Ancestry

Occupations & education

Occupation records reveal what kinds of people your ancestors were and how they spent their time. Trace their careers from first jobs to retirement, then go back to see how they gained their qualifications.

Latest occupation & education releases

Merchant Seamen Deaths1939-1953

Over 50,000 merchant seamen lost their lives during and just after WWII. You can now search these extensive records to discover more information on family members who perished providing vital support to Britain and her allies.

You will find more than just the names and addresses of relatives. These unusually detailed records also include the ship they were on and the place, date and cause of death.

Nursing Registers1891-1968

Three major new collections of nursing records could show you whether your relatives helped save lives. With over 70 years of information available, you can now search for ancestors who were nurses between 1891 and 1968.

With names, addresses and enrolment dates from nurses registered with the Royal College of Nursing you can easily follow new branches of your family tree. And there is more to discover. If your relative was registered with the Queen’s Nursing Institute you could open up valuable new lines of enquiry, including the place where your ancestor was educated.

Navy Apprentices1824-1910

In the Merchant Navy Apprentices, 1824-1910, find out whether your ancestors were among thousands of young people across Britain who started out as apprentices in the Merchant Navy. With more than 340,000 apprentice records, this collection is a great starting point to trace your seafaring ancestors’ careers and make new discoveries.

Discover crucial details such as the ports they sailed from and the ships they were on, as well as their physical descriptions and reasons for discharge. Did they stay on course or jump ship? Find out with links to other seamen records, including Master and Mates certificates and Crew Lists from Liverpool, Glasgow and Dorset.

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Occupations Key Collections

Railway Workers1833-1963

Our railway workers were the most important pioneers of the 19th century, driving the tools and ideas of the Industrial Revolution all over the country. Trace your ancestors who laid the tracks, stoked the engines and drove the trains with our Railway Employment Records.

This was Britain’s first truly mobile workforce. As well as positions and salaries, the one million records reveal your forebears’ transfers, so you can follow your family as they move around the country.

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Postal Service Books1737-1969

Few organisations have seen more history than the British Post Office. Now you can discover the part your ancestors played in moving from messengers on horseback to bulk airmail, in our Postal Service Appointment Books.

These 1.4 million records reveal everything from the role each person was given to where in the country they were stationed, so you can put together a detailed picture of how they spent their working days.

London School Records1840-1911

These records of over a million students from 843 different schools offer a rare opportunity to discover your ancestors as children. Do your homework properly, and you’ll find their birth dates, when they started school and their parents’ names and occupations.

Students appear every time they started a new school, or left one. Until 1918, when education became compulsory for under–14s, you’ll find many were forced to leave early to help support poor families.

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