Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - Q&A -

Kim Cat­trall was very keen to dis­cover what hap­pened to her ma­ter­nal grand­fa­ther, Ge­orge Baugh. Ge­orge aban­doned Kim’s mother, Shane, when Shane was only eight years old. But no one ever knew what be­came of him and the search be­gan to track him down.

We started by try­ing to find his death in Eng­land. When we were un­able to find any­thing, we de­cided to search on­line em­i­gra­tion records. A search in the Na­tional Ar­chives of Aus­tralia ( NAA) proved suc­cess­ful. It is pos­si­ble to search its web­site by name free of charge at col­lec­tion/search.

As Ge­orge Baugh was such an un­usual name, it was pos­si­ble to ver­ify the records with ease. The NAA held use­ful records re­lat­ing to Ge­orge’s mi­gra­tion in­clud­ing his nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion pa­pers and the fact that he trav­elled un­der the As­sisted Pas­sage Mi­gra­tion Scheme. Th­ese records were in­dexed on the web­site and avail­able to view in the ar­chive.

The records also stated that Ge­orge had mar­ried again, a fact not known to Kim. Kim re­vealed this se­cret about Ge­orge to her moth­ers and aunts at the end of the show. This caused a huge shock but also brought clo­sure to this chap­ter in the

fam­ily’s his­tory. The dis­charge pa­pers for Wil­liam Gaffney show that he was con­sid­ered un­fit for fur­ther ser­vice in 1844 My an­ces­tor Wil­liam Gaffney at­tested for the 89th Foot at Athlone in County of Roscom­mon on 11 Fe­bru­ary 1828 aged 20. He re­ceived his dis­charge from the 59th Foot at Portsmouth on 21 June 1844 as be­ing con­sid­ered un­fit for fur­ther ser­vice. Dur­ing his ser­vice he spent one year in the Mediter­ranean, ‘two and nine-twelfth years’ in the West Indies and the re­main­der at ‘home’. Where can I find a copy of his ser­vice record? Sa­muel Dawes, Queens­land, Aus­tralia

ANo doubt you’ve found Wil­liam’s dis­charge doc­u­ments on Find­my­past, which show that he en­listed in the 89th Foot on 8 Fe­bru­ary 1828, trans­ferred to the 59th Foot on 25 Jan­uary 1829 and was dis­charged to pen­sion on the grounds of be­ing un­fit for fur­ther ser­vice in 1844. What you have is, in ef­fect, his ser­vice record and any doc­u­ments re­lat­ing to him specif­i­cally will have been de­stroyed long ago. The army only re­tained doc­u­ments re­quired should there be a query re­gard­ing a sol­dier’s en­ti­tle­ments to medals or pen­sion – ev­ery­thing else was sum­marised on th­ese forms.

There are other doc­u­ments men­tion­ing Wil­liam in the reg­i­men­tal con­text. There are Muster Rolls (lists of sol­diers taken monthly) for 89th Foot for 1828 and 1829 at TNA in WO 12/9117 and 9118, which will, if noth­ing else, con­firm where he was posted on a monthly ba­sis and may men­tion pe­ri­ods when he was sick. Sim­i­lar Musters for his much longer pe­riod with 59th Foot are be­tween WO 12/6816 and WO 12/ 6830. As reg­i­ments moved around the coun­try a lot in this pe­riod, th­ese will at least tell you where he served. There are also Reg­is­ters of Pen­sion­ers for the reg­i­ment – none are on­line.

TNA of­fers a high-qual­ity copy­ing ser­vice and you can re­quest quotes for a doc­u­ment on­line via its Dis­cov­ery ser­vice.

There’s a list of in­de­pen­dent re­searchers work­ing at TNA at­tion­ irlist. Many of them can re­search and copy doc­u­men­ta­tion for you. Sev­eral web­sites give in­for­ma­tion on the reg­i­ment, but this was a peace­ful pe­riod and they took part in no cam­paigns. Phil To­maselli

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