Was My Ancestor a Medieval Knight?

A medieval knight, and perhaps your great, great (etc) grandfather (PD photo)

A medieval knight, and perhaps your great, great (etc) grandfather (PD photo)

Anyone can research their ancestors going back a generation or two.  Just ask grandma!

But how about going back, say, six or seven centuries.  A new genealogical database will let you do just that, particularly if your family has roots in England, and even more particularly, if one of your ancestors was a medieval soldier.

A recently-released database, The Soldier in Later Medieval England, let’s you search 14th and 15th century English family history for the period 1369-1453. The system has almost 250,000 records in three separate databases: historic muster rolls, the garrison database, and something known as the protection database. The whole thing is made possible by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in the UK, who digitized records from the UK National Archives.

You’ll find here odd titles, excursions, duties and military campaigns, such as the King’s Remembrancer Expedition to Brittany in 1375, or the Standing Force of the King’s Bodyguard, in 1398.

The search interface is refreshingly fast and simple.  Search on a first or last name, or on assorted details like date, military rank, commanding officer, and so on.  Just bear in mind that medieval spelling isn’t anything much like what we learn these days, so you need to be creative in your search strategies.  Nevertheless, if your family history includes a knight or two in the woodwork, a free lance, foot soldier, or just a hapless squire, this is the research tool for you.

Don’t forget to also check for your family history at and They are among the most powerful research tools available for looking into family roots.

David Sarokin

Related questions:

  • How Can I Get Free Records? How Can I Get Free Records? subprime mortgage lenders is the 600-pound gorilla in the family history field... it simply can't be ignored, and is, in fact, the richest, deepest source of […]
  • Where Can I Find WWI Enlistment Records?Where Can I Find WWI Enlistment Records? I have good news and bad news. There are millions of records of World War I soldiers available on the internet...enlistment records, unit musters and roll calls, reports of actions, lists […]
  • Do I have ancestors with a criminal record?Do I have ancestors with a criminal record? Family history researchers must be always ready to be shocked when they find a ‘skeleton in the cupboard’ while researching their family tree. Thieves, arsonists, bigamists and even […]
  • How Can I Find Any Musicians in My Family History?How Can I Find Any Musicians in My Family History? You got your musical chops somewhere. But in which branch of the great family tree of your ancestors did the musical talent first make itself known? There are a number of very good […]
  • How rich was my ancestor?How rich was my ancestor? If you are researching your family history and in particular your English and Welsh ancestors, then a useful new resource is now available online: the England and Wales National […]

  Need research? Quezi's researchers can answer your questions at

No Comments

Comments are closed.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Privacy Policy | Acknowledgements