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George Samwell - Military Deserter 2 Sept 1850 Weedon

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George Samwell - Military Deserter 2 Sept 1850 Weedon

Postby Eleanorsamwellchow » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:22 am

I am looking for more information in relation to George William Samwell (Samuel) who was born in 1828 in Daventry in Northamptonshire. I have found very basic details that he was a military deserter on 2 September 1850 in Weedon and would like to find out more about this if possible or where to look?

Thank you in advance.
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Re: George Samwell - Military Deserter 2 Sept 1850 Weedon

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:00 pm

Start with http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/british-army-soldiers-up-to-1913/

The basic problem is that proper records from that era were only kept when someone got a pension - otherwise, for those who died in service, were discharged too early for pensions, or who "ran", then eventually, their proper, detailed service records were scrapped.

My suspicion would be that your chap is unlikely to have ended up with a pension ;)

In which case, if those basic details include what regiment (or equivalent) he was serving in, then the next step is probably to look at Muster Books & Pay Lists at Kew (an MBPL is one document at this time). MBPLs are normally done quarterly and list everyone in the unit at that time. Trace his name in them forward and back, and you can find out where(?) and when he was recruited, or where he transferred in from / out to. See http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/british-army-muster-rolls-pay-lists-1730-1898/

The one tip with MBPLs is that you shouldn't confine your attention to just conventional regiments, brigades, batteries, etc. Under some circumstances (not sure what) someone might be transferred out of the MBPL for his regiment and onto the MBPL of a depot / hospital / whatever. The transfer ought to be recorded in the "donor" unit. I think.

Good luck. It's not simple - particularly if you don't live close to Kew, of course.
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