If you’ve gotten back quite a ways in your English genealogy research—we’re talking Middle Ages here—you might be interested in the Soldier in Later Medieval England project database of nearly 90,000 soldiers in the Hundred Years’ War from 1369 to 1453.
The names come from muster rolls in the British national archives. According to the project Web site, the documents “would probably have been drawn up in advance of a campaign, and then annotated at least once, during a formal muster at the port of embarkation.”
See the project Web site for more information on the muster rolls.
You can search on a first or last name, rank or several other parameters. Read the search tips before beginning.
Results show the soldier’s name, status (his title, such as esquire or baron), rank (archer, man-at-arms, etc.), captain’s and commander’s names, years served, nature of activity (“keeping of the sea,” “standing force,” etc.), a reference number for the source of the information, and a membrane (page) number.
There’s also a Protection Database of 20,000 names from letters of protection and powers of attorney between 1369 and 1453. These documents would, respectively, protect a soldier from prosecution during his absence or authorize a legal representative to act on his behalf.
If you should discover a Hundred Years’ War ancestor, check out the list of publications from Soldier of Later Medieval England project scholars at the University of Reading and University of Southampton.
Thanks to Tara Calishain of ResearchBuzz for this tip.