Hi. I am trying to source and confirm information regarding my third-great-grandfather Edwin Edwards. My family tree has him born in 1831 in Tiruchirappalli aka Trichinopoly, in Madras (now Tamil Nadu), India. I have found a baptismal record for him a couple of months after the birthdate I have, and also his death record in New Zealand indicates that his age was such that he was born about 1831. So far, so good.
However, I also found on the FamilySearch website that the Edwin Edwards who was born in Tiruchirappalli was in the British Army in 1850 in Ireland. I have done some other research on military records and found that the soldier of that name and service number was also part of the same regiment as early as 1844. (I also found out that the regiment was in Madras from 1822-43 before returning to the UK.)
So the name (Edwin Edwards) and location (Madras) lines up. Perhaps Edwin joined the local army regiment in Madras and went to the UK (where his family was presumably from, given his name) with them. The problem is, the age doesn't seem to line up - 13 seems very young to be a corporal in the army. I also did some cursory (Wikipedia) research that suggested the British Army recruited people from age 17 in those days. Then again, I have seen on Hornblower episodes that quite young children were in the 19th-century navy, at least!
So I am trying to figure out what's going on. Could he really have joined the army at such a young age (perhaps giving a false age)? Or was he actually at least a few years old when he was baptised in 1831? Or are these actually two different people? (perhaps it was a mix-up on the part of the FamilySearch member to tag that military record to my ancestor?)
Any information, advice, or other help figuring this out would be greatly appreciated.
There is more detail on all of this (as well as sources) on Edwin's page, linked here.
(There is also a bit more family tree information on FamilySearch, linked from the Wikitree page. It's partially sourced.)