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Militia Lists (Scotland) (Military)

Nature of Source

Records from the militia ballot lists and the militia lists as well as other volunteer forces and fencibles. Fencible regiments consisted of a volunteer forces willing to serve in England, Scotland or Ireland and were raised by estate owning landowners or clan chiefs. The volunteer forces were raised at the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

After the union of 1707, the records of those that served in the armed forces will be found at The National Archives in Kew. Before the union troops were raised as and when needed. The threat of a French military invasion and the lead up to the Napoleonic Wars led to the re-establishment of the Scottish militia by the Militia Act (Scotland) of 1797. Under the Act, Lord Lieutenants raised militia forces within each county for national defence. A survey or ballot of all men between the ages of 18 and 45 (between 18 and 30 before 1802) was complied and from these ballots those who actually served were selected.

It was possible for a balloted man to nominate a substitute to serve in his place. Some groups were exempted such as apprentices, schoolmasters, ministers and some paupers.

Other Scotland Resources
Census Returns
Clan & Tartan Records
County & Local Histories
Court Records
Directories, Trade, Professional, Telephone & Street
Electoral Registers or Burgess Rolls
Emigration Records
Hearth Tax
Heraldic Coats of Arms & Seals
Kirk/Church Sessions
Land Tax Assessments & Returns
Maps & Gazetteers
Monumental/Memorial Inscriptions
Newspapers, magazines & journals
Old Parish Registers-Baptisms (OPRs)
Old Parish Registers-Burials (OPRs)
Old Parish Registers-Marriages & Proclamations (OPRs)
Passenger Lists
Pedigrees and Family Histories
Poor Law Records
Registers of Deeds (Books of Council and Session)
Retours of Services of Heirs
Sasines, Registers of
Statistical Accounts of Scotland
Statutory Registration-Birth
Statutory Registration-Death
Statutory Registration-Marriage
Surname Origins and Distribution
Valuation Rolls & Stent Rolls
Wills/Testaments and Inheritance

Where Found

ScotlandsPeople Centre (The ScotlandsPeople Centre is the official government resource for family history research. The principal militia material is to be found in the sheriff court records or county council records. Other militia records may also be found in landowner records as landowners were responsible for compiling lists of men able to bear arms. ScotlandsPeople Centre is a partnership between the National Records of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon. The National Records of Scotland was created on 1 April 2011 by the amalgamation of the National Archives of Scotland and General Register Office for Scotland)
The National Archives (SP 41/2, Muster rolls of the Scottish army in England taken at Muskham, near Newark, Nottinghamshire, on or about 17 January 1646; WO 13, Muster books and pay lists of militia and volunteer regiments for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, 1778-1878)
County Record Offices (ARCHON Directory: Find the details of a UK archive from a searchable list of over 2,500 archives The catalogue can be found on the TNA Discovery home page)
Sheriff Courts
Burgh Archives
Estate Archives

Period Covered

1641 - 1820

Genealogical Value

Names, addresses, occupations, ages, parish of births.

Further References

Militia Related
Aikman, Christian & Livingstone, Alastair & Stuart Hart, Betty (eds). No Quarter Given: The Muster Roll of Prince Charles Edward Stuart's Army, 1745-46: Neil Wilson Publishing, 2001 (Fully indexed) Buy Now on Amazon
Dalton, Charles. The Scots Army 1661-1688: Greenhill Books, 1989 (1909) (Available at the Internet Archive and includes regiment lists and muster rolls) Buy Now on Amazon
Gibson, Jeremy & Medlycott, Mervyn. Militia Lists and Musters, 1757-1876 : A Directory of Holdings in the British Isles: Federation of Family History Societies, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon
Gibson, Jeremy & Dell, Alan. Tudor and Stuart Muster Rolls: Federation of Family History Societies, 1996 Buy Now on Amazon
Hamilton-Dalrymple, Hew. Records of the Ayrshire Militia from 1802 to 1883: South Ayrshire Council, 2011  Buy Now on Amazon
Morrison, Arnold. Some Scottish Sources on Militias, Fencibles and Volunteers 1790-183: A. Morrison, 1998  
Ripley, Howard & Darmanin, Denis. Scottish, Welsh & Channel Islands Infantry Militia Buttons 1757-1881: Howard Ripley, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Family History Guides  
Adolph, Anthony. Tracing Your Scottish Family History: Collins, 2008 Buy Now on Amazon
Bigwood, Rosemary: The Scottish Family Tree Detective: Tracing Your Ancestors in Scotland: Manchester University Press, 2007  Buy Now on Amazon
Clarke, T. Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors: The Official Guide: Birlinn, 2012  Buy Now on Amazon
Cory, Kathleen B. Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Durie, Bruce. Scottish Genealogy: The History Press, 2012  Buy Now on Amazon
Durie, Bruce. Documents for Genealogy & Local History: The History Press, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Hamilton-Edwards, Gerald. In Search of Scottish Ancestry: Phillimore, 1983  Buy Now on Amazon
Holton, Graham & Winch, Jack. Discover Your Scottish Ancestry: Internet and Traditional Resources: Edinburgh University Press, 2009 (Preview available from Google Books)
 Buy Now on Amazon
James, Alwyn. Scottish Roots: From Gravestone to Website: The Step-By-Step Guide to Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors: Luath Press, 2005 Buy Now on Amazon
Maxwell, Ian. Tracing your Scottish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen & Sword, 2009  
Paton, Chris. Researching Scottish Family History: The Family History Partnership, 2010  Buy Now on Amazon
Stewart, Alan. My Ancestor was Scottish: Society of Genealogists, 2012  Buy Now on Amazon
Tovey, Helen. My Scottish Ancestry: Lomond Books, 2011  Buy Now on Amazon
Concise Scots Dictionary: Edinburgh University Press, 1999 (Preview available from Google Books) Buy Now on Amazon
Lynch, Michael. Oxford Companion to Scottish History: OUP Oxford, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon
Moffat, Alistair & Wilson, James. The Scots: A Genetic Journey: Birlinn, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon
Richards, Eric. The Highland Clearances: Birlinn, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Scots Dictionary: Collins, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon
Timperley, Loretta R, (ed). A Directory of Land Ownership in Scotland c 1770: Scottish Record Society, 1976 Buy Now on Amazon
Torrance, Richard D. Scottish Trades, Professions, Vital Documents & Directories: Scottish Association of Family History Societies, 1998 Buy Now on Amazon

Websites (National Records of Scotland: Research Guides: Military Records) (National Records of Scotland: Research Guides: Sheriff Court Records) (National War Museum) (1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: Militia of the United Kingdom) (Scottish Military History Website: The Lineage and Uniforms of the Regiments of Scotland-Past and Present) (Fife Military Project: History of Fife local militias, fencibles, yeomanry and other volunteer forces)

Online Databases (National Register of Archives for Scotland. Partial whereabouts of records held in private hands) (Fife Military Project: Regular Fife Militia, 1798-1855) (Militia Survey Perthshire, Scotland, 1802) (Mitchell Library Online Resources for Historians: Index to Militia Registers for Glasgow 1810-1831) (ScotlandsPeople: Soldiers' Wills, 1857-1964: Wills of 31,000 Scottish soldiers made available online by the National Records of Scotland. The vast majority of the Soldiers' Wills are from the First World War with others from WW2, the Boer War, Korean War and other conflicts between 1857 and 1964)