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Muster rolls

Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:04 am

Just a quick question. Does anybody know whether army reservists would have been recorded in muster rolls? I am contemplating visiting the National Archives in Kew regarding an ancestor who was in the army reserve, but am not sure whether to go through with it, if just to find that reservists weren't recorded.

Re: Muster rolls

Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:37 pm

What period? Period is important because muster rolls don't go beyond 1898 - have a look at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/british-army-muster-rolls-pay-lists-1730-1898/ if you haven't done so already.

What sort of army reserve? Civilians (and sometimes even the Army!) are notorious for using military terms loosely so "Army Reserve" might mean Volunteers or Militia - which aren't the same thing, as well!

Do you know his unit? Because the TNA Catalogue should list all the units for which Muster Rolls & Pay Lists exist....

Re: Muster rolls

Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:15 pm

Each muster roll usually runs from Christmas Day through the four quarters and may have those 'At Home' and those 'Abroad'. but you will need a unit/regiment (sometimes the name and sometimes the number).

Re: Muster rolls

Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:17 pm

junkers wrote:Each muster roll usually runs from Christmas Day through the four quarters...

Not particularly relevant to the original query, but I've always imagined that the quarters were based on 25 March, which was the start of the New Year before 1752. It would make more sense for the Army to work out its quarters from New Year's Day (as was) than Christmas Day. Well, that's my personal opinion / guess.

I can't remember how the boxes at Kew are made up - the first in a box might well be the quarter starting 25 December - but then that might be a function of how they were boxed or bound later on...

Re: Muster rolls

Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:55 am

The Regiment is the Bedfordshire Regiment, the year is 1888. The only thing I know about his service is that in 1895, an H D Butters was awarded the Indian Service Medal with 'Relief of Chitral' clasp and is listed as 'Army Reserve'.

His service number was 2823, which according to my calculations, means he signed up in 1888. 1888 is also the last year that a muster was collected for the Bedfordshire Regiment.

Re: Muster rolls

Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:25 pm

Henry David BUTTERS

I think you'll find his service record is available on Findmypast. This may obviate the need to worry about pay and muster records.

FMP have indexed him as BUTLERS but that's no great problem.

Re: Muster rolls

Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:37 pm

Oh, thank you so much!

I had been looking on findmypast for a while. It is definitely my man too!

Looks like I won't need to visit Kew after all!

Re: Muster rolls

Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:48 pm

You may have found this already, but his baptism appears to be in FMP's "British India Office births & baptisms" - the age doesn't quite match but the father's name does. Actually, there's 2 copies of said baptism - the father in the baptisms was a station master on the GIPR - the Great Indian Peninsula Railway https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Indian_Peninsula_Railway - oh I like this! Army, railways, India! :)

Re: Muster rolls

Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:05 am

Why thank you, yes, his father was also in the military and served in the Indian Mutiny.

They both lied about their ages on enlistment from what I can gather. When Henry married his wife he told her he was born in 1875. A lie that he kept until he reached retirement age and she realised after all those years he was older than he said he was.
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