What are the Militia Attestation Papers?
These records are brought to you online in association with The National Archives (TNA). The TNA record series number is ‘WO96’: WO simply indicates that the records were created by the War Office, the precursor of today’s Ministry of Defence.
The Militia was a voluntary county-based part-time force for home defence. It ceased to be summoned after the Civil War but was revived in 1757, when the Militia Act established militia regiments in all counties of England and Wales.
Why are these records useful to the family historian?
These records provide rich detail and colour to your ancestors’ lives at a level that is difficult to find elsewhere. Many of your ancestors will have served in the militia, often as a precursor to serving in the British Army so these records will provide a useful addition to our British Army Service Records.
Whereas many other military records provide information about officer class soldiers, these records include papers from ordinary soldiers of other ranks. This makes it more likely that you will be able to find details about your ancestors. If searching the censuses leads to a dead end, it is possible you can find who you are looking for here. Men often attested into one corps and out of another.
What exactly will I be able to find out?
The Militia Attestation Papers provide a record of service as they were annotated until the date of discharge. They also have information about birth date and place.
What else is special about the Militia Attestation Papers?
They contain details which are largely unavailable elsewhere. These records are useful in finding out information about ancestors from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and overseas.
This is the first time these records have been scanned, transcribed and published online.