Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2002-03 > 1015822427
From: "John Polk of Havre de Grace" <>
Subject: Re: [Scotch-Irish] Army Records in Kew
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 23:53:47 -0500
Thanks for your helpful suggestions. It is wildly unrealistic to think I
might come across anything specific to my own family in such a short visit,
but you can't catch a fish if you don't put a hook in the water. It would be
better if I could read your suggested references before I get there, but
time has run out at this point. I will have another chance in May, so this
will at least be an orientation.
There is one important document at the PRO which I do hope to see. It is an
something called an "Address of Loyalty" written by the largely
non-conformist citizens of Somerset County Maryland to William and Mary in
1689, congratulating them on their rise to the throne and pledging support
and loyalty to them. As you may recall from an earlier note, a contingent of
Scotch-Irish arrived in Somerset in 1680s, in the footsteps of Rev Francis
Makemy, and they were becoming a significant force in the local community.
They were of course overjoyed by the events of the "Glorious Revolution" and
couldn't have hoped for a more fortunate turn of events, in their eyes, than
to have a Calvinist monarch ascend to the throne of the Kingdom. It is a bit
ironic that they most likely would never have left Ulster had they foreseen
what would transpire just a year or two later - but such is life.
Most people are not aware of it, but Maryland had its own Revolution at this
time (1689), encouraged by the events in England, and threw out the
appointed officials of Lord Baltimore, a Catholic. The leaders of the coup
were known as the Associators and they were very anxious to establish
themselves in the good graces of the new monarchs, in order to avoid being
hung, drawn and quartered for what could easily be construed as treasonous
acts. Accordingly they asked the various counties to send in written
affimations of their loyalty to the new regime in England and allign
themselves in support of the new powers in Maryland. Some of the counties
did so, and the resulting documents are now in the PRO. The Somerset address
is recorded in transcribed form in Archives of Maryland. It is signed by 238
citizens, including a large contigent of Presbyterian Ulster Scots - names
like Alexander, Stevenson, Maclure, Mackullah, Kyle, McKnitt, McGraw,
Maddux, Crawford, Wilson, Knox. Owen. Robert Polke, the first Polk/Pollock
in this country is among them, so I look forward to seeing whether he
actually signed it, or if it is just a compilation of names penned by the
Will let you know what I find. Thanks for the help -
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, March 08, 2002 12:09 PM
Subject: Re: [Scotch-Irish] Army Records in Kew
> Hi John, sorry, reading my email "backwards" this morning,
> while being interrupted by several calls from a executive search
> firm. Yahoo! People are just starting to hire again.
> If you can, grab a book that I have seen at Borders -- so it is
> around. Judith Prowse Reid "Genealogical Research in England's
> Public Record Office: A Guide for North Americans", published by
> Genealogical Publishing Co. I think there is now a second edition.
> It will save you a lot of time . You want
> WO records, largely. There may be other stuff in your time period
> that is stored elsewhere than WO. I'd have to reread the book....
> Sometimes genealogy lecturers say "The past is a foreign country".
> It's different. In this case we assume that way back then they
> had an army like now only with less sophisticated weapons of mass
> destruction, and they washed less often.
> Nope, I think (may be wrong here; someone call me stupid) that the
> first standing army was after Wm of Orange, but I may be stupid here.
> Definitely no standing army in Cromwell's day. It worked very
> differently. So there aren't very good records of the kind you
> would think of.
> It's not clear if your ancestor was mustered in Ireland or
> England. You might be able to find various lists of men who were
> sent off from various parishes. According to one history of Cromwell
> that I read that's what they did -- the guys then traveled to a
> port where they were sent to Ireland. You can find all kinds of
> records on who the parish sent as well as trouble this, eh, band
> of young men without any supervision, got into on their way to the
> port. As well as the fun in the port. Not military records of the
> kind we think.
> Commonly you are told that you won't find common soldiers. You
> can find some info on officers, but that is not always so. You
> can find the common soldiers using non military records.
> Americans doing this kind of research really do need to study up
> on the British army in their timeperiod. I recall one cousin searching
> for the same officer at the Battle of the Boyne as me. What was he
> looking in? muster lists. Well....officers aren't mustered in. They
> buy commissions. I did find film of the officers in the Irish army
> in the 1670's and found a man with the right name, serving with the
> guy who became his brother in law. Neither mustered in of course.
> Family oral history says they were Scottish anywho, from Ayr, so
> of course they will never appear on an Irish muster list. Oops,
> don't say stu...<grin>.
> However with Cromwell you got a unique opportunity since the
> army was paid in land. The land was allocated by military unit.
> If you know where he was in Ireland, you can figure out his unit.
> If you know his unit you can figure out where those guys were given
> land. Of course this theory might not work for you.
> Read "To Hell or to Connacht". Huge numbers of records dealing
> with land around this period. Legal records, not military. Again
> a few good history books on the period will help as you can check where
> the dude writing the book got his material. As a historian, he wasn't
> interested in individuals. You were, so check his sources.
> Oh, also check O'Hart "Irish Pedigrees". Names a lot of Cromwell's
> soldiers. I can do a lookup for you.
> I know a professional genealogist in London one of whose specialties
> is military records. He also might be able to help. Trained in Irish
> research too.
> You can also check Kitzmiller's "In Search of the Forlorn Hope: A
> comprehensive Guide to Locating British Regiments and Their Records
> 1640-WWI". He's looking for Color Sergeant George Monro of the
> 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, which participated in the MacKenzie
> Rebellion in Canada from 1838-1842. A massive work he did, driven
> crazy by a search for this paticular ancestor to produce over
> 1500 printed pages plus lots of fiche.
> Some of the PRO records are filmed and in LDS. Reid will help you
> avoid wasting time on records you can get back home and let you
> focus on what you can ONLY get there, unless you want to hire my
> friend, later on. If I ever get a job, I'll be re-hiring him myself.
> Linda Merle