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New UK Military Records on Fold3!

Our UK military records are expanding! We’ve recently added a new collection, “UK, Militia Attestation Papers, 1806-1915”. These records or attestation forms were filled out at the time of recruitment, and in most cases, annotated to the date of discharge. They form a record of military service for soldiers who fought in conflicts during that time period.

The collection is arranged alphabetically under regiments and in order of seniority.

Attestation Papers contain wonderful details for researching specific soldiers. They list parish, town, and county of birth, address at the time of enlistment, age, and trade or job. The papers also include a physical description including a place to list any distinctive characteristics or scars. The files list military service rendered and whether a soldier was wounded or received medals or decorations. They also list the name and address of next of kin.

Here are a few examples of what you might learn in this collection. John Hart from Wales served in the Royal Monmouthshire Engineers. His papers reveal that he didn’t show up for training in 1891 and was liable to serve for an additional year. In 1894, he was discharged by purchase, in other words, he obtained a discharge by payment.

The Attestation Papers for Robert Eastburn from Leeds record that his superiors deemed him unlikely to be an effective militiaman with defective intelligence and insubordination. He was discharged in 1906.

James Allison from Paisley, Scotland, was just 17-years-old when he joined the 26th Foot (Scottish Rifles) in 1875. His service record shows military service for 20 years before being discharged in 1895.

This collection of Attestation Papers provides a glimpse into the history of militias and multiple conflicts in the United Kingdom. If you are researching ancestors that served for the United Kingdom during this time, be sure to check out the collection on Fold3 today!


  1. Thomas Jesse Sims says:


  2. Patti-Ann Tanis says:

    Do these include records from Canada?

  3. Carol Cane says:

    Do these records include men posted to India in the late 1800s; specifically 1870-1890?

    • Madeleine says:

      I don’t understand why people are asking this sort of question, try logging in and looking at what is available.


      Thanks for asking ;this, Carol. I am looking for a g. uncle from Ireland who served in India 1895-96. So far, I haven’t found him in Fold 3. Hoping someone will step in here and point me toward what I’m missing.

    • Colin Hildreth says:

      For men who served in British India, many records (until partition in 1948) are kept at the British Library. Images and transcriptions from many resources are being put online progressively by FIBIS org, findmypast and ancestry among others. The British East India company and the British Raj kept accurate records people are able to access (most were returned to London successfully by sea).
      I had male ancestors who served in India and some married local women.

  4. William Getson says:

    Do these records include SCOTLAND? WW II ? KOREA?

    • Madeleine says:

      I don’t understand why people are asking this sort of question, try logging in and looking at what is available.

  5. LaurieD says:

    These are not WW2 records………or Korea – check the dates! Up to 1915. Post WW1 records from MOD only.

  6. Patti-Ann Tanis says:

    Thank you Madeleine. I did not want to subscribe if records were not included. Thank you for your time.

  7. George Smith says:

    You fail to mention that because of heavy bombing, fire and subsequent water damage in WW2, most of these records are either missing or unreadable.

  8. Melanie McCombs says:

    Would these include foreign recruits?

  9. Linda Fayers-Hallin says:

    Hi & Happy New Year,
    Does this UK Collection also include Royal Navy and Royal Marines?
    All my husbands relatives in the 1800s were from Portsmouth and served in those branches of the UK Military.
    Many thanks

  10. Karen Reid says:

    Hi there,

    Do these records include records from South Africa? I would really appreciate knowing. If not where can I look.

    Kind Regards

  11. Sarah says:

    Are these the same records that can be found on Ancestry or Find my Past?

  12. Mel says:

    Do the records include the Vietnam war?
    I had looked for my husband on it before and one of his friends, but was unsuccessful.

  13. Ian says:

    Thank you for sharing this exciting news, can you advise what date ranges are covered? I’m very interested in Scottish militia 1801 – 1814

    Thank you

  14. Dave Spencer says:

    I think it an absolute rip off when I have worldwide ancestry account to be asked to pay £40 more for military records

    • Alan B says:

      Do you? Ancestry membership includes free access to Fold3. If it is a rip off to have to pay for your records, how about considering the time and effort that has to be put in to make these records available online. Who should be paying for them if not the interested parties? Alternately, get on a plane/boat/train/bus to London, UK, and read them in the National Archive, if you can find them. How much is a hotel per night in Kew? £100? … £200.

      Think about what you are asking!

  15. Bernadette says:

    Hi all,
    There seems to be some confusion about these newly available records. First, they seem to be already available on FMP (and of course at NA Kew anyway) but also I think it may not be correct to say that to have full Ancestry membership one gets free Fold. My experience is that you get the index info, but nothing else – no detail. However, I have for several years been able to read this detail on FMP.
    Is there any variation in these UK records to make Fold worthwhile?

  16. DKSeaWA says:

    If you don’t have your own subscription to Fold3, check your local genealogical society. Mine has a subscription to Fold3. I simply make a trip to the genealogical society library and use the patron computers there.

    P.S. The years covered in the collection is in the title :
    “UK, Militia Attestation Papers, 1806-1915”.