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  1. #1
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    Default Tracing a Driver in the Royal Artillery 1861

    Iím trying to find out what happened to my greatx3 uncle, Joseph YOUNG/YOUNGS. The last record I have of him is from the 1861 census when, aged 20, he is a Driver at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.

    There is a record on fmp in the 1861 worldwide army index which I think is him. He is Driver, Number 2084 of 1st Divisional Depot R.A, but after this the trail goes cold. I cannot find a service record in the fmp ones, or see him on any later census, or a marriage/death record. Where should I look next? Will there be other records of his army service?

    To bring everyone up to speed, here is the info I have already:
    Census refs:
    1861: RG 9/405; Folio: 169; Page: 20;
    1851: HO107/1764; Folio: 641; Page: 14;
    1841: HO107/77/3; Folio: 07; Page: 08.

    1861 Worldwide Army Index: Joseph YOUNG, Driver, Number 2084 of 1st Divisional Depot R.A.

    He was born 28 Jan 1840 in Purls Bridge, Cambridgeshire (originally part of parish of Downham, later came under parish of Manea) baptised 24 May 1840 at Manea, Cambridgeshire. Birth wasn't registered - info is from the parish registers.

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    1861 Worldwide Army Index
    I think this is Frank Turner's list although it isn't properly attributed by FMP. This is data extracted from the Pay & Muster Lists, WO 10.

    Where should I look next? Will there be other records of his army service?
    He may have died in service which would explain why there's no discharge record in WO 97. Unfortunately it isn't easy to find much about men who died in service

    Starting wih the WO 10 data from the "1861 Worldwide Army Index" track him forwards (and backwards if you want) through WO 10 (and related series as necessary, see the Research Guide)

    Also see Battery records of the Royal Artillery 1716-1877 by M E S Laws. There's a copy in the Reference Library.

    It may be worth looking in the Description Books WO 54 and WO 69.

    Needless to say this is something to be done in person at the National Archives (or pay someone to do it for you).

    I assume you've already searched the GRO Military and Overseas Death Indexes?

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    Thanks Peter, I really didn't have any idea where to start, so I will get reading and plan a trip to the National Archives. I don't suppose there will be much tracing back, as he was only 20 in 1861, but would be good to know when he signed up.

    I did look in the GRO Military and Oversees Death Indexes and couldn't see anything. If he did die in service, would there be any record of it there or elsewhere? or would he just stop appearing in the pay lists? I guess the other option is that he moved abroad, but with a common name like Joseph YOUNG, that could be difficult to find.

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    If he did die in service, would there be any record of it there or elsewhere?
    With luck it will be specifically noted in the pay and muster lists. If you're really lucky you can build up a better picture of his service than you would with discharge documents. But then there are records missing and I don't think there are any returns from India for the Artillery.

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