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In this talk, Mark Pearsall, The National Archives' family history specialist, focuses on the apprenticeship system and how it worked in practice, and covers those records that survive in The National Archives, in particular the Apprenticeship Books in record series IR 1. It also suggests where to look for surviving apprenticeship records in other archives and record offices, as well as other useful sources for tracing apprentices where details of the apprenticeship indentures have not survived.
It's all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that agricultural labourers are boring and that you can't trace anything about them. In fact they can be very interesting, and there's lots of information to be found if you know where to look. This talk covers resources available in The National Archives, parish and county records, and manor, estate and farm sources. Mark Pearsall is the Principal Records Specialist - Family History and works in the Records Knowledge team in the Advice and Records Knowledge Department. He has worked in several departments of The National Archives over the years and has contributed articles to a number of family and local history publications. He is the author of The Family History Companion and co-authored The National Archives Guides on Immigrants and Aliens and Family History on the Move. He has also produced transcriptions and finding aids for various record series.
Paul Smith, company archivist of Thomas Cook UK & Ireland, offers a general account of the holdings of the Thomas Cook Archives, with particular reference to records that might prove useful for family historians, such as staff magazines, contracts of employment and passenger lists. The talk also provides a brief history of the Thomas Cook organisation, and explains the importance of its archives for anyone, from academics to film producers, with an interest in the history of travel since the mid-19th century.