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Tracing Your Labour Movement Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians Buy the book of the website

Welcome to Trade Union Ancestors
Discover your family history in the trade union movement

The scale of the British trade union movement is astounding. Tens of millions of people have been members, and 5,000 trade unions are known to have existed at one time or another.

The historic union records that survive illuminate the working lives, daily concerns and political attitudes of our ancestors. There can be few people who, in researching their family history, do not find at least one active trade union member.

This website aims to help family historians to identify the correct union, to discover the role their ancestor played in it, and to find out more about trade union history.

This is a one-person, spare-time operation, and all suggestions, corrections and additions are welcome. Please click on my name to send an email.
Mark Crail, Editor

PS. You can now buy my book Tracing Your Labour Movement Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians


Please make a donation by credit card or Paypal to support Trade Union Ancestors.  


Essential reading
Please have a look before you email me...

Contents page - full site listing
How this site can help you (and what we can't do)

Taking your research further
Trade unions timeline, 1799 to now

Find your way round the site
A "how to..." guide

* Use the “Site Search” box at the top of the page.
* Browse the Contents page, which lists everything.
* Work your way through the A to Z index.
* Find longer articles in the Unions directory.
* Use the family trees.

Trade Union A to Z
Complete listing of all British trade unions known to have existed over the past 200 years

A , B , C , D
E , F , G , H , I , J , K
L , M , N , O , P , Q , R
S , T , U , V , W , X , Y , Z

Note : Volume 5 of the Historical Directory of Trade Unions , published in late 2006, includes the names of additional unions. See the list here


Visit the giftshop
Click for mugs, T-shirts, mousemats and more

Facts and figures
Useful background information

Trade union membership 1900-2000
Strikes in the UK, 1901-2000
Trade union timeline, 1799-present day
Trade Union Badge Collectors Society (external link)
Family History Detective: Trade Union Records
Printed in Your Family Tree issue 33, January 2006
(c) Future Publishing Ltd 2005

Brief trade union histories
A quick look through the histories of key unions, some of which also include listings of union officials

Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers (and United Vehicle Workers)
Amalgamated Society of Cricket Ball Makers (and the Teston Independent Society of Cricket Ball Makers).
Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (later the National Union of Railwaymen.
Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers (and Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners).
Amicus (with further information about the AEEU, MSF and GPMU). External link
Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen
Association of Correctors of the Press (also the London Association of Correctors of the Press).
Association of Professional Executive, Clerical and Computer Staffs (APEX) (and the National Clerks Union, National Union of Clerks and Allied Workers).
Friendly Society of Operative Stonemasons of England, Ireland and Wales (and some smaller stonemasons' unions).
General Federation of Trade Unions. External link
GMB (and National Union of Gas Workers and General Labourers).
National Association of Local Government Officers (NALGO - later the National and Local Government Officers Association).
National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives (formerly the National Union of Boot and Shoe Rivetters and Finishers).
National Union of Mineworkers. External link
Somersetshire Miners Association.
Trades Union Congress. External link
Transport and General Workers Union. External link
Transport Salaried Staffs Association. External link
Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers. External link
United Operative Masons Association of Scotland (and some smaller Scottish stonemasons' unions).
Unity (including the Ceramic and Allied Trades Union and the National Society of Pottery Workers).


 


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Trade union history: union family trees,
A to z listing of 5,000 UK unions and more




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Tribune Cartoon Diary 


 

Trade Union family trees
Find out how today's unions evolved through a process of amalgamation to create today's trade union giants
Amicus
Incorporating trade unions for engineers and electricians, bank and finance company employees, scientists, print workers and tobacco workers.

Communication Workers Union
Incorporating unions for postmen and women, postal clerks and sorting office staff, and telephone engineers.

GMB
Incorporating trade unions for local government employees, boilermakers, shipbuilders, professional footballers, furniture makers and clothing workers.

Nautilus
Formerly NUMAST - the National Union of Marine, Aviation and Shipping Transport Officers. External link

Public and Commercial Services Union
Incorporating numerous civil service trade unions. Now upated with more on the Inland Revenue Staff Federation and its predecessor unions.

Rail, Maritime and Transport Union
Incorporating the National Union of Railwaymen, Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants and National Union of Seamen.

Teaching unions
Family trees for the National Union of Teachers, National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, Association of Teachers and Lecturers, University and College Union.

Transport and General Workers Union
Incorporating trade unions for dockers, coach makers, agricultural workers, Thames watermen, nail makers, chemical workers and bus drivers.

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians
Incorporating trade unions for building workers, carpenters, joiners and cabinet makers.

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Incorporating trade unions for shop workers, co-op movement employees, and distribution workers.

Unison
Incorporating trade unions for nurses and other health service staff, local government workers and employees in the former public utilities.

Unity
Incorporating the Ceramic and Allied Trades Union and its predecessors in the pottery and related trades.

 


History research toolkit
Local and family history groups: full UK list
Local records offices in England and Wales
Local records offices in Scotland

How to...
Make the most of your visit to an archive or records office
Research your trade union ancestors
Research your Chartist ancestors


History research toolkit
Local and family history groups: full UK list
Local records offices in England and Wales
Local records offices in Scotland

How to...
Make the most of your visit to an archive or records office
Research your trade union ancestors
Research your Chartist ancestors