NEWSPAPERS If your ancestor was in service in the Edwardian period or the 1920s, have a look at the ‘Situations Vacant’ columns in local newspapers. They will give you an idea of the kind of jobs that were available and the pay they offered. You can sometimes find letters from domestic servants in the correspondence columns, in which they air their grievances. Many British Library national and local newspapers can be viewed and searched online at www. britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk. MEMOIRS Reading memoirs of former servants is a great way to find out what their working lives were really like. Try Margaret Powell’s Below Stairs (1970); Rosina Harrison’s Rose: My Life in Service (1975); and Jean Rennie’s Every Other Sunday (1955). ESTATE RECORDS If your ancestor worked for a country house, surviving estate records including wages, livery and pension books can be extremely valuable. Wages books usually name each servant (often with their job title), listing the salary paid; it’s sometimes possible to see an employee’s progression in terms of promotions or increases in pay. Check Discovery ( discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk) or the Scottish Archive Network ( www. scan.org.uk) to find out what’s available. ‘BELOW STAIRS’ TOURS Servants’ accommodation changed very little between the late Victorian period and the 1930s. You can explore servants’ quarters at many National Trust houses ( nationaltrust.org.uk/ article-1356401785596), as well as independent museums such as No. 1 Royal Crescent, Bath ( no1royalcrescent. org.uk/explore). Other properties offer ‘below stairs’ tours; try Belton House, Lincolnshire ( nationaltrust.org.uk/ belton- house) and Leeds Castle, Kent ( visitmaidstone.com/whats- on/ the-below- stairs-tour-a- servantslife- p229151).