1861 Worldwide Army Census

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Compiled from musters contained in WO 10-11-12 War Office Paylists held at the National Archives, Kew, the 1861 Worldwide Army Index lists all other ranks subjects serving in the April-June Quarter of 1861 together with their regimental HQ location. The index is effectively a military surrogate for the 1861 census taken on 7 April 1871.

The index consists of almost 245,000 lines indicating army number, rank first and last names, regiment and regimental HQ location. This index does not contain the name of commissioned officers as in 1861 their names were excluded from the paylists. Officers might nevertheless be identified in the 1861 edition of the published Army List.

Many thousands of men of the British Army were serving overseas in far flung parts of the British Empire over many decades of the 1800s. Many of those serving in 1861 could well have been serving as early as 1835 whilst others who joined in the census year might well have continued their service as late as 1885, exceptionally 1890.

If a male subject cannot easily be found in the 1861 census then he may not be where expected; or in Ireland (where there is no 1861 census equivalent); serving in the navy or abroad. There is a high probability that he was serving in the army.

An 1871 Worldwide Army Index is also included in the Forces War Records collections. This includes commissioned officers and civilians working for the military.

Records in this collection are likely to include the following:

  • Name
  • Army Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
  • Regiment location.

Please be aware that due to the way we collate, and cross reference our databases, some records will contain more information than that listed above.

Original Source: Reproduced by courtesy of Roger Nixon

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