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John ABLEY, Private in the Militia d Youghal 1794.

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John ABLEY, Private in the Militia d Youghal 1794.

Postby Brummie on Exmoor » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:26 pm

Back in May 2011, I posted a question about John ABLEY, my 4x Great Grandfather, who was born into a family of Yeoman farmers at Pentre Hodre near Clun in 1762, but mysteriously had apparently died in Youghal, Co. Cork on 30 September 1794. I could not comprehend a reason for such a strange change of direction. I assumed that the Trees on Ancestry which recorded this, were mistaken.

I received a fantastic answer from a real expert on the family: John was serving in the Militia, and was posted to Ireland. I have been able to marry up what I was told of John's personal history obtained from Militia Muster Rolls in the National Archives, to public histories of his regiment, the 43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot (specifically 'HISTORICAL RECORDS OF THE FORTY THIRD REGIMENT MONMOUTHSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY', written by Sir Richard LEVINGE in 1868).

I have also solved a question which arose from that: why, when the 43rd Foot were posted from Youghal to the West Indies in November 1793 (when the decade-long peace with the French broke down), was John was not posted with them? The Regiment sailed to Barbados on 17 November 1793, but there is nothing on the Muster Rolls to suggest that John accompanied them. The reason was of course that he was a Militia man, not a Regular soldier, and so he could only serve within the British Isles.

However, my BIG QUESTION is now, what would have happened to him at this point? The Muster Rolls show him on the strength, and present for the Muster (no place given) of 25 December 1793-24 June 1794, and then during the following Muster period 25 June - 7 October 1794, he was shown as 'Dead 30 September', again with no place given. But where was this? It appears that he died in Youghal, as there are no transfers noted for him, but it would be so useful to know what was custom and practice.

I am going to Youghal in September, and though I know I am unlikely to find a grave, I'd like to know that this was indeed his last resting place. Please can anyone give me any ideas?

Many thanks,

Jane
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Re: John ABLEY, Private in the Militia d Youghal 1794.

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:13 pm

Some vague ideas : I researched a chap in the Army who died in 1814. The Army didn't really make it easy to find where everyone was. From memory, the best place was a narrow page at the end of the Muster Book & Pay List (unless it was the inside cover???) where the regiment / battalion / unit is named and it records "Stationed At...."

The other possibility is the signatures where someone signs off the payments made - but that location is, I suspect, simply intended to be where the signatory was sat at that point, rather than the troops.

If I remember, it was obvious when a detachment was stationed elsewhere because it was split off with its own entries. Then again, that's just the obvious ones!

The other place to look is in, of all things, the expenses columns, where payments can be found to (say) inn keepers for rations etc en route on a march, linked, with luck, to those marching. It was through these expense payments that I found that my chap and 3 others marching on a specific date from Fermoy to Youghal (coincidentally!), a journey through County Cork of some 26 miles today.

If all the location data says Youghal, and there are no expense suggesting someone sent elsewhere, then I'd suggest that Youghal was probably the place where he was stationed when he died. But probably may be about as good as it gets.....
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Re: John ABLEY, Private in the Militia d Youghal 1794.

Postby Brummie on Exmoor » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:28 am

Thanks Adrian, yes, I suspect that you are right and it will prove to be a 'probable' answer.

Do you - does anyone - have any idea, please, whether Army deaths were recorded then. The Index of 'British Nationals Armed Forces Deaths' available on Findmypast begins an infuriating 2 years later in 1796, and British Overseas deaths (although Ireland was not then 'overseas') not till 1818. But there is clearly a record that he died then and there, which has filtered out over time.

Also, it is clear that Youghal Barracks is no longer in existence, so I am wondering about burial records, which might prove or disprove this for good.

Regards,

Jane
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Posts: 174
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Re: John ABLEY, Private in the Militia d Youghal 1794.

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:35 am

The best (or simplest) explanation that I have found so far is on the FIBIS website on http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Chaplains_Returns

I think that there are a number of sources that might come into play, which accounts for my confusion on the topic of Army BMDs. Bearing in mind that there were no civilian registrations, it's not surprising that there were no military registrations of BMDs as such. Army bureaucracy seems to have been quite satisfied by entries in the Muster Books and also in the Discharge registers (or whatever they were called). Chaplains' Returns record burials but the survival rate doesn't appear to be good.

In the case of Isaac Pickstock, his regiment returned from Madeira in 1814, due to illness, he was transferred immediately from the regiment's Muster Books to those of Hilsea Depot and that muster records his death - so that makes a clear, very short, story. His discharge is also in the discharge register for the regiment (? Or the hospital / Depot? Can't remember).

I spent some time trying to discover evidence of burial. Nothing in the local parish registers, not even the so-called garrison church. Eventually, through the local Rootschat forum and Google, I found that the Depot had had a small burial ground whose records were presumably kept by the chaplain but none of the local Record Offices had anything for this, nor did Kew. So presumably Isaac lies there. But that's all I can find.

I'm not trying to discourage you (honest!) but just illustrating that it's all a bit of a muddle.



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Re: John ABLEY, Private in the Militia d Youghal 1794.

Postby Brummie on Exmoor » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:43 am

Thank you again Adrian. The site you recommend above looks excellent.

I will dig around, and if I find something, I will post an update here, for others searching for similar answers. In the meantime, if anyone else has any bright ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Regards,

Jane
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Posts: 174
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Location: North Devon

Re: John ABLEY, Private in the Militia d Youghal 1794.

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:45 am

Just to make it clear, Jane, it would be worthwhile for you (or someone) to check the documentation for Youghall depot as well as his regiment(s). Something might be there...

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