Cavan Militia

In 1810 Joseph Halliday, the bandmaster of the Cavan militia, patented the keyed bugle, with five keys and a compass of twenty-five notes, calling it the "Royal Kent Bugle" out of compliment to the duke of Kent, who was at the time commander-in-chief, and encouraged the introduction of the instrument into the regimental bands.
[From Encylcopedia Britannica (1911)]


  • Arklow, June 9 1798
  • Rebel Hill, Co. Cavan, Aug 26, 1798.
  • Vinegar Hill, June 21 1798.
  • Crieman War 1854

Emigration and Immigration

  • Aitken, B.A. "Searching Chelsea Pensioners in Upper Canada and Great Britain", Families, Journal of the Ontario Genealogical Society, Vol. 23, No. 4 (1984), pp. 178-197.
    • Terence Brady, Cavan Militia, discharged 22 Sep, 1809, served 6 yr, 3 mos. Ref # 52-430.
  • Upper Canada Land Petitions - 'D' Bundle 14 (1823-25) Petition No. 9 (RG-1, L3, Vol. 156, Pt. 1), Microfilm No. C-1745, Ontario Archives, Grenville St., Toronto, Ontario
    • In his 30 March 1824 application for a land grant, James Donnelly declares:
      "That Your Petitioner is a native of the Parish of Ashfield, County of Cavan, Ireland, from whence he emigrated to this Province by Quebec, in May last, with his wife, 6 Sons and 3 Daughters, ...
      That your Petitioner served 12 Years in the Ashfield Yeomanry and 6 Years in the Cavan Militia,"

General Records

  • The Royal Irish Fusiliers Regimental Museum
    • Silver spoon from Officer Mess.
    • Staff presented by Lt Colonel the Earl of Bective to the Drum Major in 1856
    • Uniform adornments such a belt clasp, tunic buttons and rank badges
    • Medals circa 1900 awarded to soldiers in the 4th battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers: Pte J O'Neill, Lieut A Goldingham, Pt. P Reilly, Pte P McCann
    • A caricature depicting Captain Baxter
  • Cunliffe, M. The Royal Irish Fusiliers, 1793-1950. London, New York, Oxford University Press, 1952. pp. 231, 257, 280, 440-1
  • Hay, G. J. Col. An Epitomised History of the Militia (The 'Constitutional Force') together with the origin, periods of embodied service, and special services (including South Africa 1899-1902) of militia units existing October 31 1905. London: United Service Gazette Offices, 1906.
    • Newport, Gwent: Ray Westlake - Military Books, 1987 reprint
    • States following:
      • Raised 1793
      • Embodied 25 March 1794 to March 13 1816
      • January 1855 to August 1856
      • December 5 1899 to Oct 19 1900.
      • They did not serve outside Ireland.
      • Battle of Arklow on June 9 1798
      • Vinegar Hill June 21 1798.
      • In 1881 they became the 4th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers.
  • McNally, J. The Irish Militia 1793-1816 ; A Social and Military Study, Clonmore and Reynolds, Dublin 1949.
    • Royal Irish Fusiliers papers, D/3574
  • Snoddy, O. "Notes on the Volunteers, Militia, Yeomanry and Orangemen of County Cavan", Breifne, Vol. III, No. 11, p.320-339.
  • Swanzy, H. B. in Notes and Queries, Oxford University Press.
    • This series of articles list officers from 1659-1756. In many cases biographical and genealogical notes are attached.
      • Vol. CXLVI, Jan-Jun 1924, pages 353-5, 377, 391-3, 431-3 464-7
      • Vol. CXLVII, Jul-Dec 1924, pages 151-5, 298-300, 314-5,
      • Vol. CXLVIII, Jan-Jun 1925, pages 58-60, 221-2, 291-3, 402-4
National Archives, Kew
WO 68/402 4th Battalion, Irish Fusiliers, Royal, formerly Cavan Militia General Orders and Correspondence Books (2) 1793-1800, 1809-1812 LDS 0917571
WO 68/403 4th Battalion, Irish Fusiliers, Royal, formerly Cavan Militia General Orders, Circulars, etc. (3 books) 1800-1804 LDS 0917571
WO 68/404 4th Battalion, Irish Fusiliers, Royal, formerly Cavan Militia Record of Officers' Services 1838-1880 LDS 0917572
WO 68/405/4 4th Battalion, Irish Fusiliers, Royal, formerly Cavan Militia Enrolment Books (4) 1845-1861, 1862-1873, 1875-1881, 1873-1891 LDS 0950827
PRO 30/9/112 Lord Farnham. Question of Cavan Militia 1801 Sept. 17



Muster rolls of the Irish militia, 1793-1876
PRO Reference Covering Dates
WO 13/2647 1794 - 1798
WO 13/2648 1799
WO 13/2649 1800
WO 13/2650 1801
WO 13/2651 1802
WO 13/2652 1803
WO 13/2653 1804
WO 13/2654 1805
WO 13/2655 1806
WO 13/2656 1807
PRO Reference Covering Dates
WO 13/2657 1808
WO 13/2658 1809
WO 13/2659 1810 - 1811
WO 13/2660 1812 - 1814
WO 13/2661 1815 - 1822
WO 13/2662 1823 - 1851
WO 13/2663 1851 - 1859
WO 13/2664 1860 - 1867
WO 13/2665 1867 - 1872
WO 13/2666 1872 - 1876


  • MacDonald, B. "The United Irish in South Ulster", The 16th Annual Fearghal O'Hanlon Memorial Lecture, Monaghan, 1997 in speaking of Lord Blayney, a Lieutenant Colonel Major in the 89th Regiment circa 1796:
    • "Much of Blayney's efforts were concentrated in Armagh and Tyrone. In the Creggan area of south Armagh around the town of Forkhill, he boasted of the steps he had taken against the local population. Writing to Lord Glentworth in early June, he said:
      I was told I could not go wrong; had information of three drills that night. Impossible to come across them ut no person was in their houses at 3 o'clock in the morning so I burned 22 houses and one man I had strong reason to suspect saw returning from those associations so rode up and cut him down. I burned the house and property of a leading man named Donaldson... I found a man had been attempting to corrupt a man of the Cavan Militia on parade... I sentenced the man to be flogged round the town [Forkhill]; suppose he received 300. It is useless crowding the jails. Advice - If you are disengaged and will take a trip down, you may see some amusement with those native and I can give you a tent. Our quarters are uncertain.''
  • Court Martial of Edmond Power held in the County Grand Jury Room Waterford, Friday 18 October 1799. Major Woodward, Cavan Militia, President Francis Corbet, Acting Judge Advocate.
  • McCoy, J., "Northern Star newspaper indexes 1792-1797", South Eastern Education & Library Board, 1992.
    • Mr. McConnel, his house searched by Cavan Militia 3 Apr 1797., Aghaderg
    • Lieut. George Patterson, commander of Cavan Militia; Aghaderg area, letter re behaviour of his troops 3 Apr 1797.
    • Mr. McClelland, of Ballynanny; his house ransacked by Cavan Militia 7 Apr 1797, Annaclone.
  • Bedfordshire War Memorials & Rolls of Honour - Lt. Eustace Malim Harris, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. Killed in action at Machadodorp, 8th January 1901. Aged 26. Born August 1874 in Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, educated at Bedford Grammar School. Son of F. W. and Charlotte Harris, his father was a curate. Entered the Royal Irish Fusiliers from 4th Battalion (Cavan Militia) March, 1897, being promoted lieutenant April, 1899. He served in the war from its commencement; first with the Natal Field Force, and afterwards in the Transvaal.
  • Thomas Henry Wilton, of Omard, Lieutenant, Cavan Militia, d. unmarried 13 June 1862. [Formerly on http://www.btinternet.com/~a.hutchinson/cosby_wilton.htm]
  • Wm STRONG & wife Eliza Jane LOWREY from Co Cavan to York 1820 with 5 children; Wm in Co Cavan Militia 8 yrs prior Settled Tecumseh c1827
  • George Richardson was born at Derrylane, Killeshandra, in 1831, the son of a weaver. He served in the Cavan militia and in 1855 he enlisted in the 34th Regiment of Foot.
  • Henry Sherin
    • Converted from Church of England to Methodist at 22 when he joined the army. Sergeant in the Cavan militia and acted as schoolmaster for the regiment school. His regiment was in Dublin in 1811 -1812 and he was a private (Colonel John Barry). By 1814 the regiment is in Cavan (Colonel John Barry) and Henry is listed as a sergeant and schoolmaster (Disembodied Militia)
    • Kingston, 1822 - a letter of recommendation written by Rev. C. Stewart apparently to the Rev. Thompson of Cavan, Victoria Co. This letter quotes Major Woodward of the Cavan Militia (Ireland) who states he himself appointed Henry to be schoolmaster for the regiment and that he made a very great success of the school.

LDS Films

PRO Volume Surnames Number
1091 Abel-Bayliss 0916090
1092 Beacham-Brewin 0916091
1093 Bridges-Catchpole 0916092
1094 Cater-Cray 0916093
1095 Cromar-Dixon 0916094
1096 Dobson-Exelby 0916095
1097 Fabey-Gay 0916096
1098 Geddes-Halton 0916097
1099 Hamill-Hilton-Hoare 0916098
1100 Hinckley-Jary 0916099
1101 Jeane-Kilson 0916100
1102 Labarte-Lythall- 0916101
1103 McAmley-Mallen 0916102
1103 Mallen-Mathews 0916103
1104 Maull-Mynahan 0916104
1105 Naismith-Perry 0916105
1106 Peterson-Rhodes 0916106
1107 Riach-Ryan 0916107
1108 Safe-Smith 0916108
1109 Smithers-Taylor 0916109
1110 Teague-Vizard 0916110
1111 West-Whyte 0916111
1112 Wickstead-Yule 0916112

Masonic Records

  • Irish Masonic Records - Newtownbutler
    • Volume 1 of the extant Grand Lodge Registers record "Granted to the Cavan Reg. of Militia by the Provincial Grand Master of Munster July 1st., 1801 to be afterwards held in Cavan." Three brethren, John Sutcliffe, Jno. Hughes and Thos. Humphreys registered 1 July, 1801. A further 31 brethren registered up to 9 October, 1806.
    • Second series Vol. 2 of the Grand Lodge Register shows:- No. 300 to Cavan Militia 1 July, 1801. John Sutliff; Jas. Hughes and Tho. Humphreys registered 1 July, 1801. No indication as to Master or Wardens. A total of 81 brethren registered up to 16 March, 1826.


  • Anglo-Celt,
    • April 13 1849
      • The Militia - Henry Deane Edwards Esq. of Roebuck has been appointed Captain of the Cavan Militia.
    • Aug 7 1851
      • Nicholas Gosselin, adjutant Cavan Militia is signator in a letter of appreciation to John Loch dated Jul 5 1851
    • Nov 20, 1851
      • William Veitch, aged 70, lieutenant Cavan Militia on half-pay is in Insolvent Debotors Court Nov 13, 1851.
  • Hibernian Chronicle [courtesy Jean Prendergast]
    • 24/11/1800 - CORK - Of the late atrocious murder committed near Carlisle-Fort , we have been able to collect the following particulars: - On Wednesday morning last, the unfortunate couple who were victims of this dreadful outrage, were discovered in their house, murdered. The man had been stabbed in the neck, as it appeared, with a bayonet, his skull cleft, and his brains dashed against the wall. The woman lacerated in several places, the least of which wounds were mortal. A Roman Catholic Clergyman who had appointed a Station there to hear confessions, &c., &c., had his vestments, which he had deposited in this house, destroyed, though the chalice was not taken away, but placed under the man's neck to receive the blood. - Truly happy are we in being able to state that through the activity of Colonel Fitzgerald, a clue has been discovered, which promises to lead to a knowledge of the inhuman perpetrators of this bloody deed. Friday a corporal and two soldiers of the Cavan militia were taken upon the evidence of a comrade, who appears to have been solicited by them to become a partner in this detestable deed. Upon their examination yesterday evening, before John Drury, Esq., of Cove, some circumstances have transpired which are of a nature so strong, together with the evidence against them, as to justify their committal for trial at the ensuing Assizes.
      Stacy, Scanlan, Hamilton, and Cook, four soldiers of the Cavan Militia, were yesterday committed to the county gaol, charged with the above inhuman murder.
    • 27/11/1800 - CORK - TO MR. FLYN, - White-Well, November 26, 1800 - SIR, Having seen in your Paper, an account of a murder committed on Monday night, the 17th inst., in this neighbourhood, I think it necessary to send you a correct statement of the particulars, as I see by your publication you have been misinformed with respect to some.
      The victims of this barbarous cruelty, were an industrious couple, John M'Carthy and Margaret his wife, who built a house adjoining the Chapel of Ballinvostig, in the Union of Ahada, where they extensively dealt in shop goods, until the above night, when the house was attacked by the ruffians mentioned in your paper, and plundered to a considerable amount, to which they added a crime horrid to relate, the circumstances were as follow:
      I held a Station of confession at their house, on the day above mentioned, and left my Vestments there in order to be convenient to another place next day, this they have trampled, tried the Chalice with their teeth, but not finding it silver, flung it about the house in different pieces, being on screws; the Chasuble they flung into the fire and consumed the ashes, except a small part, which was by DIVINE PROVIDENCE preserved to be produced in evidence against them. By what appeared by the dead bodies and the evidence of others, the man was first struck with the butt end of a bayonet, his jaw being broke, got the blow of an oak bludgeon on the crown of his head, out of which his brains oozed, the scull being entirely fractured. By their own acknowledgement, they first attempted choaking the woman by leaning a knee on her chest; and after retiring from the house, they returned and accomplished their evil design, by strangling the poor woman with a handkerchief, and stabbing the man in the neck with a bayonet. Sufficient thanks cannot be given Col. Fitzgerald, for his timely exertions in discovering the perpetrators of this horrid deed, assisted by Thomas Travers, Esq., and another Magistrate of this place.
    • 1/12/1800 - CORK - This morning a Court Martial assembled in this City, on the trial of the four soldiers who were apprehended for the late atrocious murder near Carlisle Fort.
      The above Court Martial broke up about one o clock, and from the confession of the culprits, it is though they were found guilty of the murder of M'Carthy and his wife near Whitewell in this County.
    • 4/12/1800 - CORK - Yesterday morning, William Stacey, Thomas Hamilton, and Joseph Cook, of the Cavan Militia, who were tried by a General Court Martial on Monday last for the murder of John M'Carthy and his wife, near White Gate, were conveyed from the New Gaol to the place where they committed the murder and executed. They were attended by the Rev. Mr. Fortescue. The fate of Scanlan, another of the men tried with them, is not yet known.


  • Doherty, Patrick - joined the Royal Irish Fusiliers in 1915. He was recruited into the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion which was formed in Cavan in 1914.
  • Ferguson, Henry - "held a commission in the Cavan militia, and took an active part in the Irish rebellion of 1798. This gentleman came to Canada in 1824, and settled in London Township."
  • Madden, John Clements Waterhouse, Lieutenant Colonel - the Madden papers include a 4th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers photo album.
  • Maxwell, Somerset Henry (1849-1896) (archived copy) - Captain and Honorary Major in Princess Victoria's Royal Irish Fusiliers.
  • Saunderson, Edward James - entered the Cavan militia (4th battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers) in 1862, and, was now major (1875), becoming colonel in 1886 and in command of the battalion from 1891 to 1893.
  • Spinks, James - who had come to Canada in 1828, from County Cavan, Ireland. He had been a sergeant in the 'Cavan Black Reds', an Irish militia unit which eventually became the 4th Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Soldiers Records:

"The series generally does not contain the records of soldiers who died in service or who took an early discharge and never received a pension. These service records would not have survived because they were not required for pension purposes."
[Form: Series details for WO 97, Public Records Office]
Chelsea Pensioners
Document Name Born In County Served In Age At Discharge Dates
WO 97/557/126 Michael Savage Anna Cavan 39th Foot Regiment; Cavan Militia 44 1807-1833
WO 97/666/120 Samuel Rolston Drumgoon Cavan 12th Foot Regiment; 53rd Foot Regiment; 97th Foot Regiment; Cavan Militia; 2nd Royal Veteran Battalion 41 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1836
WO 97/866/85 Patrick Farrelly Killan Cavan 75th Foot Regiment; Cavan Militia 35 1810-1826
WO 97/951/111 Patrick Coyle Castletara Cavan 86th Foot Regiment; Cavan Militia 50 1795-1813
WO 97/1062/21 Luke Dillon Castletara Cavan 99th Foot Regiment; Cavan Militia; Tipperary Militia 35 1804-1818
WO 97/1063/71 Hugh Henry Aughnamullen Monaghan 99th Foot Regiment; Cavan Militia; Yeomanry 40 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1818
WO 97/1064/41 Patrick Kenedy Alias Patrick Kennedy Killeman Wexford 99th Foot Regiment; Cavan Militia 42 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1818
WO 97/1092/77 George Best Drumlane Cavan Cavan Militia 48 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1092/150 Thomas Boles Camally Cavan Cavan Militia 38 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1799
WO 97/1092/224 William Brann Ballimore Armagh 13th Dragoons; Cavan Militia 60 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1800
WO 97/1093/77 George Browne Cookhill Cavan Cavan Militia 44 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1823
WO 97/1093/164 Abraham Byrne Killan Cavan Cavan Militia 51 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1835
WO 97/1093/173 James Caffery Castle Rahan Cavan Cavan Militia 41 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1093/179 James Caldwell Templeport Cavan Cavan Militia 39 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1823
WO 97/1093/257 Samuel Castletine St Giles Dorset Cavan Militia; Northamptonshire Fencibles 54 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1823
WO 97/1095/142 George Davis Anna Cavan Cavan Militia 55 1794-1835
WO 97/1095/147 Richard Davis Anna Cavan Cavan Militia 65 1798-1846
WO 97/1096/28 Adam Donely Kilsherdiny Cavan Cavan Militia 63 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1835
WO 97/1096/51 Samuel Downs Wexford Wexford Cavan Militia 50 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1823
WO 97/1096/224 Robert Eustace Kinnawlly Fermanagh Cavan Militia; 12th Foot Regiment 30 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1800
WO 97/1097/46 John Ferguson Castlelarra Cavan Cavan Militia 42 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1097/145 William Foster Kilmore Cavan Cavan Militia 60 1806-1846
WO 97/1098/30 Ralph Gilchrist Ballintemple Cavan Cavan Militia 56 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1824
WO 97/1098/52 James Glenny Killan Cavan Cavan Militia 50 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1098/237 Lewis Griffith   Ireland Cavan Militia; West London Militia [Not Known] Covering date gives year of discharge. 1819
WO 97/1099/10 Richard Hamilton Scraby Cavan Cavan Militia 55 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1823
WO 97/1099/112 Thomas Haslip Denn Cavan Cavan Militia 50 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1823
WO 97/1100/160 John Hughes Cootehill Cavan Cavan Militia 51 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1101/62 John Johnston Monaghan   Cavan Militia 49 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1101/173 Isaac Kelly Inneshone Londonderry Dublin Militia; Cavan Militia; Royal Irish Artillery 38 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1801
WO 97/1101/216 William Kerr Aughaloo Tyrone Cavan Militia; Tyrone Militia 54 1798-1835
WO 97/1102/4 William Ladley Anna Cavan Cavan Militia 40 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1103/8 David McBeath Aldrick Caithness Caithness Militia; Cavan Militia 44 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1823
WO 97/1103/132 John McLaughlin Carragalin Leitrim Cavan Militia 38 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1103/256 Robert Manight Enniskeen Cavan Cavan Militia 55 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1104/76 Robert Mills Castletarra Cavan Cavan Militia 43 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1104/139 John Moorehead Granard Longford Cavan Militia; Longford Militia 60 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1823
WO 97/1104/169 James Morrow Anna Cavan Cavan Militia 64 1801-1846
WO 97/1105/57 Arthur Nicholl Drumaly Fermanagh Cavan Militia 52 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1823
WO 97/1105/58 John Nicholl Knockbride Cavan Cavan Militia 48 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1105/200 John Parks Carrickmacross Monaghan Cavan Militia; Cork Militia 53 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1835
WO 97/1106/202 William Reed Castle Tarra Cavan Cavan Militia 40 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1107/93 Samuel Robinson Carrigallen Leitrim Cavan Militia 54 1803-1835
WO 97/1108/258 William Smith Annah Cavan Cavan Militia 30 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1800
WO 97/1109/40 Nugent Spinks Crosserlough Cavan Cavan Militia 49 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1110/175 Robert Turner Tynan Armagh Cavan Militia 50 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1110/176 Samuel Turner Dublin Dublin Cavan Militia 42 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1827
WO 97/1111/106 John Waters Aughaloo Tyrone Cavan Militia 42 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1822
WO 97/1112/30 James Williams Killivan Monaghan Cavan Militia 47 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1829
WO 97/1112/122 Thomas Wood Castletarra Cavan Cavan Militia 61 1805-1846
WO 97/1126/234 Isiah Smith Knockbridge Cavan Cavan Militia; 4th Royal Veteran Battalion 48 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1814
WO 97/1126/355 William Woods Drumlane Cavan Cavan Militia; 4th Royal Veteran Battalion 35 Covering date gives year of discharge. 1814
WO 121/66/188 James Gorman Knockbride Cavan 66th Foot Regiment; Cavan Militia 28 after 7 years of service 1802
WO 121/82/205 James Hall Monaghan Monaghan 87th Foot Regiment; Cavan Militia 24 after 3 years 8 months of service 1807
WO 121/103/49 James Sharpe Ashfield Cavan 9th Dragoons; 26th Foot Regiment; Cavan Militia 34 after 14 years 5 months of service 1810
WO 121/129/99 John McLindon Banbridge Down Kirkcudbrightshire Militia; Cavan Militia 32 after 16 years of service 1813