Library and Archives Canada has introduced a new database called “Medals, Honours and Awards.
“Library and Archives Canada holds medal registers, citation cards and records of various military awards. These records indicate the medal, honour or award to which an individual was entitled. This research tool provides the relevant archival references for those documents.
There are no service files for the Canadian military in the 1800s, so these records often provide the only proof of service for 19th century conflicts.
The names of the recipients of the Queen's South African Medal are indexed in our South African War database.”
The database is particularly useful in two ways. It will give you some information about servicemen pre-1900, and the regimental unit that the man was serving with when he received the medal. In my case I found that Peter Hillman, a distant cousin, was serving in the Essex militia during the Fenian Raids. Information I was not aware of before. So that makes two of my family serving in militia units in 1868 to 1870. Son of a gun !