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On an 1853 marriage registration in Queens Co the bride's father was shown as a pensioner - what would the source of his money likely be?


Monday 18th Sep 2023, 03:15AM

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  • A military pension. Could be navy but far more likely army. He could also be a police pensioner but they tended to be described as "RIC pensioner", rather than just "pensioner".

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 18th Sep 2023, 09:54AM
  • Chances are it is a pension from Military Service.   My gg grandfather was a pensioner after the Crimean War. He was shot in 1855, pensioned in 1856... so they get their military wages still.  

    The government also had an offer for a lot of the pensioned soldiers, that they could 'trade' their pension for free voyage to Australia, for themselves, wife and children.... a guaranteed job for 7 years and then they received an allotment of land... the size of the land was determined on where they chose to live.  Land closer to the capital city was smaller, but if they moved further away from the city, they received a bigger land allotment.

    You will find the records in a couple of places.  First check somewhere like Find My Past or Ancestry to find the Military records (or Fold3).  Once you have those, the paperwork should include any pension details.  There are also archives on under the WO reference (War Office) in the UK Archives, because the Irish were still under the UK and fought under the British Army or Navy.

    It is possible that after the marriage in Queens County, they received the option to leave Ireland and move to Australia, which was still operating in the 1860s, but after the convict era stopped, I know they would not be called pensioner guards, they may have received free immigration instead. They were called pensioner guards because they were pensioners from military service, but guards on board a convict ship and then lawmen (usually) in Australia. 

    Hope that helps :) 


    Monday 18th Sep 2023, 11:01AM
  • Hi Lilly

    Thank you for your message. I am delighted to say that I found my man on Ancestry in the Chelsea Hospital pension records. I would like to see the originals but do not have a Fold3 account. I can access National Archives but their search system is confusing. if you could please give me some search tips, as your sound proficient, I would be very grateful.




    Tuesday 19th Sep 2023, 04:32AM
  • Hi Margaret,

    A few ways to get the records... yes Fold 3 is a paid site but you can have a free trial for 7 days and download the records for free, but if you choose to do this, I would make a list of WHO in your family you would like to look up, so you can download a few at the same time.  There is also Find MY Past which you can have a free trial of and download service records for free too.


    Because its 1853, you will need to  click the option for British military, even though he is from Ireland. 

    You will need to specifically look for the option which has his SERVICE RECORDS, because they generally hold the most information... its a packet, so it has Attestation Papers plus info regarding any pension from service.


    THEN..... if you would like more detail, you head to the National Archives UK online and type in his name, there are the WO (War Office) records and a few different data sets, which you can download for free.  They are usually the Chelsea pension records, or the hospital records which are quite simple but they are lovely to have.  They don't go into much detail, its just a list of patients the doctor saw on the day and simple notes.


    When you research him, I would research possible parents and siblings even if you don't know their names, just put in the surname and download a few possibles... especially if you have a location that is a definite... you can narrow down the the search. 


    THEN.... if he was offered a pension overseas, there are lots of resources for them too, but I don't know where he lived, so won't bombard you with info yet....


    Hopefully you see the message in the next day, I will try to come back and see if there is anything I can do to help.  If you can just leave his basic bio info - name, rough date or year of birth, wifes name, if you know the parents names... .or childrens names... where they lived in Ireland and where they moved to then we may be able to give you suggestions for resources there to open up some more info.


    Hope that info helps :) 



    Thursday 21st Sep 2023, 11:34AM
  • Hi Lilly

    Thank you for all your helpful suggestions. I have been able to get the item from Fold3 and now have the discharge papers from Chelsea and the one in Ireland. I am getting ready to go away for a couple of weeks so when I get back it will look forward to exploring some of your suggestions further.





    Wednesday 27th Sep 2023, 03:18AM

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