It has been a while since I updated this blog but I suppose that the ancestors aren’t going anywhere so I might as well take my time documenting them!
Since I wrote my first blog post about William Hopkins I think I have discovered what happened to his brother Ephraim. I searched in the Find My Past Worldwide Army Index for 1861 and found an Ephraim Hopkins who was a private in the 94th foot regiment stationed at Mean Meer, East Indies. I couldn’t find any more about him including any army records so I went to the National Archives in Kew and looked up the Muster Rolls for the regiment. I discovered that he had joined up in the late 1850s. He seems to have embarked for India almost immediately and he seems to have spent about 5 or 6 years there until, sadly, the last entry I found was: 9 April 1865 Died at Chundegurh en route to Kussowlie. Disease ‘bronchitis chi?’ or sri. (or chr for chronic?)
I ran out of time while I was trying to trace him forwards in the records to see if there was confirmation that he joined up in Stoke on Trent so I don’t have definite proof that it was our Ephraim Hopkins. However, the only other Ephraim I can find either in birth registrations or in the censuses of the right age lived in Worthing and that one died in 1858. But next time I am at TNA I will look up the relevant muster rolls to see if I can find him immediately he enlisted, and also try and find his enlistment papers but probably the fact that he died in India explains why I couldn’t find his army records on FMP, as they are records of soldiers who were discharged to pension. But at least it probably ties up another loose end. I wonder how long it took for William to discover his fate?
UPDATE: on my next visit to Kew I looked up the previous muster rolls for the regiment but could not see any entries for him under new recruits, so I don’t know exactly where he joined up or any more information – does anyone have any idea where I can go from here or whether there are likely to be any more records of him in any archives?