Officer & soldier records

This guide was last updated in 2010

The higher the rank of your ancestor, the easier it is likely to be to find out information about him, although you will not find service records for this period in the way you might for later ancestors.

For those who played key roles in the conflict, you may find mention of them in the Dictionary of National Biography or narratives of the war.

There are also various publications, such as The Army Lists of the Roundheads and Cavaliers 1642 by Edward Peake or Officers and Regiments of the Royalist Army by Stuart Reid, which may mention ancestors who achieved a certain rank.

Otherwise, there are sources in local and national archives that might just mention your soldiering ancestor by name.

For example, some records of local militia and the provisions made for them survive. Quarter Session records contain petitions for financial help for wounded soldiers or the widows and children of men killed, sometimes providing impressive detail about their military service and the nature of their injuries.

Naturally, petitions by Royalist and Parliamentarian followers would have been brought at different times, depending on who was in power, so you may find a petition brought years after the event.


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