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