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41st Regt of Foot. the Invalids. 1784

Post your queries about your military ancestors, or help fellow researchers find out about theirs.
Jimbo50
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Joined: 15 Jun 2020, 19:26

Re: 41st Regt of Foot. the Invalids. 1784

Post by Jimbo50 »

Thank you very much, Mo and Adrian for your help, that's brilliant. I only have the 1784 baptism link for John McDonald. He is probably my ancestor, albeit, a decent match for him, It's the right name, date and place for my 5 x Gt Grandmother's birth.
Surrounding that record were many returned couples from American war, some children were born on board troop ships. These were well recorded by the Minister. Following that, I would think that John McDonald was with the 41st at the time.
I have failed to find the 41st mentioned in any of the TNA WO 121 records, only mentioned were Invalid Regiments, which I thought were usually part of their original regiment as the 41st had a fighting battalion by this time. I was able to view the first FMP image I wanted to, but after that it was asking for a subscription. Also, my TNA searches were coming up with allsorts. I will try again but it appeared to me to be malfunctioning at the time.
VALLMO9
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Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 21:28

Re: 41st Regt of Foot. the Invalids. 1784

Post by VALLMO9 »

Jimbo50 wrote: 28 Oct 2022, 19:28 I was able to view the first FMP image I wanted to, but after that it was asking for a subscription. Also, my TNA searches were coming up with allsorts.
Questions for clarity: What FMP record have you accessed? (I take it you don't have a FMP sub. Do you have an Ancestry sub?)

You probably know this already: In 1787 the 41st Regiment ceased to comprise invalids and became a conventional line regiment.
That timeline may explain why that John McDonald was discharged in Jan 1788 in Portsmouth. His Chelsea Pensioner record states he was physically unfit by 1788.

TNA's Discovery catalogue has been working for me today. Go into the Advanced Search screen. Type 41st in the "Exact word or phrase" search field. Then type WO 121 in one of the "Any of these references" boxes. This should return 608 search results within the WO 121 series. You can filter the results by Date (century).

Or you can simply search John McDonald and 41st. That will give you 3 search results.
Here is the TNA link for the record I mentioned two days ago: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov. ... r/C8910206

The 41st and 42nd Muster Rolls are not online. They need to be viewed at TNA.
Here is one of the TNA links for the WO 12 series: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov. ... r/C2465243
Last edited by VALLMO9 on 28 Oct 2022, 20:14, edited 1 time in total.
VALLMO9
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Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 21:28

Re: 41st Regt of Foot. the Invalids. 1784

Post by VALLMO9 »

One other question: Besides your 5 x Gt Grandmother (Mary McDonald), what other details do you have for the family? Did she have any siblings? Have you tracked any of them? Where did the family end up? Did they move away from Portsmouth?
Last edited by VALLMO9 on 28 Oct 2022, 20:48, edited 1 time in total.
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AdrianBruce
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Location: South Cheshire

Re: 41st Regt of Foot. the Invalids. 1784

Post by AdrianBruce »

VALLMO9 wrote: 27 Oct 2022, 23:41... So I found the FMP Chelsea Pensioner record (dated 1788) for the John McDonald who served with the 42nd regiment, then the 41st regiment. ... But it could all just be a coincidence...
Yes, exactly(?) - my point is that only a minority (possibly a substantial minority?) of soldiers were discharged to pension. Hence there could have been any number of John McDonalds in a single regiment, only some of which ended up with a Chelsea Pensioner record.

In the absence of comprehensive recruitment and discharge records, the only way to crack this is to look at the Muster Rolls. These contain full lists of all soldiers in the whatever regiment / battalion. (Though even there, one needs to be wary of guys at Depots, in the Depot's Muster Rolls, and not in their "proper" regimental Muster Rolls). There might be enough details in their Muster details to distinguish each John McDonald. Incidentally, the first and last Muster in a regiment for a soldier may contain details of where they've come from or are going to...
Adrian Bruce
VALLMO9
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Re: 41st Regt of Foot. the Invalids. 1784

Post by VALLMO9 »

AdrianBruce wrote: 28 Oct 2022, 20:41 Yes, exactly(?) - my point is that only a minority (possibly a substantial minority?) of soldiers were discharged to pension. Hence there could have been any number of John McDonalds in a single regiment, only some of which ended up with a Chelsea Pensioner record.
Exactly. My direct ancestor's 1785 marriage states he was serving with the 24th Regiment at the time. Other than that, I have no idea when or where he was born, nor what happened to him. No online military records for him seem to exist. There is a chap with his name mentioned in the Muster Rolls shortly after 1785, but there's no indication of that soldier's age or place of birth. Sadly, my ancestor's a mystery man. :roll:
Jimbo50
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Joined: 15 Jun 2020, 19:26

Re: 41st Regt of Foot. the Invalids. 1784

Post by Jimbo50 »

Thank you very much Mo and Adrian for looking and advising.
Answers; I don't have any subs at moment. The image I looked at wasn't very relevant, it was just a test run to see if it would be successful. If i'd known it was a one-off I would have been more selective.
I traced this baptism from Mary (the daughter) McDonald's 1808 marriage in Greenwich on which it states, Of this Parish. Born Portsmouth. Witnesses; Groom's father and a Margaret 'Tune'? I don't know if the McDonald family left Portsmouth or in fact, whether they lived there for any length of time.
I''l have a try with your suggestions, Mo. Thanks.
Jimbo50
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Joined: 15 Jun 2020, 19:26

Re: 41st Regt of Foot. the Invalids. 1784

Post by Jimbo50 »

Your TNA link was a breeze, thank you Mo. it looked really promising. I'll never be able to get to Kew though. I'm quite annoyed at FMP. I've just tried variables in calculated order and tonight , John McDonald didn't appear in FMP searches at all. WO121 is actually appearing as a record set tonight , it definitely didn't last night. What's going on ? Has anybody else experienced this selective ,irritating , excuse for a search of records ? No wonder people have so many dead ends to their research. Am I wrong in assuming that the searches are failing from overload ?
Following that, a click to remove a record set from the search and, twelve have now appeared with no changes to my criteria. I've found a 1788 41st and 69th Foot John McDonald. Can't see any other 41st. Can't view the original either. But, behold, here's the one I viewed last night.
John McDonald Discharged.jpg
John McDonald Discharged.jpg (732.34 KiB) Viewed 717 times
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AdrianBruce
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Location: South Cheshire

Re: 41st Regt of Foot. the Invalids. 1784

Post by AdrianBruce »

It's a bit baffling but part of the problem is that FMP appear to have layered source on source on source... To find what I now suspect is Mo's chap from the TNA stuff:

Go to FMP Search / Military, armed forces & conflict / Regimental & Service Records

You'd think that WO 121 would be a Record Set that can be chosen from there. No. The closest that you get is "British Army Service Records". I can't see WO 121 as a choice that can be made on this route. I searched "British Army Service Records" on John McDonald (and variant names), regiment *41*. (This is one thing you must bear in mind - searching by regiment is a doddle providing you stick wild card asterisks front and back. OK, you'll also get the 141st Regiment but that's not a problem as there wasn't one.)
There are just 3, one of which is this:
First name(s) John
Discharge corps Welsh Regiment - 41st & 69th Foot
Last name McDonald
Document type Discharge
...
Series Wo 121 - Chelsea: Pensioners' Discharge Documents 1760-1887 (so WO 121 is there but it's a layer further down again...)
Birth county -
Reference WO 121
Service number -
Box 0138
Regiment Welsh Regiment - 41st & 69th Foot
Record set British Army Service Records
Attestation year 1788
Subcategory Regimental & Service Records
Discharge date 03 Jan 1788

Whether this is the one that Mo found in the TNA stuff, I am not totally sure. Right name and year but... I was about to launch a tirade about the indexing but it's a complicated story - he was 3y in the 42nd; then sent to the Regiment of Invalids where he served for 5y & 6m (making 8y 6m as per TNA index!) The Regiment of Invalids became the 41st, became the Welch. So I think it is probably the one that Mo found in the TNA search. FMP have indexed it, effectively, only under the last regiment (41st - which itself is then indexed under the Welch / Welsh)

So if he's discharged from the 41st in Jan 1788, having spent 5y 6m in it, then he joined the 41st in mid-1782, I think. And joined the Army and the 42nd in roughly mid 1779 (i.e. 3y earlier)
Adrian Bruce
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AdrianBruce
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Re: 41st Regt of Foot. the Invalids. 1784

Post by AdrianBruce »

Just to add to the mix, it is possible to access WO 121 via a browse facility. Do Search / All Record Sets and put "Army" in the Search Box. Near to the top (if you're sorting the output by Number of Records), is "British Army Service Records Image Browse".

Select that and you get a screen where you can browse the series - one of those is WO 121. You can even add the piece number.

The problem is that the ordering of the images obviously meant something to the clerk but doesn't to me! In other words, this is a browse with all the accessibility problems that brings...
Adrian Bruce
VALLMO9
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Re: 41st Regt of Foot. the Invalids. 1784

Post by VALLMO9 »

Interestingly, the FMP image that Jimbo attached above isn't the one I found. The record I found apparently relates to this TNA one:

WO 121 - Chelsea Pensioners' Discharge Documents 1760-1887
Date: 1788
Description: JOHN MCDONALD
Born [Not Known]
Served in 42nd Foot Regiment; 41st Foot Regiment
Discharged aged [Not Known] after 8 years 6 months of service

Unfortunately I can't remember how to include an image on the forum. So the way I found the FMP record (with image) is this way:

Go to: Military, armed forces & conflict
Search for John McDonald (don't tick "name variants")
Then type 41st in the Optional keywords field (Tip: I rarely put the regiment number in the Regiment search field)
And that's it. You'll get 5 search results. The 1788 record will be the one at the top. :D
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