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Using FindMyPast, I recently sighted images of the Marriage Banns and Marriage Record for my 4th great grandparents Francis Green and Grace Woodley who married on 13 Feb 1798 at Totnes, Devon, England. Their marriage record is indexed at FamilySearch.

From the two images it became clear that at the time of their marriage Francis was an inhabitant of the parish, and part of the Cornish Militia, which is something that I had previously been unaware of.

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There were a number of adjacent entries for marriages involving other members of the Cornish Militia, and so it appears that they were based at Totnes in Devon.

What online, or offline, records of the Cornish Militia are likely to be the most helpful to me in tracing the military service of Francis Green who, according to the 1851 Census, was born about 1776 at Falmouth, Cornwall?

My research so far has uncovered, via The National Archives, some records concerning the Cornish Militia at the Cornwall Record Office, but being based in Australia, they are very difficult for me to access in person, and I would like to get my research plan in place for any future visit.

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The TNA Guide on Militia records lists stuff at Kew, some of which is on FindMyPast. I have never quite sorted out the distinction between what ended up at County Record Offices and what at Kew via the War Office, but essentially I think records of deployments in uniform end up at Kew while documents about the recruitment stayed local. I think I'm right in saying that the detailed personnel records for militia, like the regular army, only exist for those in receipt of a pension.

Muster Rolls / Pay Lists at Kew will cover everyone but the issue is that you generally get no more than the name. So, as I found out myself with Volunteer Pay Lists earlier this year, you may have no idea whether the Fred Bloggs in the list is yours or not. At least you know yours was in the Militia. Oh and don't mix up Militia and Volunteers and Fencibles and.... They're all different.

  • That's helpful information - thanks! On the assumption that I may need to be lucky to find out anything more about Francis Green in the Cornish Militia, I am asking on History whether anyone knows about the Cornish Militia being based in Totnes: history.stackexchange.com/questions/27031/…. – PolyGeo Jan 4 '16 at 0:42

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