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ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY - WOOLWICH.

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ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY - WOOLWICH.

Postby LauraB » Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:30 pm

A lot of family on my father's side were involved with the Royal Artillery in Woolwich. Three Gt Uncles and my Gt Grandfather all served in the R.F.A and my Aunt worked in The Arsenal as recently as the 1980's. But, it is my Great Grandfather I have hit the 'brick wall' with and could use some help.
He was born William BENSON in Kendal, Westmorland around 1846. He was stationed in Newbridge, Eire in 1876 where he married Ellen DUFFY on the 11th January . Around 1880 he was stationed at Woolwich Barracks and listed in the census as 'Officer's Servant'. William died aged 51yrs in 1897.
I have all the details of his children (John, William & Thomas) and their records, but can find nothing on William Snr. If anyone could help it would be very much appreciated. I am unable to travel the the Firepower Museum but would like any other suggestions as to how I can find his records and more importantly, his parents names so as I can continue researching my Westmorland roots. Thank you in anticipation, Laura.
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Re: ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY - WOOLWICH.

Postby ColinB » Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:02 pm

Hi Laura ,

His Service Record would not be at the Museum. British Army Service Records for that period are available online at Find My Past. There is an 8 page record for William Benson b abt 1841 , Netherstown, Kindal ( Kendal ) , Westmoreland , attestation date Jan 1862 Royal Artillery , next of kin wife Ellen, which looks likely. If you don't have a sub they may offer a trial ( don't forget to cancel
in time or you will be charged ) or you could buy a few units and have a look that way.

Good luck

Colin
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Re: ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY - WOOLWICH.

Postby LauraB » Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:31 pm

Thanks Colin for the quick response...I never knew exactly when and where he was born so thats a great help.

I'm off on a search right now :p

Laura
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Re: ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY - WOOLWICH.

Postby callbrian » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:47 pm

Hi Laura,
check out http://www.familysearch.org for free here is the 1881 census return:
William Benson
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Birth Year: 1845
Birthplace: Kendal, Westmorland, England
Relationship to Head of Household: Head
Marital Condition: Married
Profession/Occupation: Gunner R Art Officers Serv
Address: 21 Hanover Rd
Census Place: Plumstead, Kent, England
Record Type: Household
Family History Library Film: 1341176
The National Archives Reference: RG11
Piece/Folio: 751 / 56
Page Number: 8
Household Gender Age
William Benson M 36
Spouse Ellen Benson F 38
Child John Benson M 3
Child Katie Benson F 2
Child Thomas Benson M 0
I have checked http://www.freebmd.org for a William Benson and there seem to be 4 possibles, obviously according to the 1881 census it should be the one born 1846.

Births Jun 1838 BENSON William Kendal 25 421

Births Mar 1839 Benson William Kendal 25 455

Births Dec 1839 Benson William Kendal 25 441

Births Dec 1846 Benson William Kendal 25 486

Brian
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Re: ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY - WOOLWICH.

Postby LauraB » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:40 pm

Thanks Brian...I had that information already, it's finding out his actual birthdate/place thats messing me up a bit.
As ColinB found, the birth year William gave when joining the army was 1841 but on all the census searches it give it as around 1846. This is possibly because he lied about his age to enlist. I know his father was called John (as written on his marriage certificate) but, I have no idea who his mother was so finding the true birth is proving difficult. That's why I thought his army records would have more information. I am going to try Findmypast as suggested and see what it throws up.

Thank you so much for taking the time to help me...your a star!

Laura.
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Re: ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY - WOOLWICH.

Postby meekhcs » Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:19 pm

This could possibly be the family in 1851
BENSON, John Head Married M 43 1808 Clerk Railway Station Underbarrow Westmorland
BENSON, Hannah Wife Married F 35 1816 Kellet Lancashire
BENSON, Mary Ann Daughter F 13 1838 Lancaster Lancashire
BENSON, Thomas Son M 2 1849 Scholar Lancaster Lancashire
BENSON, John Joseph Son M 7 1844 Scholar Lancaster Lancashire
BENSON, Margret Agness Daughter F 5 1846 Lancaster Lancashire
BENSON, William Henry Son M 3 1848 Kendal Westmorland
BENSON, Ellen Daughter F 1 1850 Hesket Cumberland
BENSON, Sarah Hannah Daughter F 0 (1 MOS) 1851 Hesket Cumberland
The family address is Railway Station Plumpton Street, Southwaite, Penrith nr Carlisle
I appreciate the year of birth for William is 1848, but it would seem unlikely there were 2 William Benson's, born in Kendall, with a father named John.
So if this is correct his mothers name was Hannah

The family are still there in 1861 as well

If this is correct there are quite a few references to John Benson in the railway records on ancestry.

Sally
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Re: ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY - WOOLWICH.

Postby ColinB » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:56 pm

A couple of messages have been lost from this thread after the Forum crashed. I think
you had ruled out William Henry Benson ?

I'm wondering if you should look beyond Kendal. The only Nether(s)town I can find is on the
coast between St Bees and Sellafield and was in Cumberland , not Westmoreland. It was part
of St Bees Parish , Allerdale Ward , Above Derwent.

Just a thought

Colin
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Re: ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY - WOOLWICH.

Postby LauraB » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:42 pm

Just an update.......

I have checked William's military records and all it says about his parents is ' Father John Benson Netherlands Westmoreland' so I am back to square one.

I have looked into the parishes of St. Bees and Egremont without any luck!

Where can I go next?
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Re: ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY - WOOLWICH.

Postby Sylcec » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:01 am

Although the family of John & Hannah with son William Henry looks good in 1851 - I see that William H is a coal porter at home with dad in 1871 - when we know he was in the R.A. So he has to be 'crossed off'

Unfortunately, by extending the search of possible birth years from 1840 - 1850, there are several William Bensons whose birth was registered in Westmoreland or Cumberland, though I suspect that some of those whose births were registered in June 1849 were duplicates, where someone has misread the page number from the microfiche index. I was going to suggest that you purchase a birth certificate - but have ended up with rather too many to choose from.

Using the 1851 census, the only one currently likely is William Benson, born at Hutton in Westmorland, son of John, an Ag Lab and wife Elizabeth - problem is that he is 13, meaning he would have been born abt 1838.

The location "Nether[s]town" or "Netherlands" is definitely a problem. Although there are several Nether ... locations in Westmoreland & Cumberland in the 1851 census, none of them fits into Kendal parish, and none has parish status. It looks as if William Benson was probably born in a remote rural location, where his parents may even have escaped the census enumerators, and possibly may not have registered his birth. (Registration was not compulsory until the 1870s).

Have checked the Family History Library Catalog and the LDS have very many microfilmed registers for Kendal and its chapelries. Using http://www.familysearch.org I have identified these possible families:
name: William Benson
gender: Male
baptism/christening date: 20 Oct 1851
baptism/christening place: GRAYRIGG,WESTMORLAND,ENGLAND
father's name: John Benson
mother's name: Eden
indexing project (batch) number: C04418-1
source film number: 97369
(This child could have been a few years old when baptised)

This will be the one I found on the census:
name: William Benson
gender: Male
baptism/christening date: 29 Apr 1838
baptism/christening place: Old Hutton, Westmorland, England
father's name: John Benson
mother's name: Elizabeth
indexing project (batch) number: C01702-5
system origin: England-EASy
source film number: 1471872

name: William Benson
gender: Male
baptism/christening date: 27 May 1836
baptism/christening place: Kendal, Westmorland, England
birth date: 27 Sep 1835
father's name: John Benson
mother's name: Sarah Benson
indexing project (batch) number: C01894-0
system origin: England-EASy
source film number: 1471686
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Re: ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY - WOOLWICH.

Postby LauraB » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:45 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to relay all this information to me unfortunately none of these are my Gt Grandfather.

Where to go next is my dilemma!!!

Do you think his marriage certificate will help?
I know he married Ellen Duffy in the Roman Catholic Chapel, Rathmines Sth Dublin in 1876 and by this time his father John was deceased.

Thanks again x
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