Old Soldier Ancestors

The other week I posted about the database where you can search muster rolls from the Hundred Years War (1300s-1400s).

It looks like wildcard searches are the way to go, because I found soldiers in the database that share the surname of both sides of my family by searching on the first couple of letters and then an asterisk. For example, searching on CO* as the surname gives two archers:

John Couche, Archer, his captain was Robert Giffard and his commanding officer was Richard Fitz Alan, earl of Arundel. He served in the Naval Expeditionary force that went to France in 1388.

Matthew Couche was also an archer on “Keeping of the Sea” duty in 1372-1373. Captain and commanding officer was Sir Philip de Courtenay.

The other side of the family included archers as well as men-at-arms:

Richard Lilye was an archer with the 1415 Expeditionary force under Henry V. His captain was Roger Chamber.

Two different Williams (Lillye and Lilly) served in the standing forces in Ireland and Acquitaine, respectively, in 1374 and 1439. The first was an archer and the second a man-at-arms.

The database offers an interesting glimpse into the past, so if you have any English ancestry, you might want to give it a whirl.

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