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Remembered Today:

Sources of information - researching individual soldiers


johndavidswarbrick
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Dear All,

 

For the past ten years, on and off, I have been researching all of the men with my surname, Swarbrick, who served in the Great War. I am now bringing this research to a halt. Before I finally put it to bed, I wonder if anyone can suggest any possible untapped resource that I may have missed. I have used all of the following:

Medal Index Cards - Medal Rolls - S.W.B. Rolls

C.W.G.C.

Surviving Service and/or Pension records

Battalion War Diaries

Register of Soldiers' Effects

Pension Ledger Index Cards

Local Newspaper accounts - Published casualty lists - London Gazette

Surviving Absent Voters Lists

Parish and School magazines

International Red Cross P.O.W. records

Hospital admissions and discharge records - National Archives

Long Long Trail

Online Ancestry family history trees

National Roll of the Great War

Online War Memorials and Rolls of Honour

 

Dave Swarbick

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It greatly depends on who the man was, where he lived and the unit with which he served, but local history archives often have useful material. Parish magazines, employers records, etc. Can be hard work and by no means guaranteed of success, but useful as a category to consider.

 

The enlistment registers exist for very few regiments and corps, mainly (possibly exclusively?) held by their archivist. 

Edited by Chris_Baker
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Th overwhelming majority of the men I was looking at were from Lancashire, and I have used the Lancashire Records Office and several Lancashire libraries. I am not aware of any surviving enlistment registers which cover the relevant areas.

 

Edited by johndavidswarbrick
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How about Find-a-Grave and similar sites? - May find headstones with family members also listed so perhaps either expanding family knowledge or linking casualties or both, etc.

Good luck

:-) M

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Not sure if you're counting Swarbrick men who served with CEF and AIF etc, if so, obviously all their records. And assume you include the British Newspaper Archive in your "Local Newspaper accounts - Published casualty lists - London Gazette " worth remembering that searching non-local newspapers can be very useful.

 

Mike

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How about Find-a-Grave and similar sites? - I have used this - finding information about those who died is relatively easy - it's the ones who lived who were the most difficult to track.

 

Not sure if you're counting Swarbrick men who served with CEF and AIF etc, if so, obviously all their records. - Yes, I have covered those, as you know their records are much better reseources, basically because they survive more or less intact. 

 

 And assume you include the British Newspaper Archive in your "Local Newspaper accounts - Published casualty lists - London Gazette " worth remembering that searching non-local newspapers can be very useful. Again, I have used these; when I started out I made regular trips to Colindale to the British Library Newspaper facility there, now since sadly closed. Since then I have used both the Find My Past Newspapers and the British Newspaper Archive. 

 

Dave

 

Edited by johndavidswarbrick
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2 hours ago, johndavidswarbrick said:

from Lancashire

If any were in the Manchester Regiment, you could try Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour and the Manchester Regiment Group Forum.

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1 minute ago, Don Regiano said:

If any were in the Manchester Regiment, you could try Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour and the Manchester Regiment Group Forum.

 

Thanks, I have already done that and found a couple that way.

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2 minutes ago, johndavidswarbrick said:

 

Thanks, I have already done that and found a couple that way.

 

OK.  There's also Prescot and St Helens but I guess you've checked there too.

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1 minute ago, Don Regiano said:

 

OK.  There's also Prescot and St Helens but I guess you've checked there too.

Yes, I have checked as many of the online and available Rolls of Honour as I could find.  

 

Thanks for responding.

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My thanks to all those who responded. I think I have covered all the available resources.

 

Dave

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You have Hospital admissions and discharge records - National Archives on your list.

 

There are two Swarbricks in other MH106 series at TNA. #180097 RWJ Swarbrick RFA under MEDICAL CARDS  & #680008 M Swarbrick RFA under MEDICAL SHEETS.

 

 

 

I think the above have only fairly recently been indexed, I wonder what else is out there as yet un-indexed. That plus Improvements in OCR technology and transcriptions could mean that more information is out there.

TEW

 

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_aq=Swarbrick&_cr=Mh106|Pin26&_dss=range&_ro=any&_st=adv

 

 

 

Edited by TEW
Corrected regimental number
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13 hours ago, TEW said:

You have Hospital admissions and discharge records - National Archives on your list.

 

There are two Swarbricks in other MH106 series at TNA. #180097 RWJ Swarbrick RFA under MEDICAL CARDS  & #68008 M Swarbrick RFA under MEDICAL SHEETS.

 

I think the above have only fairly recently been indexed, I wonder what else is out there as yet un-indexed. That plus Improvements in OCR technology and transcriptions could mean that more information is out there.

TEW

 

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_aq=Swarbrick&_cr=Mh106|Pin26&_dss=range&_ro=any&_st=adv

 

 

 

Thanks for this. I already have one of these men: Swarbrick Miles, Royal Field Artillery, Gunner, 680008 - I see that the Regimental number you quote is slightly different, but I'm sure it's the same man. I don't have anything on the other man, who is listed as being aged 23 and in hospital at Lancaster. No soldier with that number has a surviving M.I.C. - so he probably did not serve overseas. I will try and chase up any possible candidates. 

 

I agree that there are probably more men contained in those unindexed records, however I have to decide when to stop researching this particular area. I decided some time ago that I would wait until the Pension Ledger Index Cards from the W.F.A. were complete on Fold3 - which I suspect may well be the last major set of records available - and then wrap up what I have. You have now given me a pause - perhaps I need to check with the N.A. what they intend in terms of indexing these medical records. 

 

Thanks again.

 

 

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How many names/numbers do you actually have, and, would it be possible to post them, then others could let you know if they find new ones. I understand if that's not possible.

 

Mike

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When I first started my WW1 research on a  family member, I had not considered the possibility of them enlisting in peacetime. Not only did the man in question enlist before the war, he also enlisted prior to 1911, and I was able to find him with the battalion in Kent.

It is worth seeing whether some of your one-name list of WW1 participants enlisted prior to 1914, and whether they have military addresses on the 1911 census.

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I'm waiting for the 1921 census release to get a post-war picture.

TEW

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4 hours ago, Skipman said:

How many names/numbers do you actually have, and, would it be possible to post them, then others could let you know if they find new ones. I understand if that's not possible.

 

Mike

I have just under 300 men for whom I have found some form of record. Of those just under 240 served with the British army, the rest spread between the other forces and Canadian, Australian and New Zealand forces. There are a number of U.S. draft records as well. I have been able to identify nearly all of the men for whom I have records. The following men are the ones who I have not been able to place into the correct families:

Swarbrick George, A.S.C., Private, M/346779

Swarbrick George, Royal Lancaster Regiment, Private, 266052

Swarbrick Harry, 1 Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, Private 9961

Swarbrick Henry, Loyal North Lancs., Private, 44871

Swarbrick James, R.G.A., Gunner, 308854

Swarbrick John, Royal Field Artillery, Gunner, 680966

Swarbrick John, A. S. C., Acting Corporal, M2/182987

 

Swarbrick John, Liverpool Regiment, Private, 5823

                             Ditto 202752

Joseph Swarbrick 8th Hussars 2203

Swarbrick Joseph, Liverpool Regiment, Private, 7439

                                                                            204124

 

Swarbrick Joseph Private 27500 Royal Army Service Corps

Swarbrick Richard, Hampshire Regiment, Private, 56192

Swarbrick Richard, Royal Field Artillery, Driver, 690354

Swarbrick Thomas, Welsh Regiment, Private, 60824

 

Swarbrick T., Bedfordshire Regiment, Private, 40814

                         Essex Regiment                        44669

Swarbrick William, Royal Lancs. Regiment, Private, 21056

Swarbrick William, A.S.C., Private, DM2/164782

Swarbrick William, Hampshire Regiment, Private, 55064

Swarbrick William, R.G.A., Gunner, 308845

 

Swarbrick William, 1/Royal Scots, Private, 2777

                                Gordon Highlanders, 34000

Swarbrick, Farrier W., 2088 A.S.C., [Based at] Cirencester, Gloucester

 

I do have additional bits and pieces for some of the above, mostly M.I.C.s  - but nothing that would serve to properly identify the man's family. 

 

Dave

 

 

Edited by johndavidswarbrick
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3 hours ago, Keith_history_buff said:

When I first started my WW1 research on a  family member, I had not considered the possibility of them enlisting in peacetime. Not only did the man in question enlist before the war, he also enlisted prior to 1911, and I was able to find him with the battalion in Kent.

It is worth seeing whether some of your one-name list of WW1 participants enlisted prior to 1914, and whether they have military addresses on the 1911 census.

 

I have checked for pre-war service via surviving records and also looked at available attestation papers from 1890 - 1910. I have trawled the 1911 census extensively.

 

Dave

Edited by johndavidswarbrick
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What is more important than service records is where the man only has a MIC, you can ascertain that he enlisted pre-war as a result of checking against the armyservicenumbers blog, and the military address on the census means it is often the only other source other than the MIC that documents that individual's military career.

 

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Your original list has Surviving Service and/or Pension records and later you mention Ancestry Trees. You may have covered this but Findmypast will pull up some records not found on Ancestry.

 

Again, you may have covered parish records but FMP add new batches.

 

Sounds probable that once you've put this project to bed another source will pop up.

TEW

 

 

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19 minutes ago, TEW said:

Your original list has Surviving Service and/or Pension records and later you mention Ancestry Trees. You may have covered this but Findmypast will pull up some records not found on Ancestry.

 

Again, you may have covered parish records but FMP add new batches.

 

Sounds probable that once you've put this project to bed another source will pop up.

TEW

 

 

Thanks - yes I have used Find My Past and Fold3 and yes, I am sure that as soon as I put this to bed other sources will miraculously appear. 

 

The ones that elude me are, of course, the ones who served without going overseas and whose records disappeared in the Blitz. At least a M.I.C. gives me a starting point. 

 

I should add that all of my WW1 research has been done against the background of my more general research into all Swarbrick families, I have 80+ separate Swarbrick families on my database and the WW1 men are cross referenced to those records. 

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FMP will certainly help with results that are difficult to find on Ancestry for example, not sure if you have this service record for Swarbrick George, A.S.C., Private, M/346779 but there is at least one address on it, though difficult to read.

 

This a better link maybe to first page https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM%2FWO363-4%2F007367443%2F00476&parentid=GBM%2FWO363-4%2F7367443%2F14%2F476

 

Mike

Edited by Skipman
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3 hours ago, Skipman said:

FMP will certainly help with results that are difficult to find on Ancestry for example, not sure if you have this service record for Swarbrick George, A.S.C., Private, M/346779 but there is at least one address on it, though difficult to read.

 

This a better link maybe to first page https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM%2FWO363-4%2F007367443%2F00476&parentid=GBM%2FWO363-4%2F7367443%2F14%2F476

 

Mike

 

Hi Mike,

 

I agre that Find My Past has better images and I do use it as well as Ancestry - I do have George's records, the address is 29, Water Lane and he was born at St Annes-on-Sea. He is on my list of unplaced because he was illigitimate - Swarbrick was his [unknown] father's name under which he enlisted, but there are no existing records that I have found which throw any light on which Swarbrick fathered him. He seems to have been raised by his non-Swarbrick grandparents and I have not found him after he left the army - I suspect he may well have reverted to his mother's name, but I can't find him. 

 

Thanks,

 

Dave

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10 hours ago, Skipman said:

Not want to keep guessing (unless you're happy for others to keep trying)  but is this useful?  https://www.rootspoint.com/record/1891-UK-Census/Thomas-Swarbrick-1858-Ireland-Preston/e58af5a2-ccd5-4577-a296-01f7b80efe26/

 

Mike

 

You seem to have chanced upon one of those coincidences that crop up in family history from time to time. George Swarbrick's address at the time of his attestation was 29, Water Lane [rest obscured] - the address of his maternal grandparents, who I'm pretty sure raised him, in 1911 was 29, Water Lane, Newport and George was with them at that date. You have wonderfully found a Thomas Swarbrick living at 29, Water Lane, Preston, albeit twenty years earlier!  His entry states his birthplace as Ireland, which is possible, there were Swarbricks who lived in County Caven about that time, but I suspect that he wasn't from Ireland; the Howard family with whom he lived were, and I suspect that the enumerator simply continued the ditto marks to include Thomas. I will try and see if I can identify exactly who this Thomas Swabrick was, and see where it takes me.

 

I am more than happy for you, or anyone else, to lend a hand. Posting queries such as mine on a website such as this are surely designed to invite help. 

 

Thanks

 

Dave

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