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The very latest news from the world of genealogy



1.8 Million New Military Records Go Online

Unlock the Military Histories of Your Ancestors with TheGenealogist’s Latest Release of Army Lists

The Genealogist has added 1.8 million individuals to its Military Collection with its latest release of Army Lists from 1837 to 1959.


Family history research often requires scouring military records to uncover the career details of ancestors who had served in the British Army. A key resource for such research are the officially published Army Lists that provide comprehensive details about officers and warrant officers, including their ranks, regiments, and service appointments.


Subscribers to TheGenealogist can now access an extensive collection of digitised Army Lists, which can significantly enhance their understanding of an ancestor's military career. These records detail officers by regiment, rank and seniority, offering a detailed snapshot of the officer corps at any given time.




This resource is excellent for tracking the careers of officers, offering a chronological record of promotions, transfers, and retirements. It provides a wealth of information crucial for family historians, including dates of promotions, brevet ranks, and the duration of an officer's service. Additionally, these records include information about officers who retired or resigned, often with specific dates of departure from active service.


The Army Lists can provide insights into where officers served in staff positions or held special appointments, for example as instructors or aides-de-camp. This additional context can be invaluable in understanding an officer’s career and their contributions to the military beyond their regimental duties.


Moreover, the lists encompass officers serving in colonial forces and the Indian Army, reflecting the global reach of the British Empire. Some officers may have transferred between these forces, further enriching the historical context for researchers.


TheGenealogist’s digitised Army Lists are an indispensable tool for anyone looking to explore their family's military history. With this resource, family historians can uncover the detailed dates of their ancestors’ service and gain a deeper understanding of their military careers and contributions.

Read TheGenealogist’s feature article, The Stiff Upper Lip: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2024/the-stiff-upper-lip-7471/ 




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For a limited time, you can claim a Diamond Subscription to The Genealogist for just £89.95, a saving of £50! Plus you will get a free Subscription to Discover Your Ancestors Online Magazine (Worth £24.99)

To find out more and claim the offer, visit https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/MGBMLT524

This offer comes with a Lifetime Discount, meaning you’ll pay the same discounted price every time your subscription renews.


This offer expires on 31st July 2024.

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What does Mentioned in Despatches mean?

Family History Tips: Mentioned in Despatches

When we set out researching some of our ancestors from the past we may discover that they served in the military. We may find records that prove that they were awarded medals, or that they were wounded, taken prisoner, or killed in one of the wars that this country fought. In some cases we may even discover that they have been Mentioned in despatches (MiD). But what does this term mean?

The Gazette, the official public record which publishes awards including MiDs, has a useful article that can be read here:


The article takes as its example Captain Bernard Law Montgomery who served in World War 1 in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and was first MiD in 1915. Later awarded many medals, including the DSO to which his oak leaf is pinned (see the Gazette – issue 28992), Montgomery served between 1915 and 1918, ending WW1 as a lieutenant colonel. He was to go on to become Field Marshal Montgomery and 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein in WW2.


The handwritten MiD card records can reveal detail such as the military clerk’s corrections and messy amendments. You can see this on Montgomery’s 1915 MiD card, as found from a search of the Military Records on TheGenealogist.co.uk

Mentioned in Despatches

You can read the full article on The Gazette's website:



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Additional R.A.F. Operations Record Books released on TheGenealogist

Further R.A.F. Operations Record Books now released on TheGenealogist


TheGenealogist has today released additional new R.A.F. records that are fully searchable by name, aircraft, location and many other fields, making it simpler to find your air force ancestors.


In a release of over 1.8 million records, this batch of R.A.F. Operations Record Books (ORBs) joins TheGenealogist’s huge military records collection and includes entries for the famous children’s author Roald Dahl when he flew Hurricanes in WW2.


Hurricanes of No. 80 Squadron in Palestine, June 1941 as flown by Roald Dahl

The Operations Record Books record the stories of day to day operations of units and so will give the researcher an idea of action that took place as well as give insights into the everyday lives on the bases. You can use this collection to follow an airman’s war time experiences by searching these fully searchable Air Ministry operations record books which cover various Royal Air Force, dominion and Allied Air Force squadrons that came under British Command. The AIR 27 records allow the family history researcher a fascinating insight into their relatives' time while serving in a number of units of the air force. 


The ORBs give summaries of events and can reveal encounters with the enemy, pilots who went missing or were shot down, plane crashes, as well as less traumatic details such as weather and places patrolled by the aircraft and where the squadrons were based as the war wore on. As aircrew personnel are named in these Operations Record Books, researchers wanting to follow where an ancestor had been posted to and what may have happened to them will find these records extremely useful. 


Operations Record Book for No. 80 Squadron on TheGenealogist


Family historians will find the duties recorded in these documents interesting when they reveal the assignments that a serviceman took part in. Examples include Bombing, Convoy Escort, Submarine Hunt, Fleet protection, Attacking Aerodromes and Shipping, Dive Bombing Raids and more. 


Use these records to: 

  • Add colour to an aircrewman’s story 
  • Read the war movements of personnel in air force units
  • Discover if a pilot, navigator, radio operator or gunner is mentioned in the action
  • Find if an airman is listed for receiving an Honour or an Award
  • Note the names of squadron members wounded, killed, or who did not return
  • Easily search these National Archives records and images


This expands TheGenealogist’s extensive Military records collection.


Read TheGenealogist’s feature article: R.A.F. Operations Record Books that tell a storyteller’s story: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2020/raf-operations-record-books-that-tell-a-storytellers-story-1356/

These records and many more are available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.co.uk

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RAF Air Force Lists and thousands of extra names on War Memorials released


TheGenealogist has released 71 new Air Force Lists with over 2 million names, as well as 385 extra War Memorials listing over 31,000 names.



Air Force Lists


The launch of this major resource gives access to 71 new Air Force Lists from 1919 to 1945 with over 2 million searchable names.


Air Force Lists are useful for family history researchers to see when an officer joined the RAF. They can also tell you what the airman’s rank was in different years and, by looking at the letters written after his name in the list, they can tell you what medals your ancestor had been awarded. These join a large run of similar Army and Navy Lists and other military records on TheGenealogist.


Use these records to: 

  • Find ancestors who became officers in the Royal Air Force 
  • Discover their ranks, service numbers and medals awarded
  • See which branch they served in and their dates of posting


War Memorials


With 3,400 new photos in this release, these new records include a number of schools and colleges including the Sevenoaks School where WW1 former pupils who served are recorded as well as casualties and medals awarded to them. Other schools and colleges included in this release are: The University College School, Hampstead; Merthyr Tydfil County School; Lord Weymouth Grammar School in Warminster, Wiltshire; Leeds, St Anne's RC School; and West Leeds High School. 


War Memorials for workplaces and sporting organisations can help flesh out an ancestor’s life in revealing their occupation or recreational pursuits. Examples include the Gloucester Rugby Club; Gloucestershire County Hall staff for WW1 WW2; the Travellers Club in Pall Mall; Leeds Council employees WW1; Leeds, Kirkstall Brewery; Leeds Stock Exchange members and clerks; London; Army & Navy Stores WW1 - memorials for two of their department stores; and London, Union Discount Co.


Rolls of Service


Included in this week's release are also a number of Rolls of Service for the Boer War, WW1 and WW2, as well as some for civilian casualties in the Second World War such as Salcombe in Devon and Portsmouth.


This release brings the total number of War Memorials on TheGenealogist to over 597,000.


Use these records to: 

  • Find ancestors who fought for their country in various conflicts
  • Discover workplaces or organisations that some ancestors were associated with


This release expands TheGenealogist’s extensive Military records collection and when used with connected resources, such as the RAF Operations Record Books (ORBs), Aircraft Identification book from 1939, Military Death records, War Memorials and others on TheGenealogist, it can be possible to really build an ancestors story.


To see an example of this, read TheGenealogist’s article: Paddy Finucane the Spitfire Ace



These records and many more are available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.co.uk


About TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections. 


TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.


TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

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New RAF Operations Book Records released on TheGenealogist

This is the first time that these RAF records are fully searchable by name, aircraft, location and many other fields, making it easier to find your aviation ancestors.

In a release of over half a million records, this is the first batch of RAF Operations Records Books (ORBs) to join TheGenealogist’s ever-expanding military records collection.


 The operations records books are for squadrons primarily after the First World War but there are a few early squadron records from 1911 to 1918.


 These documents tell the stories of these brave aircrew who battled against the odds and give insights into their everyday lives. You can use the collection to follow an airman’s war time experiences from these fully searchable Air Ministry operations record books which cover various Royal Air Force, dominion and Allied Air Force squadrons that came under British Command. The AIR 27 records allow the family history researcher a fascinating insight into their relatives serving in a number of wartime air force units.