Wednesday 28 April 2021

Post Service Appointments Books, 1831-1969: full of Irish workers

An Ancestry World Archives Project (WAP) — UK Postal Service Appointment Books, 1737-1969 — was recently updated by Ancestry. No description of what's been updated has been provided, but this seems a suitable opportunity to bring to researchers attention this potentially useful collection for Irish family historians.

The records, held by The Postal Museum in central London, are indexes to the Postmaster General’s minute books. They show the date when a person began working for the Post Office or started at a new position within the Post Office. The books were kept from 1831 until 1969, when they stopped being kept because of legislation and human resource procedures.

Working for the Post Office was a well-respected career, especially for intelligent young Irish men and women, who had to pass the Civil Service Examinations to gain entry to the lowliest rungs. These examinations were held in Ireland’s principal cities, but many of the posts on offer were in London.

The collection holds nearly 1.5million records. More than 8,000 of them relate to appointments at locations in Ireland, but there are countless more for Irish youngsters who were prepared to live and work in London. Among them is one Michael J Collins who, having sat and passed examinations in Cork City in February 1906, was rewarded with a Boy Clerk position in the Post Office’s Savings Bank in London just five months later. He lodged in Kensington for several years with his sister, Hannie, who had taken the same route seven years earlier.

Click the Postal Museum’s logo, left, to search and view the records. Being a WAP collection, you don’t need a subscription, only a free registered account.

Some of the above content contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you buy via these links. This does not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping Irish Genealogy News online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.