Navigating the ‘Memoires Des Hommes” Military Enlistments: 1682-1793

You’ve just entered a browsable French military database that will probably leave you somewhat bewildered. At least, it did me. It took some time to figure out how to navigate Memoires des Hommes of l’Ancien Régime registres marticules, the pre-Revolutionary army documents. Just like today, they were separated into artillery, cavalry, dragons, infantry et al and each with their divisions, units and regimental squads.

What you could find in the enlistments, are birth dates, enrollment date, place of birth, names of parents, rank, physical features, names of regiment, what battles they fought, and if the soldier died, was wounded or deserted.

Let’s start with the opening page, You will see on the upper left side, there are 3749 results. This includes everything, the list here shows pages after pages and more pages starting with Infanterie with their years recorded. On the right side are the filters.

Click on Infantrie, You will see a list of regiments and the years associated with that repository. Let’s click on the ‘eye’ image next to “Régiment d’infanterie d’Agenois” 1705-1719

You will be shown the table of the ‘campaignie’ (company of men) on page 2. For clarification on what you are reading, JC Reardon informs us: “In the ancien regime companies were often named by their  leader, their origin, or their purpose” He furthers explains, “This image lists the Grenadier Company, the Colonel’s Company (i.e. the one the Colonel commanded), the Lt’Cols company, and the six other companies by their Captain’s name/title.  You can even see that a second hand filled in those names afterwards.  All of the books follow the identical format, by regulation of the King.”

Go to page 3, you’ll find the record of soldier’s names and names they went by of, place of birth, and date of enrollment, physical description and if that person died during the time of service.

Navigating the Memoires des Hommes, Using the Filters –>

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