The Friends of the National Archives have completed cataloguing more than 20,000 soldiers’ records held at the Kilmainham Hospital in Dublin from 1783-1822. The files can now be found in The National Archives Catalogue and could provide the key for many people trying to discover their family history.
Kilmainham Hospital administered some pensions until 1822, when Chelsea Hospital took over the administration of out-pensioners from both establishments. The task of cataloguing the pensioners’ discharge documents (certificates of service) in series WO 119 took a team of 14 volunteers over three years. These records are now being digitised by findmypast.co.uk, in association with The National Archives. The equivalent records from Chelsea Hospital (series WO 97) have already been digitised by findmypast.co.uk and have been catalogued up to 1854.
Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at findmypast.co.uk, said: ‘British Army service records are a wonderful family history resource, providing a level of detail that is hard to find elsewhere. Not only do these records tell us where and when our military ancestors served, but also where they were born, how tall they were, any injuries they obtained, along with comments about their conduct.’
The completion of the project by The Friends of The National Archives will make these records more accessible for family historians before they are put online later this year.