1861 Worldwide Army Index

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Information about 1861 Worldwide Army Index

The 1861 Worldwide Army Index, also known as The 1861 Worldwide Soldier Index, includes details of over 244,000 serving soldiers listed in the National Archives April-June quarter paylists held in WO 10 (Royal Artillery), WO 11 (Royal Engineers) and WO 12 (Cavalry, Guards, Infantry and other units) series War Office records. It includes records not only of soldiers serving in Britain, but also those serving in distant imperial outposts. If your ancestors are missing from the 1861 census, you may find them here.

The index provides the names, ranks, army numbers and regiments of about 98% of men then serving in the British Army. About 5000 men are not included because the Paylists listing their names have not survived.

If a man aged 14-18 years or older cannot be found in the 1861 England, Wales & Scotland census, or the Genes Reunited collection British Army Service Records 1760-1915, then consulting the 1861 Worldwide Army Index is vital. Once you’ve found the relevant name, you can research them further in National Archives records. Whilst soldiers listed in the 1861 Worldwide Army Index will only appear to be serving in one quarter of 1861, they may in fact have been serving as early as 1840 or up to as late as 1882.