Who Do You Think You Are?

How To Find Your Carpenter Ancestors

Union records and trade directorie­s are key sources for researchin­g carpenter relations


Findmypast ( findmypast.co.uk) has digitised membership books for the General Union of Carpenters and Joiners 1886–1921. Details include members’ names, ages, dates of admission, marital status, contributi­ons made and financial payments received, including money paid as out-of-work benefits.

The union’s full archive (1845–1921) is held at the Modern Records Centre, Warwick University, which also has records for similar carpenters’ unions; see warwick.ac.uk/ services/library/mrc/research_guides/family_ history/carpntr. However, not all of these records have been digitised for genealogic­al subscripti­on services, or even catalogued.

Notices in back issues of the Gazette, free at thegazette.co.uk, provide evidence for bankrupt carpenter ancestors. Articles in local newspapers available via the British Newspaper Archive( british newspaper archive. co.uk) may also name bankrupts.

Findmypast holds trade directorie­s too, while Ancestry ( ancestry.co.uk) has Leicester University’s digitised directorie­s, which are also available for free at specialcol­lections.le.ac.uk/ digital/collection/p16445coll­4.

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