Monday, March 24, 2014

New Search on Find My Past

Find My Past has instituted a new search style on their website. I received my email telling me that I could now use the new search. I have been thinking about my great grandfather Edwin Denner Buller a bit lately so decided to do a search for him. For a little background knowledge, by family lore I understand that Edwin Denner Buller was in South Africa, that he served in the British Army, that he was injured in the leg and discharged. I did not have any dates for this information, it was just a childhood story that I remember my grandmother repeating to me several times actually in different ways as it turned up in childhood stories that she told me. I have never been able to find any documents to add to this information. A few years back I quite excitedly found that an Edwin Buller born in Aston near Birmingham in 1850 had military records on Find My Past and I trolled through the many pages quite diligently until I came across information that proved this was not my Edwin Buller; indeed his name is Edwin Baller.

I entered into the new search Edwin D Buller as that tends to separate him from any other Buller in any system. Up came six items, five of which I already knew and then there was this record from the military records known as the "Chelsea Pensioners' Discharge documents 1760-1887." This record showed that Edwin D Buller was discharged 12 Dec 1882 and that he had been in the Army Hospital Corps. I had his service number and I know that there is at least one sheet of paper in Box 238 of WO 121 that mentions him.

Obviously I think this new search is simply fabulous. But also I do rather like the results display for the search. I haven't done any others yet but will do so.

For a little background on this time period, the First Boer War occurred  from the 16 Dec 1880 until 23 Mar 1881. I do not know how severe the injury was to Edwin's leg but he walked with a limp and used a cane so probably somewhat severe since he was not discharged until 1882 over a year after the war ended. I know that Edwin was living with his grandmother Sarah Welch, his mother and some of his siblings in 1871. His uncle was a jeweller and a younger brother of Edwin's (Clemence Charles Buller) was sent to Africa as a jeweller for this uncle in the latter part of the 1880s so have always wondered if Edwin had been sent there after 1871 and ended up in the British Army when the war started in December 1880.

When he returned to Aston where his mother and siblings were still living, I suspect he would have reported to the hospital in the Aston Union. There he quite likely met his future wife Ellen Taylor as she was there at that time. Ellen had grown up just a couple of blocks away from where Edwin lived as a child so they did likely know each other from attending school perhaps or Church or just because of the proximity where they lived and Ellen's father was possibly a shoe maker so another reason to meet. However, this is all conjecture. My grandmother never talked about her parents in that regard. Just snippets of information passed down to me about her parents.

Both died of pneumonia; her mother was only 37 years of age. Her father was 49 (almost 50) when he succumbed to pneumonia. He worked hard in spite of his infirmity; holding down two jobs. I suspect that when one was not overly busy then he had chosen wisely as the other one probably was. I do not think he received a pension although could be mistaken on that; my grandmother never mentioned that he had.

The desire to learn more about this great grandfather has always been quite strong since I first started researching ten years ago but until I found this record yesterday; I really did not know anymore about him than I had known as a child.

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