Discover your ancestor among 245,000 soldiers who were serving at the time of the 1861 England and Wales Census. As well as being a superb substitute for that census the 1861 Worldwide Army Index gives details for ordinary soldiers from the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Cavalry, Guards, Infantry and other units serving both in Britain and elsewhere in the British Empire.
Each record contains a transcript of the original record. The amount of information varies but you can find out the following about your ancestor:
Unit of regiment
National Archives reference for further research
The 1861 Worldwide Army Index (or The 1861 Worldwide Soldier Index) entailed the extraction of some 245,000 serving soldiers listed in the National Archives April-June quarter.
Paylists held in WO 10 (Royal Artillery), WO 11 (Royal Engineers) and WO 12 (Cavalry, Guards, Infantry and other units) series War Office records. It includes records not only of other ranks of soldiers serving in Britain, but also men serving in Queen Victoria's Army far-flung empire outposts. For this reason, it can be an exceptionally useful source in identifying men missing from the 1861 census returns.
The index provides the names, ranks, army numbers and regiments of about 98% of other ranks subjects serving in the British Army. A small number, estimated at about 5000 men, are not included because the Paylists listing their names have not survived.
If a man aged 14-18 years or older cannot be found in the 1861 census, or the findmypast.co.uk collection, then consulting the 1861 Worldwide Army Index is essential. Once candidates have been located they can then be further researched in National Archives records. Whilst soldiers listed in the 1861 Worldwide Army Index will only be seen to be serving in one quarter of 1861, they may nevertheless have been serving as early as 1840 or might have continued in service up to as late as 1882.