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.

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Latest occupation & education releases

Clergy List1897

Published in April 1897, this collection is a comprehensive list of the UK’s clergy and a great source of information on religious history. Find out who the clergy were in the Church of England, the Episcopal Church in Scotland, and the Church of Ireland – and much more.

These records are the latest from the Ancestry World Archives Project, which sees thousands of volunteers helping others discover their roots.

Civil Engineer Lists1818-1930

This collection contains admission and member lists from the Institution of Civil Engineers in the UK from its inception in 1818 until 1930. Did your relative play a part in designing and constructing the canals, railways and waterworks that are still around today? The records show each engineer’s name, election year, location, and professional position.

Find a family member here and you can use their occupation to search for them in censuses, railway records, and trade union records.

Child Employment Report1842

This report gives a compelling look at the world of children working in trades and factories in 1842. Carried out by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Children’s Employment, the report was based on hundreds of interviews, mostly with children.

This report helped lead to changes in laws governing child labour. Find out about the children’s pay, working conditions, schooling, and even what they ate at home.

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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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