Wednesday, 24 August 2011

British apprenticeship IR1 records online

Ancestry.co.uk has released a new apprenticeship tax records collection through the World Archives Project. It's a useful collection, though sadly Ancestry seems to still not have a clue what the difference between Britain and England is. Here's the blurb from the site:

About England, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures, 1710-1811

This collection contains registers of the money received for the payment on taxes for an apprentice’s indenture between 1710-1811. The registers kept track of the money paid by masters of a trade to have an apprentice. The dates in the records are for when the tax was paid and may be some years after the apprenticeship, not when it started or finished.

Until 1752, the apprentice’s parents’ names were included, but afterward are rare. The records include:

Sum received
Name of master
Address of master
Trade
Name of apprentice
Date of articles of apprenticeship

The masters did not have to pay stamp duty on the apprentices that were assigned by the common or public charge of any township or parish. This means a lot of apprentices won’t be included in these records. Local or charity records are the best place to find records of these types of apprenticeships.

Source: Board of Stamps: Apprenticeship Books, Series IR 1; The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England.


COMMENT: The first half of this database has previously been indexed by the Society of Genealogists and also placed online at FindmyPast, where it is listed as the Apprentices Of Great Britain 1710-1774 collection. This tax system was actually stopped in 1804, but as apprenticeships usually lasted 7 years, many records continue up to 1811. The collection includes Scotland and Wales also, so Ancestry's collection is most definitely not just for England. I believe I have just discovered an apprenticeship for both my four x great grandfather and his brother through the database, both trained as weavers in Perth.

It would be great if a company with '.co.uk' in its title actually looked into the meaning of the 'uk' bit from time to time! Flippancy aside, one wonders why there is not much more care taken with such things - all that happens is that potential customers from Scotland and Wales don't think to have a look, as they won't think it applies to them. Ancestry is basically just turning away potential trade.

Nevertheless, an important and very useful collection.

UPDATE: Ancestry has renamed the collection - it is now UK, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures, 1710-1811 - still incorrect (it's for Britain only); though worth pointing I have found three entries for people from Dublin - one from 1805 when Ireland was in the UK (it joined in 1801), and 2 from 18th C; and one entry from Waterford in 1720! But a better label than 'England', which might have deterred Scots and Welsh folk from even bothering to look!

Chris

4 comments:

Catherine said...

Bit difficult isn't it? I think the problem is that their collections are listed by country, so what do they list it as? If they put everything for all the countries of the UK under one heading, it would become too long and unwealdy perhaps? But I agree, If I were looking for someone from Scotland, I might not think to look here!

Chris Paton said...

Or just use the word "Britain" instead of "England", which is 100% accurate (these records do not include Ireland)!

Ancestry has contacted me to say that it is an error and that they have emailed their team in the US to sort. It should be noted that it is only labelled an English collection on the main search page - everywhere else where the collection is discussed it is simply "Apprentice Books 1710-1811"

Chris

brucefuimus said...

It's an interesting point - even without Ancestry's misdirection, I'm prone to assume all my (domestic) stuff about Scots will be in the NAS in Edinburgh, not at Kew.

It was ages before I bothered looking in the Ancestry stuff about Royal Mail employees - my only (known) postie was in Dundee and I know there are Royal Mail records in the NAS, so assumed that would be the full story. Then one day I looked on Ancestry for the Urquharts of Dundee (c'mon, it wasn't exactly hard to do so!) and discovered he was there - along with some impressive sounding referee for his application!

Adrian

Chris Paton said...

Always worth considering the National Archives at Kew, it isn't the archive of England and Wales, but of the United Kingdom - so tonnes of Irish stuff there also, for example.

Some types of collections are almost exclusively at Kew, such as military records (though there are exceptions!), but even things like the English and Welsh probate records are worth looking at for Scots - some people had property in both countries, and you might find records of the stuff that was confirmed in Scotland 'resealed' in the English records - bear in mind Ancestry's calendars for these go up to 1940, so whilst you might not find them on the ScotlandsPeople wills after 1901 you might still find it listed down south!

I should add - I actually look forward to locating relevant stuff at TNA in Kew. It's a wonderful archive! :)

Chris