Not everyone fought

This guide was last updated in 2010

Your ancestors did not have to join the army to be profoundly affected by the Civil War.

They may have suffered through taxation, sequestration of land or property, loss of family or friends, divided loyalties and a hundred and one other traumas.

State Papers held at The National Archives may shed some light here: they contain large collections of material of both local and national importance, including sequestration papers; payments to localities for quartering soldiers; taxation records; records of raising, paying and equipping troops and a great deal more.

It would also be helpful to study local collections, which may include parish records, accounts of churchwardens and overseers of the poor, copies of many state papers, local correspondence, eyewitness accounts, family papers and Quarter Session records of those applying for aid or compensation.

There may also be Protestation Oaths (of loyalty to the Church and King), the originals of which are kept at the House of Lords Record Office, although many local archives may hold copies and some are available online.

Record keeping was a particularly haphazard affair during these years of turbulence, but examining the available collections relating to your ancestors’ locality may just produce a nugget.

Officer & soldier records
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