Welcome, fellow genealogists! My blog will teach you about U.S. land records and United Kingdom research. My family has roots in Niagara County, New York; Norfolk, England; and northeast Germany.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: forces-war-records.co.uk

My post a few weeks ago has inspired me to learn more about researching UK military records. A tiny item in the June 2013 issue of the Norfolk Ancestor, the journal of the Norfolk Family History Society, led me to the ‘forces war record’ site whose URL is in the title of today’s post.

Although a subscription site, there is plenty of useful free information, and the subscription rate is low at £8.95/month. You can search for a person by first name and surname and specify a war or era. Thinking about my timeline of a few weeks ago, I am happy to share this sites categories: Napoleonic, 1799-1815; Early 19th Century, 1815-1853; Crimean, 1853-1856; Victorian Conflicts, 1857-1899; Boer, 1899-1902; WWI; WWII.
Searching World War II records for the surname BRETT, I got a free list of 330 names with rank, year and the unit or ship where the person served. It was fascinating to see that the last category included people marked as “civilian war dead.” There were also names of military personnel serving in foreign units like the Royal Canadian Air Force and the South African Engineer Corp.

There are at least two ways to get to a very complete Military Genealogy Tutorial. The easiest is on the home page, click ‘search’ and then tutorials. Topics include the army, royal navy, and medals.
There is a place to click to perform a free search of medieval records so again I searched for BRETTs. Among others, I found William Le Bret, an archer in 1440. Next to his record was a lengthy explanation of the Hundred Years War. Be sure to try a medieval search because the results come up with the heading, ‘Thy search hath yielded 943 results.’ Too cute!

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