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Royal Artillery – Marriage and Baptism Records 1839 to 1891

Royal Artillery helmet plate imageThe Royal Regiment of Artillery ordered the recording of Marriages of its Non-Commissioned Officers and men plus the Baptisms of any of their children whilst on service, anywhere in the world. No doubt this was primarily for pension purposes. These records have largely been transcribed by the “Friends of the National Archives” and may be identified in series WO 69/63 to 73 (Royal Horse Artillery) and WO 69/551 to 582 (Royal Artillery). Large numbers of these records naturally apply to soldiers serving in India and so we include here how to identify these.

Fortunately for family historians, the data may be found on-line as follows:

Visit the Advanced Search Page of The National Archives at:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/advanced-search/

It is suggested that you then enter into the “Find Words” section, the name and surname of the soldier who was married, or who was the father of the child baptized, or the name and surname of the child.

Then enter into the “Search for or Within References”, the reference: WO 69

Then click on “Search”.   This should yield the entry for which you are looking – or a series of entries from which you should make a choice.

Beware!

  1. The results are truncated. This means that some, possibly key, items from the data of interest are excluded. These may be the rank of the soldier at the date of the event searched or may be the name of the Chaplain performing the ceremony.
  2. Some of the results may be duplicated and appear in more than one record.
  3. Children baptized of the same parents, are generally recorded in subsequent entries on the same page and are therefore grouped together, irrespective of location.
  4. It is generally not possible further to filter the results by typing “India” into the search criteria. Each separate Garrison is stipulated irrespective of its country. This means that, for example, “Rawalpindi” will be recognized. “India” will not.

Examples of more of the data, including “Remarks”, such as subsequent death of a child recently baptized, may be found by clicking on the “Headline” of the record found. (Remarks are generally written in “Red” across the original record.)

Please Note: that entries relating to “India” (including Arabia, Singapore, etc.) taken from the original record WO69/575 – 21 Brigade Royal Artillery – are transcribed and recorded as examples in the FIBIS Database at: Ecclesiastical & Registry Office Records > Royal Artillery in India.

Also Note: that remaining records in this (WO 69) series include Descriptions of soldiers, discharge, transfer to pension, transfer to reserve, decease, etc. These are very useful records, indeed.

Good Hunting!

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