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Identifying the father of an illegitimate child

An illegitimate birth may be a 'dead end' in genealogy and family history - but sometimes it is possible to identify the child's biological father using various sources in Archives and elsewhere.

Names listed below came from many series of records, some more detailed than others. In many cases the document gives the place of residence of the child's mother, and the putative father's name and place of residence. Some records give his occupation, age, nationality or place of origin, a detailed physical description or a photograph, or clues that will lead to police, Court or prison records.

Most archival documents that identify the father of an illegitimate child will give the name of the child's mother. It is less common for the child's name to be mentioned. Check the list below to see whether it includes the name of the child you are researching, or the child's mother. If it does not, refer to my mini-guide 'Researching Illegitimate Children' for research tips and a list of sources (there are many, including Police Gazettes and hospital admission registers) that may name the putative father.

Explanation of names below:

  • For each woman listed below, an archival source names the FATHER of her illegitimate child.
  • Children have [child] after their name. For each child listed below, an archival source names the child's FATHER.
  • Names are from ten (10) different record series (eight of which are at Qld State Archives).
  • Names are from various dates between 1858 and 1948.
  • This is an ongoing project. Use ChangeDetection (see 'Click here to receive email', above) to be notified when more names are added.
  • People listed below were from various Australian States including Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia & Tasmania.
  • Scroll through the list. Many names were spelled incorrectly in the records.
  • Names beginning with 'Mc' precede other 'M' surnames.
  • Apostrophes have been removed from names such as O'DONNELL.
  • If there are several entries for a name, investigate them all. The original source (but not my index) usually shows whether they are for the same person or for different people with the same name.
  • For names below, I can order copies of the original records (this link leads to instructions). See also 'Other suggestions'.

List of names

ABSOLON Ruby Gertrude
ADAM Amelia
ADAM Arthur [child]
ADAMS Annie Elizabeth
ADAMS Arthur [child]
AFFLECK Jane
AHERN Charlotte
ALLAN - (Mrs)
ALLEY Maria
ANDERSON Florence M
ANDERSON Lizzie
ANDERSON Lizzie
ANDREWS Louisa
ANGOOD Ethel Harriet
ARMSTRONG Fanny
ARNOLD Matilda A A
ARTHUR Alice
ASHBY Eliza Jane (see GOLDBOLD)
ASHMAN Ellen (see PARFITT)
ASHTON Martha
ASKEW Winifred Maud
Order copies

BAILEY Ada
BAILEY Ada
BAKER Ann
BAKER Mary
BALDERSON Elizabeth Ann
BARNES Emma Maud
BARR Alice
BARRETT Mary
BARRY Sarah
BARTLETT Blanche Amy
BASWELL Margaret
BATTERSHELL Emily Elizabeth
BATTERSHILL Violet
BEESLEY Henrietta Matilda
BELL Elizabeth
BENNETT Lilly
BERGHOFFER Ellen Eleanor
BERGMAN Lena
BERRIE Bessie (see BERRIE Jessie)
BERRIE Jessie
BERRYMAN Emma
BERRYMAN Emma
BEST - (Mrs R)
BEVERIDGE Florence Mary
BEVERIDGE Florence Mary
BEVERIDGE Florence Mary
BICKOFF Edith M
BIGGS Dorcas
BISHOP Margaret
BLACKER Florence Georgina
BOCK Anne
BOLDERSON Elizabeth Ann
BONAR Agnes
BONAR Agnes
BONSER Ada
BOOTER Sarah Elizabeth
BOURKE Bridget
BOURKE Catherine
BOWATER Ellen ?
BRADLEY Julia
BRAUN Henrietta
BRENDEL Irene Ida
BROLAN Mary
BROWN Annie
BROWN Annie
BROWN Annie
BROWN Annie
BROWN Bridget
BROWN Islett May
BROWN Kate
BROWN Marion
BROWN Marion
BROWN Mary
BROWN Rose
BROWN Rose
BROWN Ruth
BROWNE Violet
BRYCE Catherine
BUCKBY Courtney Alex Vincent (?) [child]
BUCKLEY ? (see BUCKBY)
BULFIN Bridget
BULFIN Bridget
BULLOCK Mary ?
BULLOCK May ?
BULLOCK May ?
BUTCHER Emily
BUTTERWORTH Sarah Alice
BYE Mabel
BYRNE Kevin [child]
BYTHEWAY Daisy Bird [child]
BYTHEWAY Sarah Gertrude
Order copies

CAGNEY Mary Ellen
CAIRNS Lottie
CAIRNS Lottie
CALLAN Kate
CAMERON Cissie Elizabeth
CAMPBELL Mary Jane
CAMPBELL Maud
CANN Maud
CANNA Elizabeth
CANNALL Maud
CARBURRY Margaret Jane
CARBURY Maria
CAREN Margaret
CAREY Mary
CARROLL Ellen
CARTER Ellen
CARTWRIGHT Kathleen Rodgers [child]
CASELOW Wilhelmina
CASEY Cathleen
CASEY Lucy
CASEY May
CASSELS Eileen Martha
CASSON Sarah
CAULFIELD - (daughter of Catherine CAULFIELD)
CAVANAGH Annie
CAVANAGH Annie Elizabeth ?
CHAPMAN Sarah
CHILDERLEY Ivy Myrtle [child]
CHILDERLEY William James [child]
CLANAHAN Jessie
CLANCY Esther
CLARKE Albert William [child]
CLARKE Elizabeth
CLARKE Frances
CLARKE Grace
CLARKE Isabella
CLARKE Margaret
CLARKSON Margaret
CLEGG Tamar
COCHRANE Mary Stark
COCKING Maria
COCKSEDGE Angley
COGHLAN Alice
COLBY Ada
COLLING Mary Jane
COLLINS Julia
COLLINS Maria
CONLON John McManus [child] (2 entries)
CONNELL Honorah Maria
CONNELL Mary Ellen
CONNELLY Eilen
CONNOR Edith [child]
CONNOR John Edward [child]
CONNOR Kathleen
CONNOR Susannah [child]
CONNORS Mary
CONRY Annie
CONSTANCE Annie
COOKE Cyrilla M E
COOPER Beatrice
COOPER Violet M M [child]
CORBETT Rose
CRAWFORD Janet
CRAWFORD Olive Wheeler [child]
CREED Ethel Lily
CROCKER Louisa
CROMPTON Mary Ann
CROSSAN Margaret Jane
CROSSAN Margaret Jane
CROWLEY - (daughter of Matthew CROWLEY)
CRUMMY Mary Jane
CULLEN Anne
Order copies

DAHTLER Sophia
DAMIANOVITCH Marianna
DANIELS Maud
DART Elizabeth Ann
DAVEY Kate
DAVIDSON Emma Lawson
DAVIE John Henry Clarence [child]
DAVIES - (Miss)
DAVIS Hannah
DAVIS Minnie Theresa
DAVIS Rosa
DAY Lizzie
DEERING Janie
DEMICK Louisa
DERWIN Minnie Elizabeth
DEVINEY Annie
DIBLEY Ethel May
DIGNAM Athol Lawrence [child]
DOBIKIN Margaret
DOBIKIN Mary Anne [child]
DOBSON Ellen Jane
DOHERTY Mary Kate
DOLAN Margaret
DONIGAN Maria
DONISCH Magdalene
DONNELLY Bridget
DONNELLY John [child]
DONNELLY May
DOOLAN Catherine Rosannah
DORAN Alice Charlotte
DOUCH Margaret
DOUGLASS A
DOWNING Mary
DOWNING Mary
DOWSE Ellen May
DOXEY Sophia Jane
DRAPER Daisy Ethel May
DUNBAR George [child]
DUNLOP Eileen
DYER Maud
DYER Maud Ellen
Order copies

EDGE Ann
EDSER Lily Jane
ELFVERSON Elizabeth
ELFVERSON Roy Edward [child]
ENGLISH Mary
EVANS Josephine
EVANS Maria
EVETTS Janet
EYRES Mary Ann
Order copies

FAHEY Mary O
FAME Letitia
FAULDER Clarette (see WARBURTON)
FERGUSON Nellie
FIELD Bertha
FIELD Emily
FINLAY Elizabeth
FITZMORRIS Margaret [child]
FITZPATRICK Margaret
FLETCHER Maud
FLYNN Kate
FOSTER Elizabeth
FOSTER Margaret Catherine
FRAHER Ciss
FRANCIS Catherine Ellen
FRITH Emily
FRY Margaret
Order copies

GALVIN Eliza Frances
GANZER Charlotte
GARDINER Martha
GARDINER Myrtle Amy [child]
GAREGHTY Maria
GEARY Elizabeth
GENNINGS Charlotte
GEORGE Florence Helena
GIBSON Dorothy Edith
GIBSON Ethel May
GIDDY Mary
GLEESON Hannorah
GOLDBOLD Eliza Jane (formerly ASHBY)
GOLDENSTEIN Caroline
GORDON Eileen May
GORE Beatrice
GOSS B
GOW Ivy
GRACE Nina
GRAHAM Catherine Ellen
GRAHAM Constance
GRAHAM Constance
GRAHAM Eden
GRANT Frances E
GREEK Theresa Angelina Alice
GREEN Ada Sophia
GREEN Kathleen
GREEN Mary
GRIEVE Laura
GRIEVE Laura
Order copies

HAHN Amelia
HAHN Ottilia Amelia (see HAHN Amelia)
HALL Beatrice Maud
HALL Violet May
HALLORAN Norah
HALLS Annie
HAMANN Adelaide
HAMILL Mary Elizabeth Ann
HAND Jessie
HANLEY Ellen
HANNAFORD Caroline
HANSON Catherine
HAOLOW Hannah ? (see HARLOW Hannah)
HARLOW Annie
HARLOW Annie
HARLOW Hannah
HARPER Annie
HARRIES Ellen Mary Henrietta
HARRIES Rita Gwendoline [child]
HARRIS Annie Elizabeth [child]
HARRIS Epreicene
HARRIS James Herbert [child]
HARVEY Maria
HAUGHTON Jane
HAYDEN Mary
HAYDEN Mary
HAYDEN Mary
HAYDEN Mary
HAYES Alice
HAYES Phoebey
HEARD Lydia M
HEBERMAN Agnes
HEFFERNON Mary
HEHRMANN Elizabeth
HEHRMANN Lizzie
HEMPENSTALL Kathleen
HEMPENSTALL Kathleen
HENNESSY Nellie
HICKS Sybil [child]
HIGGINS Mary Ellen
HILL Annie
HILL Ruby Violet
HILL Sarah
HILL William Victor [child]
HIMSTEDT Douglas Roy [child]
HINCH Teckla
HINDS Theresa
HINE Violet Isabella
HOBBS Agnes Matilda
HOCKINGS Emily
HOCKINGS Emily
HODKINSON Emilie
HOEFLER Bernhardina
HOEFLER Bernhardina
HOGARTH Robina - see VINCE Robina
HOLLINGSWORTH Nellie
HOLLOWAY Lily Elizabeth
HONG Beatrice May
HORNS Annie Dorothy
HOUGHTON Eva Harriet
HOUGHTON Eva Harriet
HOUGHTON Eva Harriet
HOUGHTON Eva Harriet
HOUGHTON Eva Harriet
HOUGHTON Eva Harriet
HOUGHTON Eva Harriet
HOUGHTON Isabella
HOWELL Kate
HUGHES Margaret
HUNTLY Emma
HUTCHISON Maud Mary (see JOHNSON Maud Mary)
Order copies

IDDLES Sarah E
IRVINE Emily
Order copies

JACKSON Eva
JACKSON Mary Ellen
JACOBS Catherine
JAMIESON Agnes
JAMIESON Elsie
JESSOP - (daughter of S. JESSOP)
JESSOP Frances G
JOHNSON Annie Elizabeth
JOHNSON Charlotte
JOHNSON Florence Violet
JOHNSON Maud Mary
JONES Jane (of Victoria, Australia)
JONES Ruby Pearl
JORGENSEN Maria
JOST Kate
Order copies

KACHEL Minnie Amelia
KACHEL Minnie Amelia
KACHEL Minnie Amelia
KAHL Frederick George [child]
KAHL Kate
KAST Elizabeth
KEAM Elsie
KEATES Doris May [child]
KEEGAN May
KELLY - [child]
KELLY Bridget
KELLY Delia
KELLY Sarah
KELLY Sarah
KENEALLY Honorah
KENMAN Jessie
KENNEALLY Honora
KENNEDY Agnes
KENNEDY Clara Madeline [child]
KERCHINER Dora
KERR Maria Margaret
KETSCHMANN Elizabeth
KING Annie
KING Annie
KINNON Ellen Rebecca
KLUCK Agnes
KLUVEN Frederika
KNIGHT Dorothy Beryl [child]
KNIGHT Etty Louisa
KRAUSER Emily
KRAUSER Emily
KRIEGER Ellen
KRIEGER Ellen
KUGSER Louisa
Order copies

LAMBERT Rosamond
LANDRIGAN Catherine
LANE Alice
LARASSEY Kate
LARK Sophia
LAUCHLAN Agnes Mary
LAWRENCE Lucy
LAYTON Mary
LE BAS Lily
LEE Elizabeth
LENNARD Emily
LENNERGAN Bridget
LEVIP Martha
LIND Gladys Emma
LINDQUIST Frederick John [child]
LINWOOD Gladys Maud
LINWOOD Gladys Maud
LIVINGSTONE Elizabeth
LOUCH Ellen Maria
LOYAL Beatrice
LUTH Susan
LYNCH Agnes
LYNCH Marion Elizabeth
Order copies

McALISTER Emily
McALLISTER Winifred
McCALL Margaret
McCALL Margaret
McCARTHY Clara
McDONALD Anne
McDONALD Florence
McDONALD Ruby May
McDOUGALL Florence
McEWAN Mary
McGOWAN Alice Elizabeth
McGRATH Eva
McGREGOR Alice
McGRORY Irene Mary
McILROY Florence
McKENZIE Martha
McKEOWN Alice
McLAUGHLIN Ellen Edith
McMAHON Catherine
McSHANE Mary
Order copies

MACKAY Jane Ada Gertrude [child]
MACKAY Margaret
MADDICK Louisa
MALLEY Anne
MANNING Bessie Harrington [child]
MANNING Jane Hannah ?
MANNING Mary
MAQUIRE Bridget
MARA Sarah
MARKWELL Florence
MARSHALL Elsie Margaret
MARTELL Mary
MARTIN Alice
MARTIN Alice
MARTIN Ethel
MASON Annie
MASON Emily Annie
MAY Jean Barbara
MELLOR Jessie E
MEMMOTT Emily
MILHAM Lily
MILLS Elizabeth Gertrude
MINORE Mary
MODINI Eva ?
MOORE Mary
MORAN Delia
MORGAN Mervyn George [child]
MORRIS Maud
MORRISSEY Mary
MORRISSY Mary
MOUNTFORD Stella
MUGGRIDGE Emily
MULCAHY Alice
MULHERON Beatrice May
MULLINS Annie
MULLINS Annie
MUNDT Minnie
MUNDT Valma [child]
MURRAY Catherine
MYERS Margaret [child]
Order copies

NETHERSOLE Mary Louisa
NEW Jane
NEWMAN Minnie Wilhelmina
NEWTON Eliza Jane
NISSEN Catherine
NIXON Ada
NIXON Neta
NOLAN Annie
NOTHDURFT Ethel Amelia
NOTHDURFT Ethel Amelia
NUNN Lilian
Order copies

OBRIEN Jane
OCONNELL Mary
ODEA Veronica Abdy
ODONNELL Kathleen
OKEEFE Elizabeth Margaret
OKEEFE Mary
OKEEFFE Mary
OLDMAN Edith
ONEMAN E
ORANGE Mary
OREILLY Christina
OSHEA Catherine
OSULLIVAN Margaret
OSWIN Florence
OTT Mabel R [child]
OUTRAM Emma
OVEREND Alexandra May
Order copies

PARFITT Ellen Ashman
PARK Hannah
PARRMAN Margaret
PARSONS Emily
PASCO Emily
PATTERSON Gertrude
PAYNE Emma Ellen
PAYNE Emma Ellen
PAYNE Evelyn Daisy
PAYNE Evelyn Daisy
PAYNE Evelyn Daisy
PAYNE Evelyn Daisy
PAYNE Florence
PEACOCK Sarah Jane
PEARCE Charlotte P A
PEARCE Charlotte P A
PEARSON Laura Lavinia
PEICK Minnie
PEITZNER Emma L
PERKINS Annie
PERKINS Ellen Catherine
PETERS Ethel
PETERS Mary Jane
PETERSEN Amelia
PETERSEN Amelia
PETERSEN Maria Martha
PETERSON Maria Martha
PFAN Mary
PFINGST Annie
PFINGST Annie
PIGGOTT Emily
PITT Elizabeth
PLUMB Louisa
PLUMB Louisa
PLUNKETT Lillian May
PORTER Ivy J
POWELL Matilda
PRATT Teresa
PRESTON Alice
PRICE Mary
PRINGLE Iris Kate
PROBERT Elizabeth
Order copies

QUAILL Maud
QUINLAN Annie
QUINN Ann
QUINN Martha
Order copies

RAINBIRD Susan
RALPH Selina
RANCHLE Elizabeth
RANCHLE Wilhelmina
RANCHLE Wilhelmina
RANCHLE Wilhelmina
REDSELL Ernestine
REEVES James William [child]
REEVES Lucretia
REID Mary Jane
REIMERS Phyllis
REMANOUS Hannah Maud
REYNOLDS Annie
RHODE Susannah
RICHMOND Emma Louisa
RIDGWAY Annie May
RIGNEY Annie
RITCHER Ivy
ROBERTS James William Gibbards [child]
ROBERTS Jessie
ROBERTSON Janet
ROBERTSON Matilda
ROBINSON Ada Ann
ROBINSON Ann
ROBINSON Mary Ann
ROBINSON Mary Ann
ROBINSON Victoria Ann Cullen [child]
ROOTS Esther
ROSENLUND Gerty Olga [child]
ROSENLUND Grete Jorgine Lauritzen
ROSENLUND Mary Adeline [child]
ROSSNER Margaret
ROSSNER Margaret
ROUCK Minnie
ROWE Eva Mary
ROWE Fanny
RUDHALL Violet
RUSS Ellen
RUSSELL Ellen Elizabeth
RUSSELL Maude Julia
RYAN Mary
RYAN Mary
Order copies

SABBO Elizabeth
SACKLEY Katherine Ann
SALLOTTI - (daughter of Mrs H SALLOTTI)
SALWAY Ethel May
SANG Theresa Sue (see SUE SANG)
SAWYER Lucy
SCANLAN Catherine
SCHLECHT Rosa
SCHLECHT Rosa
SCHMIDT Annie
SCHMIDT Martha
SCHNEIDER Sophia Eliza
SCHNIDER Augusta Elizabeth
SCHOFIELD May
SCHUMAKER Annie
SCOTT Clancy William [child]
SCOTT Hettie Wellington Rundle ?
SEALEY Alice
SEATER Nellie
SEEHARS Annie
SHAKESPEAR Margaret
SHANNON Anne
SHARPE Mary
SHERGOLD Mary Ann
SILLKE Augusta
SIM Alexandra (see SIMS)
SIM Isabella
SIMMONDS Eliza
SIMPSON - (daughter of Mrs Mary SIMPSON, Woombye)
SIMS Alexandra
SKAIFE Elizabeth
SLATTER Jessie
SMAIL Kate
SMITH Alice
SMITH Catherine
SMITH Dorothy May
SMITH Elizabeth
SMITH Gwendoline Joyce
SMITH Hannah E
SMITH Hannah Elizabeth
SMITH Hilda May
SMITH Mabel B C
SMITH Sarah Elizabeth
SMITH Sydney Emanuel [child]
SMITH William [child]
SMYTH May
SNEDDON Lillian
SOMMERVILLE -
SPARKSMAN Lucy
SPEARING Louisa
SPIES Bertha
SPILLER Rebecca
SPOWART Ruby
SPOWART Ruby
STALLMAN Ellen Annie
STAPLES Frances
STAPLES Frances
STAPLES Frances
STAPLES Frances
STAPLES Percival [child]
STAPLETON Ruby
STARK Helena Augusta
STEEN Violet
STEPHENS Catherine Josephine
STEVENSON Catherine
STEWART Eliza Jane
STEWART Frances
STEWART Johanna
STEWART Julia Christina [child]
STEWART Sarah Ann
STUMER Emilia
SUE SANG Theresa
SURCH Annie
SWEE SANG Thesesa (see SUE SANG)
SWEENEY Daisy
Order copies

TAPP Mary Ann
TAYLOR Annie Elizabeth
TESSMAN Mary
THOMAS Mary Anne Eliza
THOMPSON Elizabeth
THOMPSON Mary Jane
THORBURN Agnes
TIERNEY Bridget Frances
TILNEY Martha Annie
TOMS Alice E [child]
TOMS Keith [child]
TOOHILL Agnes
TOOLEY Minnie
TOWN Mabel
TOWNSEND Emma Jane
TRANTER Elizabeth Ann
TRIESHMAN Sophia
TRIMBLE Louisa
TRINDER Alice
TRONC Dorothea
TUSSLER Annie Eileen
TWIDALE - (daughter of T. TWIDALE)
TYNAN Phyllis
TYNAN Valerie Joyce [child]
Order copies

UNDERWOOD Irene
URQUHART Harriet
Order copies

VAUGHAN Anastasia
VINCE Robina (nee HOGARTH)
VINCE Robina (nee HOGARTH)
Order copies

WAGNER Martha
WAGNER Martha
WAGNER Martha
WALDEN Agnes Elizabeth
WALDERSEE Bertha
WALDON Lily
WALDON Lily
WALKER Adelaide
WALKER Jeam Wallace
WALKER Margaret Rosalie
WALKER Mary Jane
WALKER Susan H
WALKER Winifred Evelyn
WALKER Winifred Evelyn
WALKER Winifred Evelyn
WALLACE Raymond Francis [child]
WARBURTON Clarette (or FAULDER)
WARBURTON Walter Ernest [child]
WARBY Edith Florence
WARD Amy
WEAVER Maud
WEIR Emily
WEIR Isabella
WEISE Sarah H
WEST Lillian May
WHELAN Norah
WHERRY Jean
WHITE - (sister of R B WHITE)
WHITE Annie
WHITE Clarice
WHITESIDE Mary Ann
WILKINS Albina
WILKINSON Ellen
WILLETT Catherine
WILSON Elizabeth
WILSON Maggie
WILSON Maggie
WILSON Maud
WITHERS Marline Mary [child]
WOODS Mary
WYLES Mary
Order copies

YOUNG Agnes
YOUNG Amy Mary Hopkins
YOUNG Lily Louisa
YOURALL Rose
YOURALL Rose
Order copies

ZESSIN Ottilie
ZUCH Rosie
Order copies

Check the list above to see whether it includes the name of the child you are researching, or the child's mother. If it does not, refer to my mini-guide 'Researching Illegitimate Children' for advice on research strategies, a long list of sources that may name the putative father, and an explanation of how to find illegitimate births that are registered under multiple surnames.

Copying service. Allow up to 8 weeks for a reply; I am often away for family reasons.

Option 1:  If you need more information to (1) decide whether the document might be relevant, and/or (2) obtain copies without my help, I charge a fee (because it takes time to create the index, put the names on this Web page, search the index and send information). I can supply full source references (including some indication of the document date) for a fee of $5 for one specific name ('Surname + GivenName').

Option 2:  For names on this page, I can (for a fee) obtain a copy of the original source naming the father of an illegitimate child. My fee covers postage, copies (repositories charge up to $1.20/page) and my time (eg, visiting the archives or library, doing research, ordering a bundle/volume, locating the relevant file/page, ordering copies or taking digital photos, and writing a report).

* If you live in Australia:  one entry $45, extra entries for the same name $10 each.

* If you live overseas:  one entry AUD$48, extra entries for the same name AUD$11 each.

If you have already seen a source that names the father, tell me the repository, source title, date, file/page number, etc. Be very specific! It is your responsibility to cite the source fully and accurately. If you fail to do so, you may receive information that duplicates what you already have.

$See the list of payment methods available (my address is on that page).

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The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online
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Other Suggestions

My mini-guide 'Researching Illegitimate Children' has advice on research strategies, a long list of sources that may name the putative father, and an explanation of how to find illegitimate births that are registered under multiple surnames.

Sydney Benevolent Asylum Index 1857-1900 (includes unmarried mothers from NSW, Qld, etc.)

Helen Harris's indexes (Infant Life Protection Act; Missing people; Wife/child deserters; etc.)

My other genealogy sites have more advice, and more names from records in archives.

Search this site  (in alphabetical lists here, SURNAME in uppercase is first, followed by Given Name):

I use and recommend FindMyPast (Australia / NZ, UK, Ireland, USA)

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