108 livery companies have operated in London. Wikipedia maintains a list of The City Livery Companies, along with links to company websites.
- The Livery Companies Database is a helpful resource that supplies contact details for each active company.
Histories have been written on many London livery companies. The British Library has compiled a detailed list. Most of those published before 1923 are available for free online at Google Books or Internet Archive.
Apprenticeship records are one of the most valuable genealocial sources created by London livery companies. They often name the following information about an apprentice's father: name, residence, and occupation. Cliff Webb has abstracted the records of many companies:
- London Apprenticeship Abstracts 1442-1850, courtesy: British Origins (£); also available in book form (48 vols.): FHL Books 942.1/L1 U25w v. 1-48.
- Records from the following companies are included in Webb's abstracts: Apothecaries, Armourers and Brasiers, Basketmakers, Blacksmiths, Bowyers, Brewers, Broderers, Brown Bakers, Butchers, Carmen, Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers, Combmakers, Cooks, Curriers, Cutlers, Distillers, Dyers, Fan Makers, Farriers, Feltmakers, Fishmongers, Fletchers, Founders, Framework Knitters, Fruiterers, Gardeners, Glass-sellers, Glaziers, Glovers, Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers, Grocers, Gunmakers, Horners, Innholders, Ironmongers, Longbowstring Makers, Loriners, Makers of Playing Cards, Masons, Musicians, Needlemakers, Painter-stainers, Pattenmakers, Paviors, Pewterers, Pinmakers, Plaisterers, Plumbers, Poulters, Saddlers, Spectaclemakers, Tallow Chandlers, Tinplate Workers, Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders, Turners, Tylers and Bricklayers, Upholders, Vintners, Waxchandlers, and Woolmen.
The website Records of London's Livery Companies Online: Apprentices and Freemen 1400-1900 offers free indexes to The Clothworkers' Company apprentices (1545-1908), The Drapers' Company apprentices (c.1400-1900), and a sample of The Goldsmith's Company apprentices (1600-1700). There are plans to add The Mercers' Company apprenticeship registers by 2013.
In 1641, a list of members of City Companies was compiled:
- The Members of the City Companies in 1641, As Set Forth in the Return for the Poll Tax. FHL Film 454036 Item 1
In 1651, signatures of members of 22 City Companies were taken:
- London Citizens in 1651, Being a Transcript of Harleian MS. 4778. 1910. Digital version at Internet Archive - free.
- 22 companies are represented: Apothecaries, Armourers, Bowyers, Bricklayers, Butchers, Carpenters, Cordwainers, Chirurgeons, Cooks, Coopers, Curriers, Founders, Freemasons, Girdlers, Glasiers, Innholders, Painter-Stainers, Poulters, Sadlers, Tallow Chandlers, Turners, and Waxchandlers.
In 1696, oaths from livery company members were recorded. This source acts as a census of liverymen:
- Association Oath Rolls for City of London Livery Companies, 1696, courtesy: British Origins (£)
- 77 companies are represented: Grocers, Mercers, Drapers, Fishmongers, Goldsmiths, Skinners, Merchant Taylors, Haberdashers, Salters, Ironmongers, Vintners, Clothworkers, Dyers, Brewers, Leathersellers, Pewterers, Barbers, Cutlers, Bakers, Wax Chandlers, Tallow Chandlers,Armourers and Brasiers, Girdlers, Butchers, Saddlers, Carpenters, Cordwainers, Painter-Stainers, Curriers, Masons, Plumbers, Innholders, Founders, Poulters, Cooks, Coopers, Tylers and Bricklayers, Bowyers, Fletchers, Blacksmiths, Joiners and Ceilers, Weavers, Woolmen, Scriveners, Fruiterers, Plaisterers, Stationers, Broderers, Upholders, Musicians, Turners, Basketmakers, Glaziers, Horners, Farriers, Paviours, Lorimers, Apothecaries, Shipwrights, Spectaclemakers, Clockmakers, Glovers, Combmakers, Feltmakers, Frameworkknitters, Silk Throwers, Carmen, Pinmakers, Needlemakers, Gardeners, Soapmakers, Tinplateworkers, Wheelwrights, Distillers, Hatbandmakers, Pattenmakers, Glass-Sellers, Tobacco Pipemakers, Coachmakers, Watermen, Officers and Yeomen of Guard, Trinity House, Ordnance Office, Officers of Tower, Officers and builders of St Paul's, Heralds, Lutestring Company, Clergy: Archdeaconry of London, Clergy: Archdeaconry of Middlesex, London Dissenters.
Abstracts of apprenticeship entry books for the Carpenter's Company (1654-1694) have been published online.
The Merchant Taylors' Membership Index 1530-1928 at ParishRegister.com (£).
Walcot, Cynthia. 'Artists - 1823. A List of names and addresses of Artists in London,' The Hampshire Family Historian, vol. VIII, no.4 (Feb. 1982), 148-149, Family History Library Ref. 942.27 B27h
The original records of most London livery companies are deposited at the Guildhall Library. A guide to their collection is available online:
Manuscripts on Microfilm
|Apprenticeship and Freedom Records Microfilmed by FamilySearch|
|Company||Apprentice Years||Freedom Years|
|Armourers and Brasiers||1535-1826, 1835-1878||1535-1876|
|Bowyers||1723-1759, 1788-1865||1704-1722, 1760-1814|
|Coach and Coach Harness Makers||1722-1822 (1803-1893 index)||1803-1893|
|Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers||1731-1837||1693-1938|
|Merchant Taylors||1583-1861||1530-1909 (index)|
|Paviours||1565-1853, 1694-1862||1563-1853, 1694-1706, 1734-1822|
|Tin Plate Workers||1824-1906|
|Tylers and Bricklayers||1612-1894||1676-1877|
|Watermen and Lightermens||1688-1908||1765-1904|
|Weavers||?Beg. 1681||?Beg. 1681|
- City Freedom Archives (London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) Information Leaflet)
- Livery Company Records and Furthering Your Ancestry (free online lesson)
- Livery Company Membership Guide, Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section
- The Membership Records of the Merchant Taylors' Company (LMA Information Leaflet)
- Records of the Company of Watermen & Lightermen (LMA Information Leaflet)
- Searching for Members or Those Apprenticed to Members of City of London Livery Companies (LMA Information Leaflet)
- Sources for Tracing Apothecaries, Surgeons, Physicians and Other Medical Practitioners (LMA Information Leaflet)
- 'Sources: London Livery Companies', A Survey of Documentary Sources for Property Holding in London before the Great Fire: London Record Society, 22 (1985), pp. 12-36. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=64577 Date accessed: 03 January 2012.
- About London Apprenticeship Abstracts 1442-1850, British Origins, accessed 31 December 2011.
- Belinda Griffin, 'Records of London's Livery Companies Online,' Family Tree Magazine, 21 June 2012, http://family-tree.co.uk/2012/06/records-of-londons-livery-companies-online/, accessed 22 June 2012.
- Cliff Webb, "Association Oath Rolls - Background to the Documents", British Origins, accessed 3 January 2012.