Saturday, 30 October 2010

Boer War records database on FindmyPast

From FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk):

FINDMYPAST.CO.UK PUBLISHES ONLINE OVER 260,000 RECORDS FROM THE 2ND BOER WAR

* Boer War Deaths 1899-1902 now available to search on findmypast.co.uk

* Details of over 260,000 names of the men and women who served the British Empire forces

* Includes the most up to date casualty list of 59,000 casualties with more background than ever before

Leading family history website www.findmypast.co.uk has published online the Register of the Second Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, recording individual servicemen, nurses and civilians who served with the British Imperial Forces during the Second Anglo-Boer War.

This register includes very rare and out of print documents, creating a single record for each participant in the war, making it the most unique database of its kind for amateur genealogists, military historians and medal collectors to research. The database includes 260,000 entries, including the casualty roll with details of over 59,000 individuals.

This is the first time that these records have come together in one place, making it easy to find ancestors who took part, with only a surname needed to begin the search. The published casualty records that previously existed were often imprecise, due to lack of familiarity with the Afrikaans language, use of names that have passed out of usage and the location of the records. For example, many of the casualties of the Battle of Biddulsphberg are shown in the casualty roll as Senekal; this is the place where the troops retired to and where the casualty roll was prepared rather than where they actually fought.

This new online version can help you:

. Find the unit with which your ancestor served
. Quickly research a medal before you buy or bid for it
. Find the many units with which a soldier served
. Learn about the place they became a casualty
. Find the medal roll reference and for some records the clasp entitlement
. Locate which war memorial they appear on
. Learn about a mention in a book
. Find what honours and awards they received

In the course of consulting various sources to compile this new register, many errors and conflicting information were discovered, demonstrating the need for a comprehensive database such as this Register. The database has a huge advantage over the printed source, as the information can be refined, corrected and represented to the researcher instantly.

About The Register

Boer War research can be confusing as there were two Boer Wars. The First Boer War was fought from 1880 to 1881, whereas the Second Boer War lasted longer, from 1899 to 1902*. The Register released today focuses on the second Boer War and brings together information from over 330 sources.

The main sources used to build the Register are the Official Casualty Rolls**, A Gazetteer of the Second Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, Medal Rolls, Anglo-Boer War Memorials Project, Winifred Scott's Anglo-Boer War Index and Kevin Asplin's rolls for the British cavalry, Imperial Yeomanry, Imperial Yeomanry Hospital, and the Lovat's Scouts and Scottish Horse records.

The Gazetteer is the biggest innovation in regard to the documents used. The location of many casualties is linked to the gazetteer entry that provides information on the geographical location and the military context to that casualty. The work on the revised casualty roll has introduced a further 300 entries and this now makes the gazetteer contained within this database the most comprehensive ever for the Anglo-Boer War.

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at findmypast.co.uk, said: "By hosting this unique Register of the Second Anglo-Boer War, findmypast.co.uk is the only place where people can come and easily search these records online. A great amount of work has been put into creating this Register, by people who live and breathe the Boer War, so we are very pleased that they want to share it with us and our members, making it easier than ever before to find those who took part."

Meurig Jones, creator of The Register commented: "The Register adds real value to research by using powerful technology. For the researcher The Register will save time by combining information from many varied sources at the click of a button."

(With thanks to Debra Chatfield)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

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