Discover more about your ancestors’ professions and studies in a variety of education, apprenticeship and work records dating as far back as the 1500s. Educational and professional records can be an invaluable source of information about when (and where) your relatives went to college, and how they made the family fortune.
The Irish collections on Findmypast feature an array of occupational directories, college registers and lists of leaders in their fields. These resources can be particularly useful for Irish family history research as many of them pre-date the more traditional records that we tend to consult first. Included amongst the records are registers for some of Ireland’s most famous universities like Trinity College Dublin, in the Alumni Dublinenses – 1924 Edition, and Queen’s in Belfast, in the Registers of Queen’s Colleges Ireland 1849 - 1858. You’ll also find a list of men who were granted the Freedom of Dublin City 1774-1824, which includes tradesmen and craftsmen.
The U.K. collections in this category feature a range of schools and university registers, occupational directories, clergy lists, as well as lists of East India Company registers and British India civil servants. From 1858, after the demise of the East India Company’s governance in India, the British civil service assumed its administrative responsibilities. The change in ruling came about due to the Indian Rebellion of 1857, which started near Calcutta, in Bengal, and which came close to ending British rule in India. The Indian Civil Service was a very small administrative elite of up to 1,200 individuals, and, until the twentieth century, overwhelmingly British in composition.
There are almost 3 million records in the Merchant Navy Seamen category, dating from 1835 to 1941. Many of these records contain photographs or physical descriptions of your ancestor, and they include British nationals, foreign British-registered men and women, experienced crewmen and young cabin crew.
Also included in this category are over 386,000 staff members of the royal household between 1526 and 1924. The records cover staff employed in royal residences around Britain during such reigns as King Charles I, Queen Victoria, and King George V.
This category contains mostly Canadian schools and university registers and occupational directories. The records can be useful if you have ancestors who studied or worked in Canada. The only record sets to include the United States are the directory of biscuit and cracker bakers of the U.S. and Canada, and a textile directory of both countries. The textile directory lists all manufacturing operations in the whole of Canada and the United States from 1897 to 1898. The Textile manufacturers are organised by the type of fibre they worked in, i.e., cotton, woollen, silk, or the coarser fibers such as jute, linen, hemp or flax. In addition, there are maps illustrating the US railroad routes and the business districts of cities that are important to the textile trade.
With over 2.7 million records, our Education & Work collection covers an important part of life, and includes school and university registers, occupational directories, lists of public servants and blue books from various states. Blue Books are summaries of governmental activities and contain many statistical records determined by the activities of the government and the economy - making them a crucial genealogy resource. Given the lack of census records in Australia, these publications can often provide useful information about government employees. The primary aim of the Annual Sheep Returns in New Zealand was to provide a sheep county, but the collected information also provides an insight into the owners’ lives. And with the unfortunate loss of many early New Zealand census records, they act as a great substitute for the years included: 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 and 1918.