First, I had a hard time locating the record collection. But after a few minutes of sleuthing, I managed to find it. Depending on where you look, the collection is either called British Army Pensioners – Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Ireland, 1783-1822 or Kilmainham Pensioners – British Army Service Records 1783-1822. This is the link to search the collection specifically, through the findmypast.com US version (it also contains more information about the records).
I did a search on the surname Cahill and there were 12 results. I found one in County Kilkenny, which happens to be from where my Cahills are from. Below is the first page (pretty much a blank page on the back), and although it is small, you can see that there is quite a bit of information.
This particular record is the discharge paperwork for Sergeant William Cahill, who was “born in the Parish of Freshford in or near the Town of Freshford in the County of Kilkenny was enlisted for the aforesaid Regiment at Kilkenny in the County of Kilkenny on the 11th Day of July at the Age of 25 years for the Kilk[enny] Militia.” He served in the Army for 29 years and 71 days, from 11 July 1793 to 25 September 1822. During his service, he was a Private for about six-and-a-half years, a Corporal for over a year-and-a-half, and a Sergeant for over 21 years.
After the service record, there is some more interesting information, some of which is obscured by a stamp. I think it has to do with his discharge, and I can tell that his “character” was “very good.” I’ve transcribed the 6th through 8th items below.
Certificate of the Settlement of all Demands.
|THAT he has received all just Demands of Pay, Clothing, &c. from his Entry into the Service to the date of this Discharge, as appears by his Receipt underneath.|
Acknowledgement of the Receipt of all Demands.
|I Wm Cahill do hereby acknowledge that I have received all my Clothing Pay, Arrears of Pay, and all just Demands whatsoever, from the time of my Entry into the Service to the date of this Discharge.|
Witnessed by John Gordon [??] Signature of the Soldier } Willm Cahill Serj
[notice that he signs his name Willm not Wm]
Certificate of Description.
|TO prevent any improper use being made of this Discharge, by its falling into other Hands, the following is a Description of the said Wm Cahill He is about 54 Years, of Age, is 6 Feet 1 Inches in height, Brown Hair, Gray Eyes, Fair Complexion; and by Trade or Occupation a Laborer|
Given under my Hand, and the Seal of the Regiment at Castle[??] this 24th Day of Septr 1822
Signature of the Commanding Officer. } [illegible] Col. Kil[kenny] Reg[iment] Militia
[end of transcription]
Certainly a neat document. Learned quite a bit about this gentleman. I wonder if he’s related to my Cahills of Kilkenny. Freshford is about 19 miles from Thomastown, which is where my Cahills are from. I have no idea about my Cahill line prior to the baptism of my third great-grandfather in 1834 (and I not even sure if the record is for him!), so who knows. At least I had fun exploring a new-to-me record type.
Image: Discharge papers for Serj. Wm Cahill, digital image obtained from findmaypast.com, Kilmainham Pensioners British Army Service Records 1771-1821 collection on 7 December 2012.