Reply To: German Sergeant serving in Royal Marines 1797-1814
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I want to pick up on something mentioned at the start, and to revisit some comments I have made
I am doing research into Ferdinand Propsting, a German man who served aboard HMS Acasta and HMS Albion as a sergeant in the Royal Marines (I am unsure yet if he served on any other ships)… he served for over 18 years… Was it possible that there were positions for marines that meant he could stay ashore?
My interpretation of what you are asking:
1. You have determined that he served for over eighteen years, and that he served on two ships at least.
2. You have been led to assume that all the records are digitised and available via searching FMP. Given that only two ships have been identified, the inference is that the gaps must have been spent on shore.
Doing the research on a Royal Marine is hard work. It is tedious, manual and time-consuming, as you bounce between two sets of paper records.
The records that have survived, like many items in the archive, were retained for legal and accounting reasons. Subsequent requests for assistance from Royal Hospital Greenwich would have been the reason for the retention of many Admiralty records, now stored at Kew in a variety of archives series with the prefix ADM.
Service records for Royal Marines, with a linear statement of service, whereby each line item records time spent onshore or aboard a given vessel, from date x to date y, did not commence until 1870, and are in the ADM 159 series. They did not record service prior to this year. As already stated, a former marine’s Division would provide a statement based upon when they enlisted and when they were discharged.
Whilst I have a lot of experience regarding naval and military genealogy, although you need the service framework that a service record provides, I find it bland. The interesting part is determining the battles in which a given warship or army unit actually participated in, and this can be quite challenging.
The late Paul Benyon (1940-2019) created a website with an index of ships, and in a lot of cases he has added places and dates of where ships were, as derived from the Naval Chronicle. His site has been hosted by Rootsweb following his demise. It is a readily available resource that gives some interesting pointers. Given that he did not provide an inline citation, it can be difficult to determine the original source of the information.
Based upon what Paul has gathered about HMS Albion, it would appear that prior to its arrival in North America in September 1813, to participate in the War of 1812 thereafter, this is when Propsting would have served aboard HMS Albion.
HMS Albion – pbenyon’s index