Military Records

Denis Killeen’s Kilmainham Pensioner Discharge Record

Note: I discovered the following via John Reid’s Anglo-Celtic Connections.

I already have a copy of this record in black and white, having purchased a photocopy from The National Archives (UK) (document cited here, in “Description of Denis Killeen”). But online and scanned in colour is really taking things to another level. Wow. Now available at  and findmypast.ieBritish Army Pensioners – Kilmainham, Ireland 1783-1822.

Click previews to see larger images of Denis Killeen’s discharge record:1

Denis Killeen’s Kilmainham pensioner discharge record
Denis Killeen’s Kilmainham pensioner discharge record

This record gives me more information than I have for any other ancestor born pre-1800.

First, his record of discharge informs me that Denis Killeen was born in “the Parish of Melick [Meelick] in or near the Town of Melick [Meelick] in the County of Galway.” So: a county and a parish: the holy grail of Irish genealogy.2 Second, it supplies an occupation: Denis Killeen was “by Trade or Occupation a Carpenter” (an occupation that was followed by some of his male descendants in Canada). And perhaps most interestingly of all, it offers a physical description: Denis Killeen was five foot ten inches in height, with fair hair, grey eyes, and a “Swarthy” complexion. has a bit of background and context for the Green Redcoats, with a glossary of relevant terms here.

  1.  WO 119/54, Denis Killeen, Served in 97th Foot Regiment, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham: Pensioners’ Discharge Documents (Certificates of Service), The National Archives: database, ( accessed 8 Dec 2012), British Army Pensioners — Kilmainham, Ireland, 1783-1822.
  2. Note: The parish of Meelick is the civil parish. For Catholic records (which do not exist/have not survived for Denis Killeen’s period), the RC parish is that of Clonfert, Meelick & Eyrecourt.