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James Simpson – India Will, dated 1853

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James Simpson – India Will, dated 1853

Postby MoVidger » Wed May 08, 2019 2:23 pm

On FMP, there is an British India Office Wills & Probate record (with image) for the following:

1853 - Madras
James Simpson, pensioned gunner
Amount Deposited on the 11 October 1852: 29.5.10
To Whom Paid: “Paid on the 11 April 1853 to pensioned drummer Farrington, Rupees 9.
To Nallupermal (?) Rupees 15 as per order of Government dated 15 March 1853”.

I've a feeling this James Simpson could be my friend’s direct ancestor (as discussed in a WDYTYR Live Web Chat in October 2014), who I’ve been researching with her.

Unfortunately, the record above does not reference a widow or children, making confirmation he is “our” James near impossible. We’ve no idea who the two chaps are. Was Nallupermal a creditor or legatee?

Also, we’re unable to find a death/burial record for this James Simpson in 1852/1853. We’ve searched FMP, Ancestry, Family Search, and FIBIS.

Our James Simpson is very likely the soldier whom Sylvia kindly found for us in the Madras Soldiers Registers. 1822, SIMPSON, James, Gunner 1s Bn Horse Artillery. Native place: Thurso, Caithness. Term: Life; Ship: Prince Regent 1822. Remarks: Pensioned 31 Dec 1833, Gr E.P. 1833. Embarked for Europe per Lady Flora, 8 Feb 1834.

This chap may be the man who married Anthache Crowitch (widow) in Madras. FMP Marriage record: James SIMSON, 17 July 1843 at Cuddalore. He's a widower, a "pensioned gunner" and it’s apparently an RC marriage. (No clues yet who his first wife was).

They had at least one daughter: 6 April 1844 baptism entry for a Sarah Simpson born in Cuddalore. Father is James Simpson and the Mother is "Andach". No idea what happened to Sarah or Anthache.

It’s very likely this couple had daughter named Mary, born 1850 in Cuddalore. Unfortunately, a baptism for Mary is proving difficult to locate. The British Library's India Office does not have a record for her either. This lady is my friend’s 2 x great-grandmother.

Are we just over-looking the 1852/1853 burial record? Or is it “normal” for the Will record to exist, but not the burial record?
MoVidger
 
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Re: James Simpson – India Will, dated 1853

Postby MaureenE » Sat May 11, 2019 10:51 am

The record Sylvia found was a pensioned gunner who is noted as having returned to Europe.

The pensioned gunner who died in India, if it is the same person, would therefore have had to have got himself back to India, which would have been very expensive for a man on a pension, unless he managed to find an employer to pay for him, and if he had been pensioned his state of health may not have been good. Not impossible, but probably unlikely.

I think you are probably looking at different people.

The record on findmypast is in respect of payments from the estate of deceased soldiers. From the British Library description
"The Treasury Deposits comprise half-yearly, quarterly and monthly returns to the UK of the estates of deceased European officers and other ranks of the EIC / Indian Army. Early volumes in the series list the name of the deceased, the amount of the estate and the date when payments from the estate were made. Later the date of the deposit, the rank and corps of the deceased and the name of the payee are given. Monthly returns frequently give the names and addresses of relatives in the UK. In the Bengal volumes other ranks only are listed to c.1824, all ranks from c.1824 to c.1868, mainly officers from c.1869 to 1881 and officers only from c.1883. In the Madras volumes other ranks only are listed until c.1835, all ranks from c.1835 to 1868 and mainly officers from c.1869. In the Bombay volumes all ranks are listed until c.1886, and officers only from 1887. The term 'officer' in this context includes not only regular officers and medical officers but also warrant / departmental officers and subordinate medical service personnel".

You could look at the Madras Muster rolls. I think it is likely (but not guaranteed) that as a pensioned soldier he would be recorded in the muster rolls so you could look at the muster rolls for 1843 when he married. You could then attempt to find him in the " Registers of Madras Army European Soldiers " which would give a more up to date description of his service, and hopefully when he died. These records are available at the British Library in London, or on FamilySearch digitised microfilm at a Family History Centre or FamilySearch Affiliate Library. See the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Madras Army for details of the latter.
https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Madras_Army

There may not have been enough soldiers at Cuddalore to justify having a permanent chaplain, which could be a reason the church records are rather sparse

Cheers
Maureen
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Re: James Simpson – India Will, dated 1853

Postby MoVidger » Sat May 11, 2019 6:00 pm

Thanks very much for the helpful info, Maureen. Now we can disregard the James Simpson whom Sylvia found 5 years ago (pensioned gunner, born Thurso, returned to Europe in 1834).

The only actual fact we have to go on is Mary Simpson’s 1870 marriage record in Madras:
Father is “James Simpson” but no other details given (e.g. occupation, deceased). Frustratingly, one of the witnesses is an “F. Simpson” – not much to go on without a first name.

In the 1891 census (Bradford, Yorkshire), Mary’s birth place is Cuddalore, East India.
That leads us to the afore-mentioned 1843 RC marriage in Cuddalore for a James Simpson/Simson [pensioned gunner] and Anthace Crowitch (widow). A daughter Sarah was born 1844 in Cuddalore.

That’s all we have to go on. Also, my friend’s AncestryDNA result includes a 1% Southern Asia match. Of course the 1843 marriage could be a non-starter, but it is a James Simpson event in Cuddalore, and that intrigues us.

Perhaps the fact it was an RC marriage can provide further clues. Unfortunately, we’re struggling with the witness names on the 1843 image. One name looks like “E.J. Conoly”? If one or both of the witnesses were fellow soldiers, then it could shed light on James Simpson’s regiment.

I've emailed my local LDS Family History Center to enquire if they have access to the two collections you mention.
MoVidger
 
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Re: James Simpson – India Will, dated 1853

Postby MaureenE » Sun May 12, 2019 1:39 am

If you are viewing digitised microfilm at a FamilySearch Centre, make sure you read in advance the FIBIS Fibiwiki page FamilySearch Centres https://wiki.fibis.org/w/FamilySearch_Centres.

The Fibiwiki page discusses what to do if you see a message ""Image Unavailable. This image is unavailable for online viewing at this time" which is actually not a true message, but a bug. There is a footnote reference to a FamilySearch Forum topic, which has more information.

Most of the Muster rolls have been digitised, and also " Registers of Madras Army European Soldiers ", so your Centre should have access, but they would need to know how to sign into the system to get access to digitised microfilms only available at a Family History Centre (but surely they would know how to do this). However, they may not know about the bug previously mentioned.

Cheers
Maureen
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Re: James Simpson – India Will, dated 1853

Postby MoVidger » Sun May 12, 2019 4:03 pm

Many thanks again for the FSC tips. While I wait for my local Center's response, I'll continue to work on deciphering the two 1843 marriage witness names below, in hopes they can provide a hint as to this James Simpson's regiment. Perhaps one of the witnesses was a fellow soldier.

Image

In 2014, I recall that Sylvia searched the Madras Soldiers Registers from 1843 back and found 2 entries. One was the "pensioned gunner" James Simpson (born Thurso); and the other was this James Simpson:

1831 SIMPSON, James, Private European Regiment; Native Place: Lancaster; Term of Service: Life;
Ship to India: Repulse in 1831. Remarks: Transf Feb '50 to Effective Supernumeries as Serjt Major - Road Sergeant. Volunteered in 1861 for General Service. Died 21 July 1866. Estate Rs1000 by will to his widow Agnes on 30 July 1866. Casualty Roll 1867.

I've seen various FMP records for that Lancaster soldier, but none with any links to Cuddalore. So most likely not our chap.
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