I moved to Portsmouth in 1981 and was pretty sure that I was the first member of the family to live in the city, which when I started the family history lark ultimately rendered the city’s record office as ‘not much use’ in the grand scheme of things. However, I now discover that my great grandfather was posted here in the 1890s – possibly for as long as six years. Having joined up in 1890 in Belfast, the 1891 census shows the 1st battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers resident at the Victoria Barracks, Portsea and regimental records show that he may well have lived in Portsmouth until he was posted to India in 1896.
What remains of the Victoria Barracks now houses the city museum, which until recently included the records office. Irony?