Share This:

My Great Grand uncle was Martin Brennan, son of Martin Brennan and Maria Higgins of Hermitage Croghan.  Born in October 1859.  I just found a military record that MAY be him.  I am hoping someone out there may know something about British Service in the 1880-90's.

In the Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioners Soldier Service Records there is a Martin Brennan born in 1859, next of kin listed as his brother Thomas (it fits).  I cannot read or understand a lot of the text, abbreviations, etc.  The "Attestation", though filled out in Boyle by someone from the Roscommon Militia, on another line at the top it shows "Joined: Galway".  The record mentions the 68th Brigade several times in different places, as well as the 84th Regiment.  Also the Galway Brigade Depot.

In the Statement of Services pages there are references to time spent at Home, in Egypt, and in Ceylon.  There's a period when Martin switched to Army Reserves, and there's a later mention of the Horse Guard. There is no end of service information that I can find.  

Can anyone tell me more about the British military in Ireland in the 1880's, or whom perhaps can understand more of this Martin Brennan's service records (Piece 2358, 5 pages, Service Date 1878).  Also, might there be more records of what this soldier did, when and where?  Also, what happened to him?

Thanks, in advance!

Kevin Brennan, Kodiak Alaska


Thursday 12th Aug 2021, 02:34AM

Message Board Replies

  • Attached Files

    Hello Kevin

    Our volunteer partners in Galway may also pick up on this message but i thought this guide produced by one of our staff members might be useful with regards to locating and using military records.  See some web links below plus an attacehd document.



    IrelandXO Volunteer Partner

    Tower Museum Derry


    The most comprehensive collection of military service records are held in National Archives in Kew, London. They have produced a number of informative research guides on British military service records (which includes Ireland prior to 1922); such as

    · British Army and militia records 1760-1915 at

    · Royal Navy officers' service records 1756-1931 at


    Bernadette Walsh, IrelandXO Partner

    Friday 13th Aug 2021, 09:55AM
  • Attached Files

    Hello Kevin,

    To add to the information that Bernadette Walsh kindly provided, please see below:

    When Martin Brennan was in the army, he would have been in the British Military, as Ireland was under British rule when he served in the late 1800s.

    Ireland Reaching Out has a “Military Ancestors Special Group,” which you can contact through the Ireland Reaching Out website. The moderator for the group is Ronan McD. Go to the following Ireland Reaching Out link at:…

    Also, there are some British military records available at the subscription website and at the subscription Find My Past (FMP).

    FMP also has some free databases available online. I’ll go over one of these free FMP databases in a little while.

    The free FamilySearch website also holds some military records for servicemen from Ireland. As an example, I found your Martin Brennan in an index collection at FamilySearch called, “United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records, 1760-1913,” though I believe you already have his Chelsea Pension record.

    See the index below:

    United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records, 1760-1913

    Name: Martin Brennan
    Age: 20
    Pension Place: United Kingdom
    Birth Year (Estimated): 1858
    Birthplace: Roscommon
    Document Type: A
    Box Number: 2358
    Series Name: WO97
    Source Reference: 972358067
    Affiliate Image Identifier: 972358067
    First Image Number: WO97-2358-067-001.jpg
    Number of Images: 5

    Citing this Collection
    "United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records, 1760-1913." Database with images. FamilySearch. : 10 March 2021. From "Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records 1760-1913." Database and images. findmypast. : n.d. Citing WO 97. The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

    FamilySearch is a good website and has information about military records for serviceman from Ireland. You can read about these military records at:

    The organization that holds original British army and navy records, some of which go back hundreds of years, is the National Archives, located in Kew, Surrey, just west of London. Bernadette had mentioned the National Archives. See the Google Map showing the location of the National Archives in relation to the City of London at:

    For more information about how to obtain British Military Records, see the categories and accompanying links below:

    How to look for records of British Army soldiers up to 1913:

    Paying for research and Independent researchers:

    Independent researchers are not employees of The National Archives and any arrangements made are a private matter between you and the researcher. The fees they charge vary greatly but are often less than our own charges which are fixed at rates set out by the Fees Regulations under the Public Records Act (1958).…

    National Archives Paid Research Service:

    Independent researchers:;

    Earlier, I had mention that the paid website Find My Past (FMP) has a free database you can search. After you register with FMP (registration is free), you can access their Catholic parish register transcriptions of baptisms, marriages, and some burials for all 32 counties of Ireland. Most of the parish registers are for the 19th century, but some go back to the 18th and even 17th centuries, while a few are extent into the 20th century.

    Attached to individual FMP baptism, marriage, and burial transcriptions are links that will take you to copies of the original parish registers held by the National Library of Ireland in Dublin.

    You had mentioned in your message to Ireland Reaching Out that Martin Brennan’s parents were Martin Brennan and Maria Higgins, and that Martin was born in1859. You had also mentioned a brother Tom.

    I found the baptism transcriptions for Martin and three of his siblings, including Tom, at the FMP website. They were baptized in the Killucan Catholic Parish. Their first names in the transcriptions are in the Latin form. See the names of the children below and their years of baptism.

    Joannem (John), 1851
    Patretium (Patrick), 1854
    Martinum (Martin), 1859
    Thomam (Thomas), 1862


    The FMP transcription shows that Joannem was baptized in the Killucan Catholic Parish on 20 April 1851. See the transcription at:

    For a copy of the original baptism record for Joannem, go to the National Library of Ireland website link at:

    There are two facing pages of the register. Joannem’s baptism is on the left-hand register page, 9th entry up from the bottom.

    You can enlarge the register by means of round icons in the upper center/ right of the screen. The icons are white with green backgrounds. You can also access the full-screen function by clicking on the last icon on the right with the two arrows pointing northeast and southwest.

    The handwriting on the register can be a challenge to read. The godfather for Joannem looks like Patritio Brennan. The first name of the godmother is Brigida (Bridget). I couldn’t make out her last name.


    Patretium Brennan was baptized on 1 February 1854. See the FMP transcription:

    A copy of Patretium Brennan’s original baptism record is the 6th entry down from the top of the left-hand register page at:

    I could not make out the first name of the godfather, but his last name looks like McDermott. The godmother is Mary McDonagh.


    Martinum was baptized on 9 October 1859. See the FMP transcription at:

    A copy of Matinum’s original baptism is the last entry at the bottom of the left-hand baptism register page at:

    The bottom left corner of the register is obscured in shadow, and so I could not tell what the first name of the godfather is. The godfather’s last name is Higgins. The first name of the godmother is Maria. Her last name may be Preest.


    Thomam Brennan was baptized on 15 February 1862. See the FMP transcription:

    Thomam’s baptism is the 4th entry down from the top of the right-hand register page at:

    The name of the godfather looks like Joannem Brennan. The first name of the godmother looks like Elenora. I can’t tell what her last name is.


    The next search involved looking for the marriage record for Martin Brennan and Maria Higgins. I found their FMP marriage transcription, which shows they were married in the Killucan Catholic Parish on 24 January 1850. See:

    A copy of their original marriage record is at the very top of the left-hand marriage register page at:

    You’ll see that this section of the register is partially in shadow. The name of one of the witnesses is Thomam Higgins. The first name of the second witness is Catherina. Her last name may be Keanney, but I can’t be sure of that.

    A Google Map shows the Catholic Church in Croghan is St. Michael’s. This is the church where Martin Brennan and Maria Higgins were married and where their sons were baptized:

    For Google Street Views of the church see:; and

    For more information about St. Michael’s Church in Croghan see the Ireland Reaching Out “Buildings Database” at:

    For more information about the Hermitage, Croghan, also see the Ireland Reaching Out “Buildings Database” at:

    Your information shows that the Brennan family were living at the Hermitage, Croghan, County Roscommon. With this knowledge I wanted to see if Martin Brennan was recorded in an Irish property tax record known as Griffiths Valuation.

    Griffiths Valuation was enumerated in the 32 counties of Ireland between 1847 and 1864. The valuation for Croghan and surrounding townlands, was completed by the year 1852.

    Unlike a census, Griffiths Valuation did not enumerate individual members of a family, such as husband, wife, and children in a household residence. Those named in the valuation were individuals who paid to lease property, such as land, houses, and outbuildings. Each person who paid to lease the property was called an “Occupier.” The other person listed in Griffiths Valuation was the person who owned the property, or who worked as the middleman collecting the rent on Gale Day for the owner. This middleman was called the “Immediate Lessor.”

    You can access Griffiths Valuation transcriptions and original copies for free at the askaboutireland website link at:

    I found Martin Brennan in Griffiths Valuation where he leased a house and a little over an acre of land in Croghan, Civil Parish of Killucan, from an Immediate Lessor named James McFadden. The land and house were each valued at 5 Shillings. The total valuation for the lease was 10 Shillings. Martin would not have been required to pay a tax on the lease, as only those leaseholds valued over 5 Pounds were subject to the tax. Because he did not lease a great deal of land I am wondering if he had an occupation other than farming, or perhaps in addition to farming.

    The Griffiths Valuation page for Croghan is attached to this reply. Martin can be found at Number/Letter 6a. The Number/Letter combination 6a is a map reference number on an Ordnance Survey Map from the time period, showing where Martin’s lease was situated in Croghan.

    Griffiths Valuation further shows that a Map Reference 11 in Croghan, a Michael Brennan had leased over 5 acres of land from an Immediate Lessor named Guy Lloyd. The land was valued at 4 Pounds. Michael was likely related to Martin Brennan.

    Next, if you go up the Griffiths Valuation page to Map Reference 3b, you’ll see that a Patrick Higgins had leased a house, office and a garden in Croghan from an Immediate Lessor named William Morton. The garden was under an acre in size. Patrick’s garden was valued at 5 Shillings. His house and office were valued at 15 Shillings. The total valuation for his lease was 1 Pound.

    An office in a Griffiths Valuation may refer to a barn, stable, blacksmith shop, piggery, etc.

    Best of Luck with your research Kevin,

    Dave Boylan


    Martin Brennan in Griffiths Valuation


    Brian Mitchell’s “New Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy.”
    Ireland Reaching Out Military Ancestors Special Group:
    Find My Past (FMP)
    National Archives, Kew Surrey
    National Library of Ireland
    Griffiths Valuation
    Ask About Ireland:
    Google Maps


    Saturday 14th Aug 2021, 03:24AM
  • Holy Mackerel!  You folks are very good!  I have found a lot of information here, some new and some that affirms previous thoughts.

    Bernadette and Dave, I cannot thank you enough! I will follow up, which seems like it will take some time.  Thank you again.









    Saturday 14th Aug 2021, 08:12PM
  • You're welcome KB, and thank you for your reply.

    With Kind Regards,



    Sunday 15th Aug 2021, 03:34AM

Post Reply

Close this

The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.
Error: Call to a member function getCacheTags() on null in Drupal\image\Plugin\Field\FieldFormatter\ImageFormatter->viewElements() (line 247 of core/modules/image/src/Plugin/Field/FieldFormatter/ImageFormatter.php).
Drupal\image\Plugin\Field\FieldFormatter\ImageFormatter->viewElements() (Line: 89)
Drupal\Core\Field\FormatterBase->view() (Line: 76)
Drupal\Core\Field\Plugin\Field\FieldFormatter\EntityReferenceFormatterBase->view() (Line: 263)
Drupal\Core\Entity\Entity\EntityViewDisplay->buildMultiple() (Line: 340)
Drupal\Core\Entity\EntityViewBuilder->buildComponents() (Line: 24)
Drupal\node\NodeViewBuilder->buildComponents() (Line: 282)
Drupal\Core\Entity\EntityViewBuilder->buildMultiple() (Line: 239)
call_user_func_array() (Line: 101)
Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doTrustedCallback() (Line: 772)
Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doCallback() (Line: 363)
Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender() (Line: 201)
Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render() (Line: 157)
Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->Drupal\Core\Render\{closure}() (Line: 564)
Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->executeInRenderContext() (Line: 158)
Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->renderPlain() (Line: 525)
Drupal\node\Plugin\Search\NodeSearch->indexNode() (Line: 489)
Drupal\node\Plugin\Search\NodeSearch->updateIndex() (Line: 121)
search_cron() (Line: 249)
Drupal\Core\Cron->Drupal\Core\{closure}() (Line: 405)
Drupal\Core\Extension\ModuleHandler->invokeAllWith() (Line: 257)
Drupal\Core\Cron->invokeCronHandlers() (Line: 136)
Drupal\Core\Cron->run() (Line: 75)
Drupal\Core\ProxyClass\Cron->run() (Line: 65)
call_user_func() (Line: 142)
Drupal\Component\EventDispatcher\ContainerAwareEventDispatcher->dispatch() (Line: 103)
Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->terminate() (Line: 32)
Stack\StackedHttpKernel->terminate() (Line: 687)
Drupal\Core\DrupalKernel->terminate() (Line: 22)