Sunday, October 24, 2010

Nominal Rolls

My Stat Counter  lists of recent keyword activity shows a number of people using “nominal rolls” as a keyword search term. Nominal Rolls of the Canadian Expeditionary Force can be found in two places. Library and Archives Canada  have put the nominal rolls on microfilm. My library in London, Ontario, has a complete set, and I expect that many of the larger libraries throughout Canada would have them as well. For those outside of Canada they can be found  on “The  Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group: ‘The Matrix Project’.

One word of warning for genealogists. The nominal rolls are in many ways a boarding list for the troops that were making their way to England for training prior to their posting to France. Do not assume that because they are listed with a particular battalion that that means that they served with that battalion in the trenches. (too many that’s. Must be a term for that!) There were transfers while training, sickness, accidents, and other adjustments for various reasons (lets not forget politics - eh!). After 1916 chances were that the battalion was broken up in England after training, and the men used as reinforcements to keep existing battalions up to strength. If nothing else, and if your ancestor was not an officer, the nominal rolls will give you his regimental number which is very useful for further research.

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