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Ancestry search - can't find anyone I'm looking for


John_Hartley

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I've obtained more hits with the regiment entered in the keyword section rather than the regiment!

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Well, I've checked all the A - H names. 288 of them. And how many hits?

Two. Just sodding two!!!!!

I searched mainly on service number only; sometimes filtering it down with the regiment. When it was a fairly uncommon name I've checked again just searching on surname. And other than these two - zilch, nix, zip, nada, nowt.

Assuming that Ancestry has actually uploaded everything, then I can only assume that some disaster befell the records of the 1/6th Manchester in the 1940s fire. Which is odd as I'd always assumed these were alphabetical rather than regimental files.

It's a real blow as I was hoping to do some major research into employment background. I know the Bn was pretty solidly middle class in 1914 but wanted to see if this continued with the replacments from the 2nd line and, subsequently how the class make-up was affected by replacments later in the war. I guess the only way forward is to try looking for newspaper obituaries.

Yours

Pi&&ed Off of Stockport

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Yours

Pi&&ed Off of Stockport

John,

It's sunny in Macc. :D

Sorry, couldn't resist it and sorry I can't help.

George

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Dear

"Pi&&ed Off of Stockport"

I have had similar experiences... always disappointing (and it seems none of the ones I really care about (family) survive).... but upon reflection 2/300 might not be much less than one might expect.

If 80% were actually destroyed (the figure usually quoted?) you would expect 6/300 [edit: see error below.....should be 60! so the following 2 lines are nonsense!]

allowing for mistranscriptions and incomplete digitisation perhaps that gets us down to 4/300

and then the imponderables (concentrations of certain regiments or certain letters destroyed.....) perhaps 2/300 is about right?

Just messing about....

If you just enter "Manchester" as a search term you get: 9,732 hits in the service records

If you enter "Manchester Regiment" you get: 4,193 hits

Manchester Regiment (lim 1914) 972

Mancherter Regiment (lim 1915) 1, 509

I would assume these first two would be the early recruits?

Manchester Regiment (lim 1916) 259

Manchester Regiment (lim 1917) 89

Manchester Regiment (lim 1918) 90

which gives a total of 2919 (wartime docs) so presumably the 1274 are pre/post war?

I wonder if the decline in numbers for 16/17/18 means the files were stored in chronological order/blocks and the latter years forms suffered more in the fire or are yet to be digitised?

Sorry - not much help. Sunny here too I'm afraid.

Chris

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Well, I've checked all the A - H names. 288 of them. And how many hits? Two. Just sodding two!!!!!

Hi John,

I've always wondered how the records were stored. You mention that you'd 'always assumed these were alphabetical rather than regimental files'. I'm now wondering if certain batches of the territorial files were in the part of the building most severely damaged. I have had a similar experience for 1/5th KOSB men i.e. very, very few surviving records. However, I also know of many men who enlisted in the 5th Bn. but were subsequently transferred to KOSB regular or service battalions - a much greater number of these men's records have survived. I have never worked out the numbers but I would confidently estimate at least 10 times more likely to find such a man's record.

I will now await other territorial battalion researchers get in touch to say that they've found hundreds of service files!

Yours almost as gloomy (I've had a few months to get over it),

Stuart

If 80% were actually destroyed (the figure usually quoted?) you would expect 6/300

A factor of ten out - you'd expect 60/300.

Stuart

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A factor of ten out - you'd expect 60/300.

Stuart

DOHHH! oops...sorry......must get a coffee.....

so yes, well under the "expected" numbers. and I have had a similar experience to you Stuart with the 1/4th Gordons

I just did a check on The Gordons..... by regiment name:

I found 397 listed as "Gordon Highlanders", 142 listed as "Gordon Hrs", 111 as "Gordon High", , 71 as "Gordons", , 50 as "Gordon H" and 26 as "Gordon Highs" yet if I search Gord* I get 1,462 so presumably there is some combination I have not yet found

tried and you get 173 hits for "Manc." 17 for "Mancs" etc so perhaps this is an issue. (if you put Manc* you get 10,000+ hits!)

there seem to be a good number filed as "Bn Manchester Regiment" but with no number

Of to learn to count again...sorry about the poor maths

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...sorry about the poor maths

Easily done, Chris.

I have just checked my stats of A-H surnames for men in the first contingent at Gallipoli - even worse than John (I know, it's not a competition you'd want to win), found 1 out of 373 possibles.

So, out os something over 2,700 KOSB A-H surname service records, one is for my territorial battalion.

Stuart :(

edit: added another stat

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"I get 1,462 so presumably there is some combination I have not yet found"

Probably under "Gordon Bennett" knowing Ancestry....

Steve.

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John,

After all the above doom and gloom, I do have a positive suggestion to make regarding your research into employment background. Since you have the 288 A-H names, probably already in alphabetical order, the best (although quite slow and tedious) use of the online records is to search Ancestry's WW1 Pension records (i.e. the WO 364 files). These are pretty good for territorial units, with the returned records mainly falling into two sets:

1. Time-expired with overseas service = 46

2. Men discharged on medical grounds/age who never served overseas = 177

For my lot, I have found 46 and 177 records for these two sets, respectively. That's out of just over 2,500 men. A lot better than 1 out of 373!

It will probably easier for you to check on the men with low regt. numbers and so more likely to be discharged time-expired in early 1916. Search with 'Manchester' or whatever other place name you want to use Keyword(s) box. You'll can search the full alphabet since the 'Pension' files have all been uploaded.

Let me know how you get on.

Stuart

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Stuart - I found Alexander Craven 2213 1/5th KOSB, Harles Hewitt 2224 (or 2824?) 1/5th KOSB and Arthur Clayton 3161 5th(Res BN) KOSB, by searching with "BN KOSB"

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Chris,

A couple of these are good examples of what I was trying to explain. Both 2213 Caven and 2224 Hewitt were 1/5th men who were discharged time-expired and re-enlisted a few months later and went on to serve with non-territorial KOSB battalions. Bet you if they had been posted back to the 1/5th Bn. their records wouldn't have survived!

With a number in the 3*** series, Clayton must be a bit of an odd one. I will check him out, he's probably an overage National Reservist or such like.

Cheers,

Stuart

edit: 3161 Clayton is KOYLI, not KOSB (good old Ancestry indexing)

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Phew, I'm glad it's not just me (and I feel your pain, Stuart).

Seeing as I'll have to do newspaper obituary research in any event, I'll probably work from there for now to try track any employment patterns (particularly as its the later recruits that particularly interest me).

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the reason that there are no SRs for territorials on ancestry,is because the SRs for TF battalions,were kept at local level,in the city/town of the respective battalions.

the few SRs on ancestry,are for territorials who were given a war pension,others are for terriers who went on to serve in a non TF unit.

if any TF records survive,they should be at your local GRO or the regimental museum.

mack

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the reason that there are no SRs for territorials on ancestry,is because the SRs for TF battalions,were kept at local level,in the city/town of the respective battalions.

the few SRs on ancestry,are for territorials who were given a war pension,others are for terriers who went on to serve in a non TF unit.

if any TF records survive,they should be at your local GRO or the regimental museum.

mack

Which I can tell you succinctly - are NOT available anywhere for 4th RWF TF, and I think also for 5, 6, 7th as well. Which ties in with other threads - Where the hell are these TF records?

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Which I can tell you succinctly - are NOT available anywhere for 4th RWF TF, and I think also for 5, 6, 7th as well. Which ties in with other threads - Where the hell are these TF records?
hiya geraint.

they are probably gathering dust,in a museum or a GRO,i reckon most of them were destroyed years ago.

i have searched everywhere for the manchesters TF records,i hit the same brick wall as you.

mack

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of about 300 (across the board) Ive had a look for Ive found 8 service or pension files. no officers of course or killed. I did find one with an MM but it didnt say much about that which I was well P#####d off about. :angry: . Stll another 25 MICs scnce last week was not bad.

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  • 4 months later...

Geraint. Maybe there are some recent gremlins in the works. I have to say of the 100 or so MIC's I have been looking for. only 1 was missing. I got it from N/A.

Maybe because of the relatively small area, I had already found most of the Reg numbers before I looked for the MIC's. I think if you have the number, it's much easier to get the MIC. If Ancestry have lost chunks of the alphabet, I'm glad I have most of the MIC's I was after.

Also agree, less is more.

Cheers Mike.

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the reason that there are no SRs for territorials on ancestry,is because the SRs for TF battalions,were kept at local level,in the city/town of the respective battalions.

the few SRs on ancestry,are for territorials who were given a war pension,others are for terriers who went on to serve in a non TF unit.

if any TF records survive,they should be at your local GRO or the regimental museum.

I've just seen this thread for the first time and I have to say I disagree totally with the above.

There are thousands of TF service records on Ancestry. In my experience of searching for men of a single TF battalion I have searched up to the letter H and whilst I have obviously missed some due to poor indexing, etc., I have made the following observations:

Total records found so far: 155

KIA or DOW: 25

Discharged wounds or sickness: 20

Subsequently served in None-TF Unit: 35

Only served in 1 (TF) unit: 100

The enlistment dates range from 1908-1916.

Perhaps some County Territorial Associations had different practices to others with record to submission of records.

Ken

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