Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Postal Service Appointment Books released by Ancestry

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has released a new collection, Postal Service Appointment Books 1737-1969 at http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=1933, as indexed through the World Archives Project.

Here's the blurb from the site:

About British Postal Service Appointment Books, 1737-1969

These British Post Office appointment books are indexes to the Postmaster General’s minute books. They show the point when a person began working for the Post Office or started at a new position within the Post Office. The books were kept from 1831 until 1969, when they stopped being kept because of legislation and human resource procedures. Some records contain the job the worker was appointed to and the British Postal Museum’s website has the abbreviations in their Family History Guide. The index contains:

Name
Date of appointment
Location

I'm not sure how the records have entries back to 1737 if the collection started in 1831, but I have no reason to doubt it is the case - if your ancestor worked for the Post Office, this should be useful!

Chris

7 comments:

The Professional Descendant said...

Great, found two records of my Grandad!

Postal Appointments also appeared in the London, Edinburgh & Belfast Gazettes and it's worth comparing the information given in the two sources.

In my case I found my Grandad with a middle initial only in the Postal Books but with his middle name written in full in the London Gazette. The Gazette gives the name of the position in full whilst the Postal Books use abbreviations (which aren't necessarily easy to work out). However the Postal Books do provide some additional detail, such as registered number and minute number, which could lead to additional sources.

Kirsty
Kirsty

Chris Paton said...

Great stuff Kirsty! On the role of your ancestor, was he quite high up i.e. a post office manager, or something like that? I'd be interested to know in what capacity his Gazette record was made - i.e. at what level of occupation in the Post Office could somebody be gazetted?

Chris

The Professional Descendant said...

Hi Chris,

My Grandad was "gazetted" as a sixteen-year-old "Male Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist" - not sure you could get much more lowly than that!

Re the confusing abbreviations, after posting I realised Ancestry does state that you can find an explanation of these on The British Postal Museum & Archive website. They're at the end of the 'Family History Research Guide' which can be downloaded as a PDF from http://postalheritage.org.uk/page/genealogy

Kirsty

Liz said...

I haven't got an Ancestry subscription at the moment but I did find my great grandfather's brother in the London Gazette and he was just an ordinary postman.

Chris Paton said...

Thanks Kirsty - I hope he rose to wonderful heights in due course! lol :) Useful to know to check for basically anyone who worked for the PO in the gazette, not something I would have immediately thought to do, so thanks for that!

Chris

The Professional Descendant said...

Chris,

Was going to say, "well you obviously missed my blog post http://professionaldescendant.blogspot.com/2010/11/gazettes-online-resource-worth.html " but then realised you left a comment on it! ;-)

My grandad eventually rose to the dizzy heights of Senior Clerical Officer I believe :P Also found typists and skilled workmen listed in the gazettes among post office and other government employees so quite a range.

Kirsty

Chris Paton said...

Eight months ago! But yup, well worth a look!

Chris