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Up To Rawdon
© 2016, Daniel B. Parkinson

Rawdon Loyal Irish Volunteers
1837 - 1839

Microfilms from Library and Archives Canada containing militia pay lists may be found at Ancestry.com. There is some overlapping in the documents - for instance the second and third documents (in column G) include days already noted in document one (column E). Column G I have treated as a single document because the two parts cover the same time period (the regiment had two separate troops each with its’ own serjeant [sic] major). An asterisk denotes a member of the Second Troop. At this time of political unrest, militia training and service was required for males aged 16 to 60 and there are 421 named. Only a handful appear to be Canadien.

The recorder of the pay lists used spellings which are not always consistent with how the volunteer signed. Sic, or a note, in the comments column denotes there are differences. An X was used to indicate the volunteer had signed off and a second X at the end of the name (or between first and second names) indicated that someone had signed for this man. This may denote illiteracy but not necessarily. It appears, when one examines the handwriting, that sometimes one person signed for others in his family - for example, a father for his sons. There are individuals known to be literate who did not sign for themselves on some lists. It would also appear that the paymaster permitted volunteers, who were not immediate family, to collect for friends or neighbours. This is proven by later pay lists where men signed their own names. It is worthwhile to consult the various lists for details; I have noted some individuals who did not sign the first list examined but did sign later ones and vice versa. Blank spaces in a column indicate that no account was found of payment to this volunteer in this particular time period.

Transcribing into an Excel sheet requires great care and I apologize for errors or omissions and will endeavour to correct them, when pointed out.

It is interesting to see who was promoted to higher rank in the brief 18 month period - in the case of Robert Bagnall from private to major. In a number of cases, rank indicates the volunteer had previous military service - Henry Dawson and William Norrish are excellent examples. Michael Watters was about 63 and not obliged to serve; was he a sergeant in recognition of his age? We do not know if he or his son Abraham, also a sergeant, were ex-soldiers. Many of the additions to the pay list were young men coming of age.

Rawdon Loyal Irish Volunteers (PDF or XLS format)

Payment was made in pounds, shillings and pence (£ s d) of Halifax currency, which was used officially in Upper and Lower Canada until 1841 when the gold standard was adopted for the dollar. The daily rate was similar to what was listed for the Kildare regiment but there were slight differences. The Rawdon pay list is earlier and it appears the rate may have been higher for those serving longer time periods. Most Rawdon pay lists were witnessed by William Holtby and Henry Dawson. This income in winter months must have been a welcome source of cash to all concerned, despite whatever inconvenience this caused to the clearing of land and family life.

Kildare Sedentary / Volunteer Infantry
1838-1839

Microfilms from Library and Archives Canada containing militia pay lists may be found at Ancestry.com. The transcription below includes five documents which relate to the Kildare Sedentary / Volunteer Infantry (both names are used in original papers). There are two pay lists from a document of 661 pages and three excerpted from a document of 798 pages.

The first is "Account No. 1507 dated 8 July 1830 item 33 with schedule of Acct. Priorities to 31 January 1839. Pay List and Acquittance Roll of the Kildare Volunteer Company". [Perhaps 1830 refers to the founding of the Kildare militia].

"We whose names are hereunto subscribed do acknowledge to have received from Captain R. Woods the sum set opposite to our names, being the amount of pay to the Rank we severally hold, in the above Corps, and for the periods hereunder specified."
The account was submitted December 31, 1838 for 13 days served in November. The second document is identical to the first but was for 6 days served in November and December 1838 and submitted December 31, 1838. The second document covers three time periods - the account submitted January 31, 1839 for 2 days served in that month; the account submitted February 28, 1839 for 2 days served in that month and the account submitted April 1839 for 4 days served in the months of March and April.

Columns A, B and C give the rank Christian and surnames as recorded on the pay lists The recorder of the pay lists used spellings which were not always consistent with what the volunteer wrote. Column D is how the volunteer, or the man signing for him, signed. Sic in the comments column denotes there are differences in either or both names. An X was used to indicate the volunteer had received his pay and a second X at the end of the name (or between first and second names) perhaps indicated that someone had signed for this man. This may denote illiteracy but not necessarily. It appears, from the handwriting, that sometimes one person may have signed of others in his family - for example, a father for his sons. There are interesting variances in the signatures in the five documents; some are noted in the comments column. For instance, in April documents only full names were signed. The order of names is similar but not identical in the five documents but there is always the same total of ranks and privates and always 65 names. Because there is little variation in who was serving there is only one list for the five time periods and Column E records anything worthy of note.

Kildare Sedentary / Volunteer Infantry (PDF or XLS format)

Payment was made in pounds, shillings and pence (£ s d) of Halifax currency, which was used officially in Upper and Lower Canada until 1841 when the gold standard was adopted for the dollar. The daily rate was as follows: captain 13 shillings, 11 pence; lieutenant 7 / 10; ensign 6 / 4 and for sergeants, corporals and privates 2 / 6. Three weeks of income in five winter months must have been a welcome source of cash to all concerned.