from my daughter whom lives in East Sussex when I visited.
They have given me a wealth of information to go on.
They were from the WO 22 ,WO 23,WO 25, & WO 97 from National Archives. I have found some myself i.e. The will and his widows second marriage .
It has been so much easier these days with the internet access than when I first started 34 yrs ago.

I have a copy of the book and one presumes Robert died of epidemic but unsure as have no record how he died on his army papers.

My understanding of timeline is yes they married in Ireland and then went to Burma and India with regiment. Upon reading found very few wives accompanied their husbands overseas in the army. I stand to be corrected.

Margaret left India in 1835 when Robert died and the regiment (45Th) did not return until March of 1838 to Gravesend.

I will check out the FIBIS in case. Everything is worth looking at. Its those long shots that sometimes pay of.

Do you know much about the barracks at Chatham in 1835.? Would it have been the logic for her to return to Gravesend to and because she was close to Chatham ended up there?

Thanks
Christina
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Re: Military Research Advice Needed

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:37 pm

"How did she travel back to England? ... would she have received a widows pension"


Suggest you have a look at this link on the Victorian Wars Forum http://www.victorianwars.com/viewtopic.php?f=82&t=463&hilit=researching+army+wives - on the 1st page it collects a number of frequent answers - see in particular the post by "Liz" on 09 Mar 2009 05:49.

"Liz" refers to Wives' Entitlements - what facilities were made a/v to them; was there a widow's pension (no - not till much later), etc. She does suggest that it was likely that the regiment would pay for her passage back to the UK.

As for where she went to in the UK - "Liz" does mention work-houses and places of settlement. A widow would be regarded as officially settled in her late husband's parish of settlement, regardless of where she came from. This makes me wonder if her Robert had gained settlement in Chatham through birth, residence or employment in the parish. Not sure if this is likely - otherwise an Army depot town might have lots of potential ex-soldier paupers...???? The point is that a widow with no visible means of support would get moved on to her official parish of settlement, which was her late husband's. So what happened to Margaret and why, I'm not sure, but the effect of the Poor Law is something to think about.
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Re: Military Research Advice Needed

Postby Sylcec » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:11 am

There was an allowable number of wives to be "taken on the strength" of the regiment when their husband was posted overseas. However, am struggling to remember the number, may be 1 in a 100. This allowance would usually apply to men who had served in the regiment for some years and/or married for several years when they joined, or had already been promoted to at least Corporal. A sergeant for instance would have an instant entitlement to take wife and family with him.

The following is a quote from p.82 of Michael & Christopher Watts' book "My Ancestor Was In The British Army":
The Army had always disapproved of marriage ..... but had authorised a ratio of 6 women to 100 men up to the first half of the 19th century. This proportion was strictly applied when regiments embarked for foreign service. These 'on the strength' wives were actually allowed to live with their husbands, usually in an area screened by blankets at the end of the barrack room, in return for performance of chores such as cleaning, cooking and mending.
Sylvia

PS Am surprised you mentioned WO97 as a source of records - these have been indexed and I have not found McLarnon's name included (even under an alternative spelling), but would not in any case have expected to find a record as he died in service! However, thanks for sharing the source information.
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Re: Military Research Advice Needed

Postby Irishkiwi » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:42 am

Hi Sylvia
Yes some of the books make interesting reading on army life The book -
Women of the Regiment: Marriage and the Victorian Army - By Myna Trustram I am finding very good.

The name for the WO 97 - (Royal Hospital Chelsea Soldiers Service) was for Andrew Scallan Margaret's second husband.

I have found information in the most unlikeliest of places. In Ancestry under Canada,British Regimental Registers of Service, 1756 -1900 very useful.

Cheers
Christina
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Re: Military Research Advice Needed

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:01 am

Worth pointing out for others reading this that the Canadian connection in some of those collections is minimal. It's about British regiments that served in Canada at some time in their history - the soldiers in Ancestry may have never left the UK.

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Re: Military Research Advice Needed

Postby Irishkiwi » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:05 am

For me I found it very strange for my ancestor to be under that heading as he served with the 45th Regiment which from my understanding of his army records had never even went to Canada only serving in Burma and India before 1835.
This being my saying of finding people in the most unlikeliest places.
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Re: Military Research Advice Needed

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:17 pm

According to Wikipedia, the 45th left Canada / USA in 1783. So that's the service that led to the regiment's papers appearing in Ancestry regardless of date. As we said - unexpected.

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