Help and Frequently Asked Questions
- Advanced Search Help
- Trends and Aggregate Data Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Further Links
Using the Advanced search you can refine your search using a combination of Name, Location and Occupation keywords, as well as a number of selectable filters. Using these tools will make it possible to search for information as narrowly or as broadly as you like. Note that the records for at least one Company must be selected.
Free Text parameters
Enter criteria into one or more of the text boxes for Forename, Surname, Occupation and Location. These search options work as ‘partial string matches’, so you will only need to enter a part of the term that you wish to use as a parameter. For example, entering
- Sam into the Forename box will all match records of individuals with the forename
- Samuel, Samuell, Sam:, Saml and so on.
This will allow you to search for information where the spelling of a name or place may not be the modern version. Similarly if you were to enter
- Smith into the Occupation box, then you would find instances of various kinds of ‘smith’ (blacksmith, whitesmith etc.) appearing in your results.
Multiple text search terms can be entered into a single box by separating them with a comma. So, you can look for all individuals with the surname Smith or with the surname Jones by entering
- Smith, Jones into the Surname box.
The filtering options allow you to apply criteria to your searches based on standardised data in the records. There are six categories of filters available:
- Event Type – whether an individual appears in an apprenticeship or admission to the freedom
- Gender – whether the individual is male or female
- Role – whether the individual was the person being apprenticed, or was a master, or indeed took some other role in the event being recorded
- Status – descriptors and honorifics that were used in the sources to describe individuals
- County – the county of origin of individuals mentioned in the records
- Freedom Method – if searching for individuals mentioned in Freedom admissions, this option allows you to filter by the method that the Freedom was obtained
You may select as many filter options as you like to add to your search. All those records that match any of the options will be returned into the search results.
There is a tooltip associated with each of the filters, simply hover your mouse over each option for more information.
You can click on the Summary button to see an overview of the filter options you have chosen.
Using the filtering tools on the Trends page will enable you to generate a statistical overview of the Companies’ membership records over time. Totals of apprenticeships, admissions to the Freedom or both will be shown for whichever Companies you select. Once you click the ‘Go’ button, the totals for each year will be displayed, and you have the option to sort the results by year or by total (by clicking on the column heading). You will also see at the top of the results some further filtering tools, allowing you to refine your search by period or by some other criterion (such as indenture or bond length for apprenticeships, or method for Freedom admissions).
You can subsequently use the results of your Trend search to view the individual records that have been aggregated for each result: simply click on the Find Records link for a particular result, and the site will convert your search into an Advanced Search, showing you all of the individual events accordingly.
Currently the filtering tools are quite limited, but it is anticipated that their functionality will be developed in the near future to allow for the generation of other types of statistics. If you wish to investigate a particular set of parameters, however, it is possible to download datasets for apprenticeships and Freedoms (or both) from the link that appears at the foot of the page in the Trend results. The datasets are generated in a Comma Separated Values (.csv) text format for use in database or spread sheet software, and are available under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC, Attribution-NonCommercial)
How do I search for an individual by name?
Simply add criteria to as many or as few of the text boxes and filters on the Advanced Search as you like. The more information you provide the more chance you have of finding the right individual. Once you have entered your criteria and clicked on the Search button, a list of individuals matching your parameters will appear. At the top of this page you will be told how many such individuals were found, although you will only see twenty on each results page. To learn more about the individuals listed in the results, you can click on the Event Details link underneath each person which will take you to the specific apprenticeship binding or Freedom admission record, where you will see all of the relevant information about that event.
What period is covered by the data?
This varies between the records of each Company. At the moment records of apprenticeships and Freedom admissions between the fourteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth centuries are available for the Clothworkers', Drapers' and Mercers' Companies; information on the membership of the Goldsmiths' Companies is currently available for the period 1600-1700.
Is it possible to search for variant spellings of names, places and occupations?
Yes: what you type as a search parameter will be matched even if it is only part of a word. For example typing 'Hill' into the Location field will retrieve all places in the database that contain the word 'Hill', such as Cornhill, Garlick Hill, Tower Hill, Ryhill and so on.
Can I search for two (or more) forenames/surnames/occupations/locations at once?
Yes, just separate the criteria you want to search for by a comma, thus - 'John,Paul,George,Ringo' (without the quotes).
Can I save my searches?
You can save your searches in a number of ways. Firstly you can 'Bookmark' the results of a search via the link that appears at the top of your results page. When you click on the Bookmark function, a persistent URL is generated (in the address bar of your browser) which you can add to your favourites, or copy and paste into a document, or turn into a shortcut. You can also right click on the Bookmark link to copy the URL for your search. Secondly you can export the results of your searches. For searches on individuals, you can check the tick box next to the records you are interested in and then click on the Export button at the foot of the page. This will create and download an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file containing the full event details of your selected records (you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader software to view these files: http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/).
Alternatively, for the trend data containing aggregated, statistical versions of the data, you can download the full datasets directly from the Trends page using the links at the foot of the page. These will generate Comma Separated Text files (CSV) which you will be able to import into database or spread sheet software for your own research purposes.
Please note if your browser blocks automatic downloads you may have to authorise the ROLLCO site to download your exported search or the trends datasets.
Why can't I find I find any twentieth-century Clothworkers/Drapers/Goldsmiths?
In compliance with data protection laws, a closure period of 100 years is applied to all personal data. It is possible that new records will be added to the database in subsequent updates.
My ancestor was a Clothworker (or Draper or Goldsmith), will I find information about him here?
If your ancestor was described as a 'Citizen and Clothworker' or 'Clothworker of the City of London' in legal records such as wills or you know that he came to London to be apprenticed to a Clothworker, you should be able to find records relating to him in the database. Being described as a 'clothworker' by occupation does not necessarily imply membership of The Clothworkers' Company, and only the latter will be found in the ROLLCO data.
Even those who were members of a Company may not appear in these data, due to missing registers or other vagaries in the ways the historical records were made or have survived. Clerical oversight was unusual but not unheard of.
The Livery Companies controlled their craft within the City of London and its immediate suburbs (although the Goldsmiths' did have some authority beyond), and so an individual described as a clothworker or draper of Leeds or Stroud for example is extremely unlikely to have had any connection with The Clothworkers' Company.
Were there any women in the Livery Companies?
Although women are often mentioned in the founding charters and ordinances of the Livery Companies, references to them in membership records are few before the nineteenth century. Occasional references to women apprentices may be found as indeed may admissions of Freewomen by patrimony; however, those obtaining the Freedom through servitude and operating as sole traders in the City of London were in a minority.
Women are more likely to be found acting as Mistresses in records of Freedoms and apprentices but in a majority of cases they were the widows of deceased members; the privileges associated with the Freedom of the Company and City passed to the wife of a Clothworker , for example, "by courtesy" upon her husband's decease. Such women may be found in records described as "Citizen and Consort of the Art or Mystery of the Clothworkers" or a similar form of words.
Very occasional references may be found to apprentices bound to both a master and his wife but without exception these relate to women apprentices only. By the custom of London, women practicing their own crafts alone could bind apprentices by virtue of their husband's Freedom. However, both parties would usually be named in the indenture, leading to some ambiguity over who had primary responsibility for the apprentice's training.
London Apprenticeship Abstracts, 1442-1850 for apprentices in other London Livery Companies
Apprentices of Great Britain, 1710-1774
For the Inland Revenue's records of apprenticeships where tax was paid - from 1 May 1710 a tax was to be paid on all apprenticeship indentures excepting those where the fee was less than one shilling or those arranged by parish or public charities.
Introduction: Apprenticeship', in A. H. Thomas ed. Calendar of the plea and memoranda rolls of the city of London: volume 2: 1364-1381 (1929), pp. XXX-XLVII.
For a detailed account of the institution of apprenticeship in London's Livery Companies.
Bond Length: the term of years an apprentice was bound to their master for
Bond Value: the payment made to the Master for taking on the apprentice
Occupations given as Clothwr, clothwer, Clothwkr, Clothr, Cloth, Clo, Cl, clthw: refer to clothworker [not clothier]
Agr, Agric. Agricole: farmer
Albi pistor, Albipist: white baker
Aldri, aldran, aldermani: alderman
Allut, allutari: cordwainer
Ar, armi, armig, armigeri: esquire.
Auri fabri, auri faber: goldsmith
Barbitonsor, b.bitonsor, barbintoson chirurgici, barber chirurgion: barber surgeon
Cultellar, cultellarii: cutler
Call, kall, caldr, calend. Calendr, calener, calendar, callendrer, callr, collender, cullender, kalender, kallender: callender
Chyrurgion, chirugion: surgeon
Cler, cleric, clerici, clic, clici, clk, clr, clrcum, clrcus: clerk
Faber, fabr, fabri: smith
Fabr lignarii, fabr lign, fabr lignar: carpenter or wood worker
Fabr ferrar, fabr ferr, fabr ferrarii: blacksmith
Imbrotherer, ymbrotherer, imbroderer: broderer
Junctor, junctoris: joiner
Leremur, laramour: loriner
m., mer. Mcator, mercatori, mchaunt, mrchaunt, marchaunt, mcat, mcatoris, mercat, mercht: merchant
Mercator scissor: merchant taylor
Mil, miles, militis, milit, militem: knight
Molen, molendinar, molendinarii: milliner
Nigr fabr: black smith
Pandox, pandoxator, pandoxatorii: brewer
Pistor, pistoris: baker
Sacre theologie doctorus: Doctor of Sacred Theology
Salinar, salinarii: salter
Scissor, scissoris: tailor
Scr, scrivener: scrivener
Sher., sheer.: shearman
Textor, textoris: weaver
Tinctor, tinctoris, tynctor: dyer
Vinetar, vinitarii: vintner
Aedus = Hugh
Aemilia = Emily
Agna = Agnes
Agneta = Agnes
Alanus = Alan
Albertus = Albert
Alesia, Alicia = Alice
Alfredus, Aluredus = Alfred
Alicia = Alice, Elsie, Alyssa
Alienora, Eleanora, Elianora = Eleanor
Alvredus = Alfred
Amica, Amata, Amia = Amy
Andreas = Andrew
Anna = Ann, Anne
Antonius = Anthony
Artorius, Arturus = Arthur
Augustinus = Austin
Bartholomeus = Bartholomew
Beatrix = Beatrice
Benedicta (f.)= Benedict, Benet
Benedictus (m.) = Benedict, Benet
Carolum, Carolus = Charles, Carl
Caterina, Katerina, Katharina = Catherine
Cecilia = Cisley, Cecily
Cecilius = Cecil
Dionisia = Denise
Dionisius, Dionisius, Dionysius = Denis
Dorothea = Dorothy
Eadmundus, Edmundus = Edmund, Edmond
Eadwardus, Eduardus, Edwardus = Edward
Elias = Ellis
Eustachius = Eustace
Eva = Eve
Francisca (f.) = Frances
Franciscus (m.) = Francis, Frank
Fridericus = Frederick
Georgius = George
Gerardus = Gerard
Gilebertus = Gilbert
Giraldus, Geroldus = Gerald
Godefridus, Godefredus = Godfrey
Goisfridus, Gosfridus = Geoffrey
Gualterus = Walter
Guglielmus, Gulielmus, Guilhelmus, Gulielmo, Gulielmum = William
Haraldus = Harold
Henricum, Henricus = Henry
Hieremias = Jeremiah
Ioannes, Joannes, Joannis, Johannes, Johannis = John
Jacobus = James or Jacob
Joanna, Johanna = Joan, Jane, Jeanne, Jeanette, Joanne, Sinead, Siobhan
Josias = Josiah
Laurencia, Laurencius, Laurentium = Laurence, Lawrence
Marcus = Mark, Marcus
Margareta, Margreta = Margaret
Margeria = Margery
Maria = Mary, Maureen, Molly, Marie
Mariana = Marion
Martinus = Martin
Mathaeus, Mattheus, Mathias, Matthias = Matthew
Matilda, Matildis, Matillis = Matilda, Maud
Mauricius = Maurice
Michaelem = Michael
Milo = Miles
Moyses = Moses
Oliva = Olive
Patricius = Patrick
Petrus = Peter
Philippa, Philippe = Philip
Radulfus, Radulphus = Ralph
Randolphus = Randal, Randolph
Reginaldus = Reynold
Reimundus = Raymond
Ricardus = Richard
Rugerius = Roger
Samuelem = Samuel
Stephanus = Stephen
Theodoricus = Theodore
Thomasum = Thomas
Timotheus = Timothy
Tobias = Toby
Vincencius = Vincent
Willelmus, Guillelmus= William