Finding late 18th Century service record of soldier William Hobbs in Somersetshire Militia? was a question about my 4th great grandfather William Hobbs who married Jane Courtenay at Truro St Mary, Cornwall, England in 1798.
In that question, which was focussed on finding Somersetshire Militia records for William, I wrote:
I am not yet confident that I have the correct christening for William. I have a current leaning towards the one below on which his mother's name is given as Betty Hobbs (no father mentioned), and William and Jane named their second daughter Betty.
"England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/J9PK-Z8C : accessed 23 Sep 2014), William ... Hobbs, 12 Mar 1762; citing Ditcheat, Somerset, England, reference Item 21; FHL microfilm 1526603.
I have now realized that this candidate baptism was mainly chosen based on a naïve assumption that someone in the Somertsetshire Militia would probably have been born in Somerset.
However, in Ancestry.com's Cornwall, England, Militia and Sea Fencibles Index, 1780 - 1831 which is from Cornwall Record Office; Truro, Cornwall, England; Cornwall Militia; Class Number: P236/15/1, I have just found two records that look like they may belong to the same William (and Jane) Hobbs:
- Name: William Hobbs, Birth Place: Truro St. Mary, Military Year: 1810, Military Place: Cornwall, England, Unit or Occupation: 3rd. Regt. Local Militia, Spouse: Jane Hobbs, Number of Children: 3, Status: Substitute, Notes: Paid 6s. per week for 4 weeks
- Name: William Hobbs, Birth Place: St Mary Truro, Military Year: 1810, Military Place: Cornwall, England, Unit or Occupation: 3rd Regt Militia, Spouse: Jane Hobbs, Number of Children: 3, Notes: 6/- per week
I think these are highly likely to belong to my ancestor William Hobbs because:
- they have the correct name for his spouse
- they have the same birthplace for him as where he was married (Truro St Mary)
- they have the same occupation (serving in a Militia)
- they record 3 children when the expected number in 1810 would be 3-4:
- William (1798-1859)
- Eliza (1801 - ?) - perhaps deceased by 1810
- Elizabeth (1804-1869)
- Matthew Courtenay (1808-1811)
- Matthew Courtenay (1811-1894) - not yet born in 1810
- Jane (1815 - ?) - not yet born in 1810
The only lingering doubts in my mind are whether:
- a soldier born and living in Cornwall would be a likely recruit for the Somersetshire Militia while based there around 1798
- a soldier in the Somersetshire militia in 1798 would be likely to find his way into the Cornwall Militia by 1810
I think both are plausible, and am wondering whether a service record involving a switch of militias has been observed previously?
In the National Archives there are two records that clearly belong to the same William Hobbs. Both indicate that he had left the Somersetshire Militia by 1802.
The first from Sessions held at Lostwithiel names his father-in-law Matthew Courtenay and informs me about the occupations of both at 13 Jul 1802:
William Hobbs of Truro, brickmaker to appear, and his surety Matthew Courtenay of Truro, woolcomber.
The second Sessions held at Bodmin names his wife as Jane (nee Courtenay) and also Jane's sister Philippa. It indicates that William would be spending the next 12 months at Bodmin Bridewell (presumably not the former Bridewell Palace).
William Hobbs, lab., Philippa Courtenay, spinster, and Jane, wife of W.H., all of Truro, indicted for assault on William Jolly: Jane Hobbs acquitted. P.C. fined 1s. paid in court and one month in house of correction. W.H. fined 1s. paid in court and 12 months in bridewell, and to enter into recognizance of £50 to keep the peace, particularly to W.J. for 7 years.