I have an ancestor (William Miller) who on his son's baptism record (Woolwich, London, 1813) is listed as a 'Private in the Driver Corps'.

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How can I get more information?

  • 2
    Hi and welcome. What type of information are you after - information specifically about William Miller, or more general information about the Driver Corps?
    – Harry V.
    Apr 23, 2015 at 16:01
  • 2
    @vervet Let's proceed as if the question is about how to find the ancestor's military record. Otherwise the question is far too broad.
    – Jan Murphy
    Apr 23, 2015 at 16:52

2 Answers 2


My stock answer to the question "How can I get more information?" is usually any way you can -- especially in the case of someone with a common surname like Miller. Your problem is not simply finding more information; you also want to know, once you find a record, that the record you're looking at belongs to your William Miller, and not one of the many other William Millers who might have also been in service.

Looking at the scant information we have from this certificate, I note the following:

  • I know from my own research that the Royal Artillery was based in Woolwich; one of my research subjects served in the RA and his marriage was registered in Woolwich.
  • There was a Driver Corps that was part of the Royal Artillery; it was in charge of the horses -- see pages 499-500 in The British Indian Military Repository, Vol 4 by Samuel Parby.

If, starting with this big set of assumptions, I go to the British Army Service Records 1760-1915 record set on Find My Past, and enter "William Miller", I get 2320 results. If I narrow this by typing "artillery" into the keyword search field (experience has shown this is more reliable than putting "Royal Artillery" into the field for 'Regiment'), that narrows the result set down to 60.

You did not say what kind of birth record this information comes from. I deduce that it isn't a regimental register of births, or you wouldn't be asking this question in the first place.

Now -- assuming my guesses are all correct -- you still need some way to distinguish your William Miller from the other 59 men of the same name (assuming, of course, that the record set is complete which is often not the case).

In my case, I was able to determine I had the right person because his marriage was recorded in his service record. I also knew where his wife's relatives lived, and had other clues from gathering "possibles" from the census of what some of his his street addresses might be.

To get more general information about the RA, you could explore:

For more information about Service Records see:

  • 2
    I have added the source of his son's birth (a baptism) to the question. There may be another child (John) baptised in 1818 in Woolwich to the same parents, but the father's occupation is "Sergeant in the Driver Corps".
    – Harry V.
    May 16, 2015 at 1:18
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    I would also add that the number of records on FMP can be narrowed down significantly below 60 if you look at the date. This William Miller was probably born sometime between 1760-1800. If you narrow down the records for William Millers, in the RA, born during that period, there are only two hits. I'm not saying he's definitely one of them, but it's certainly a place to start. search.findmypast.co.uk/results/world-records/…
    – Harry V.
    May 16, 2015 at 1:33

I agree with the general suggestions made by @JanMurphy, and would add this specific finding, which may or may not be your William Miller.

A search of Ancestry.co.uk's UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949 reveals a William Miller who fought in the Battle of Toulouse in 1814 during the Napoleonic Wars. He was a Private in the Artillery Drivers, under Captain Brandreth.

I do not have access to the records myself, but I advise you to investigate these two service records in FindMyPast's British Army Service Records 1760-1915.

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