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Canada, British North America
Military & War History Resources

More Canadian & British North America Military Resources



BOOK - Searching for Canadian Militia Records following the Fenian Threat and the Red River Expedition, 1866-1872
By Kenneth G. Cox
Published by author, Toronto 2018

Soft cover...24.95 (C$)

8.5 X 11"
saddle-stitched
Searching for Canadian Militia Records following the Fenian Threat and the Red River Expedition, 1866-1872 identifies available records, how to access them, and discusses interpretation of findings. Several lists of men are also included (see below). Generously illustrated with examples, this book will be of great help to those seeking to kknow more about Canadian militia records for the Fenian Raids and Red River Expedition 1866-1872.

Contents include:
  • Author’s Note
  • Chapter One - The Fenian Brotherhood and Red River Expedition: The Canadian Militia comes of age, 1850-1872,
  • Chapter Two - The Canadian Militia; Nominal Rolls, Pay Lists and Service Records
    • Appendix 1, Early Militia units raised following the Militia Act of 1855 and up to 1885 (year raised, unit designation/name)
    • Appendix 2, [names of] Canadian Zouaves in the Papal Army, 1868 – 1870
    • Appendix 3, Militia Districts, 1866 [names of Districts and municipalities within]
    • Appendix 4, Military Districts as of 1 January 1900 [names of Divisions with included county names, and location of each District Head Quarters]
    • Appendix 5, The militia units called out during the Fenian Raid at Ridgeway
  • Chapter Three: Discovering the Rolls of the Canada General Service Medal, 1866,1870 and Red River Expedition
    • Appendix 1, Canadian Militia receiving the Canada General Service Medal
      • Names and rank - in action at Trout River May 27, 1870
      • Names and rank - in action at Eccles Hill, May 25th 1870
      • Names and rank - in Action at Pigeon Hill, June 22nd 1866,
      • Names and rank - in Action at Fort Erie, 1866
      • Names and rank - in Action St. Armand, Quebec, June 9th 1866
      • Names and rank - in Action Ridgeway, June 1st 1866
      • Names and rank - in Action at Waterloo, Quebec, March 1866
    • Appendix 2, Canadian troops killed, captured or wounded during the Fenian Raid at Ridgeway [includes name, nature of wound wounded, captured or killed, unit]
  • Chapter Four: The 1872 land grants to veterans of the Red River Expedition; the Ontario Land Grant to veterans of the Fenian Raids and the Federal Government’s Fenian Raid Volunteer Bounty Act of 1912 and assorted documents
    • Appendix 1: List of applicants for the Paid Bounty whose claims have been approved [names, corps, addresses]
    • Appendix 2: Location Ticket, Province of Ontario [an color image of one example: Charles Green Bonneycastle]
  • Research References
  • End notes
  • Table of Contents [a topical Index]
From the back cover:
    In reality our ancestors who served during the Fenian Raids of 1866/70 were very much 'parttime' soldiers. But changes were occurring in the nature of our country's military commitment.

    Many of these changes were the result of external pressures and a growing awareness that Great Britain was quite willing to give the country greater autonomy; including responsibility for its own defence. The Canadian Militia Act of May 19th , 1855 enacted by the Union Government of Ontario and Quebec created a Volunteer Corps of Active Militia totalling 5,000 men. The Active Militia was to be outfitted and paid by the Government and serve for twenty days each year. Everyone of our male ancestors of age and not on the Active Militia rolls were to be part of the Sedentary Militia. The 1859 amendments to the Act allowed for the formation of Battalions when no more than 10 an~ no less than 6 companies wanted to join together.
    Following the Act of Confederation in 1867 that joined Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a new country, the Active Militia expanded rapidly. By 1871 Great Britain had withdrawn its' military presence and was intent in only maintaining a small commitment on the east and west coasts of Canada.

    The Fenian raids of 1866/70 reinforced and justified the value of the Militia and convinced the government that more attention needed to be paid to defence. The Red River 'Rebellion' and resulting expedition which followed in 1870 involved two battalions of over seven hundred volunteers from the militia of Canada. Along with troops from Great Britain, they travelled west to quell the attempt by Louis Riel to address the grievances resulting from the purchase of Rupert's Land by the Canadian Government.

    Our Ancestors were also involved in other military commitments during this period in history. Over Five Hundred joined the Canadian Papal Zouaves and travelled to Italy to defend Rome during the turbulent times in 1868-70 as forces in Italy sought unification. In 1858 the Royal Canadian Rifles was raised through voluntary enlistment to serve as the 100th Royal Canadian Regiment of Foot on the British establishment. Over one thousand men quickly joined the Regiment to serve anywhere in the British Empire.

    Slowly our army of 'part-time' soldiers would grow from our involvement on the Nile in the Sudan and Boer War in South Africa into the 650,000 men and women who between 1914 and 1918 would fight as the Canadian Corps during World War 1 and achieve some significant victories.

    This guide deals only with our ancestor's involvement in the military events which occurred in 1866-70. Militia records from th is period are unfortunately scarce. However, there are some that can prove to family historians that their ancestors 'stepped up' when ca lled upon to defend their country and became more than 'part-time' soldiers.
About the author:
Kenneth Cox is a former school principal who started researching his own family's military legacy shortly after retirement. His initial personal interest in military service records research soon turned into a passion. Ken writes articles about military records research for periodicals, and has published two previous books on military research; A Call to the Colours, Tracing Your Canadian Military Ancestors; and Patriotes, Reformers, Rebels and Raiders, Tracing your ancestors during the 'troublous' times in Upper and Lower Canada 1820-1851; and The War of 1812 in British North America, Searching for your Ancestor's Elusive War Records . He lives in Toronto, Ontario

77 pages
8.5 X 11"
Lists of men
Illustrations (color and B&W)
Soft cover (sadle stitched)
Published by author, Toronto, 2018
ISBN 978-0-9937871-3-3





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