West York­shire work­ers re­vealedealed

Thou­sands of oc­cu­pa­tion records, ap­pren­tice­ship in­den­tures and ale­house li­cences from West York­shire have been made avail­able to ex­plore on Ances­try

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - ON THE RECORD -

Ge­neal­o­gists with West York­shire roots could dis­cover more about their an­ces­tors’ work­ing lives with help from three new record re­leases.

Ances­try.co.uk has digi­tised and up­loaded more than 129,000 his­toric oc­cu­pa­tion records, ap­pren­tice­ship in­den­tures and ale­house li­cences held by West York­shire Ar­chive Ser­vice, re­veal­ing de­tails of peo­ple em­ployed in the re­gion over hun­dreds of years.

The oc­cu­pa­tions col­lec­tion, span­ning 1793 to 1930, con­tains a va­ri­ety of records kept by lo­cal em­ploy­ers, in­clud­ing per­son­nel cards, in­dexes, reg­is­ters and cer­tifi­cates.

Al­though the level of de­tail in­cluded can vary, the doc­u­ments will of­ten re­veal ba­sic facts about the em­ployee, such as their name, date of birth and mar­i­tal sta­tus.

This record set is ac­com­pa­nied by a smaller col­lec­tion of ap­pren­tice­ship in­den­tures and in­den­ture rereg­is­ters, pro­vid­ing de­tails of young peo­ple bound as app­pren­tices to masters be­tween 1627 and 1894. Fully seearch­able (like the oc­cu­pa­tions col­lec­tion) it typ­i­cally in­ncludes the name and age of each ap­pren­tice, as well as thhe name of their mas­ter and terms of their in­den­ture.

How­ever, with more than 51,700 records across thhe two datasets, re­searchers not only have a chance too trace their an­ces­tors, but can also dis­cover the di­iver­sity of West York­shire’s in­dus­trial her­itage.

“Th­ese col­lec­tions shine a light on three cen­turies of in­dus­try within West York­shire, cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing from cot­ton man­u­fac­tur­ers through to canal boat work­ers,” Ances­try’s Miriam Sil­ver­man told Who Do You Think You Are? Mag­a­zine.

“They of­fer an in­sight into the lives of those work­ing in the re­gion and list in­di­vid­u­als’ em­ploy­ment his­tory, de­tails of their em­ployer, length of ser­vice and par­tic­u­lars of their ap­point­ment.”

In ad­di­tion to the above records, Ances­try has also re­leased West York­shire Ar­chive Ser­vice’s col­lec­tion of ale­house li­cence reg­is­ters. Fully in­dexed, the dataset con­tains the names of more than 75,000 pub land­lords who ap­plied to the courts for per­mis­sion to sell al­co­hol and promised to keep their es­tab­lish­ments un­der “good or­der” from 1771 to 1962. It also shows some of the bizarre names given to their pubs, such as the New Dusty Miller Inn in Wake­field and the Shoul­der of Mut­ton in Gom­er­sal.

“Pub­lic houses played an im­por­tant part in the lo­cal com­mu­nity, host­ing all kinds of ac­tiv­i­ties, such as so­cial and sport­ing events, le­gal meet­ings like coroners’ in­quests and political meet­ings,” said Teresa Nixon, head of ar­chives at West York­shire Ar­chives Ser­vice. “Th­ese records open up a gold­mine.”

Above: A York­shire col­lier de­picted c1814 Right: One of the many ap­pren­tice­ship in­den­tures now avail­able to ex­plore on Ances­try.co.uk

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