16 July 2011

Business Index Collection at findmypast.co.uk

The following is an extract from a notice from www.findmypast.co.uk

The Business Index Collection, published by www.findmypast.co.uk and in association with the Society of Genealogists, is available online for the first time, over 100 years after the indexes were first published in print.
The Business Indexes are directories of how Britain's business landscape shaped up between the early 1890s and 1927. They contain images and details of Britain's shopkeepers, businessmen and women, as well as captains of industry. The records also feature a short biography, detailing the entrant's prominence in local society, their memberships of corporations and/or clubs, the hobbies or leisure activities they enjoyed, as well as charities and other institutions that they may have been involved in. This information provides a unique insight into the individual’s character, which is extremely difficult to find elsewhere in such a comprehensive form.

All in the name of business…
The indexes also containing listings of local businesses, often showing a photograph of the building and/or the proprietor and sometimes with line drawings of the actual products they sold 100 years ago. The short descriptions frequently detail from whom the business was acquired. This was often a named relative and is a very useful detail for family historians.

A select few of these ‘local’ companies have become household names, with OXO, McVities, Cadburys, Bovril, Barclays and Lloyds all featuring in the indexes, along with representatives from Rolls Royce, Lyons, Selfridges and Harrods.

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