FAQs

Your guide to researching the records.
In order to assist in your research, we've provided answers to some of the more common questions received.  Please understand that the British armies of the eighteenth century were more interested in winning wars than leaving us a paper trail to uncover hundreds of years later. Through our research, we have discovered that personal documents for these soldiers from the Seven Years' War are at a great premium.

In researching your ancestor's name, we recommend using the Search box located in the upper right column of each page for more precise results. Additionally, be sure to consult our consolidated list of surname spellings as we've discovered many different variations recorded throughout the collection of documents.

Personnel Records:
Q: I think my ancestor was in the 78th Regiment. Where do I begin to look for documents here on the Blog?
A: By 1759, the Regiment consisted of 14 individual companies, each commanded by a commissioned officer. Be sure to check each company roster on the surviving subsistence rolls, compiled during the summer of 1763, to locate your ancestor.
 
Q: I've located my ancestor's name on a company roster. Where do I go from here?
A: At the conclusion of the war, the disposition of each soldier was dependent on one of the following categories:
     - Returned home and discharged in Scotland, Dec. 1763.
     - Recommended to Royal Chelsea Hospital in London, 1764.
     - Discharged and remained in North America, Aug. 1763.
     - Joined the 15th Regiment at Quebec, Aug. 1763.
     - Joined the 2d Battalion, 60th R.A. Regiment at Quebec, Aug. 1763. 
   
If your ancestor remained in North America, be sure to check both the Canadian and Colonial land petitions records. 

Q: What if I did not locate my ancestor's name on a company roster?
A: Here are a few possibilities to consider.
     - Your ancestor did not serve in the 78th Regiment.
     - He became an invalid soldier due to injuries and discharged early.
     - Perhaps he transferred to another regiment in the area.
     - Very few 78th soldiers deserted the army, though it's something to consider.
     - He may have been a casualty of war.

Q: Are any original enlistment or discharge papers for the soldiers available?
A: Only a small number of personal documents belonging to the soldiers have ever been discovered. We've uncovered one set of attestation papers listing eleven original recruits and only about one percent [12-15] of the original discharge certificates. The chances are very slim we'll have one for your ancestor.

Q: Is there a list of birthplaces for any of the soldiers?
A: We have cataloged known birthplaces for about 250 soldiers from a variety of sources.
     - Chelsea Pensioners'
     - Recruitment [Map and spreadsheet available.]

Q: Did soldiers of the 78th get married during the war, and are any records available?
A: A military order was issued by General James Murray on 6 October 1759 prohibiting soldiers from marrying the local French women. Although it's quite possible some soldiers formed civil union partnerships as a workaround to the order, we have not located any actual marriage records for British soldiers during the conflict. It is presumed the order remained in effect for the duration of the war, and quite possibly through 1768 as British soldiers continued to provide guard over Quebec.

In September 1762, there is one documented case concerning Major John Campbell of the 78th Foot making a donation [or payment] to Catherine Voyer, a local woman, possibly in support of an illegitimate child. Further research is currently underway to validate the case.

Uniforms:
Q: What tartan was worn by the men?
A: The official tartan remains a mystery; however, many historians believe it to be the government sett, same as the 42d Foot, the Black Watch plaid. We know that this was also the plaid worn by Colonel Montgomeries 77th Foot, and researchers conclude any striking changes by Colonel Fraser would have probably been noted. Additionally, it is generally accepted that "clan tartans" date no earlier than the 19th century.

Q: Is there a list available of any accoutrements for the Regiment?
A: Yes. You'll find a small list of accoutrements here.

General Research:
Q: Will you perform research from your documents on my behalf?
A: Yes. Please see our Research page for full details.

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