03 January 2013
Family Tree assistant editor Karen Clare sweeps away the old year and checks out our new series for 2013 – s
Two weeks before Christmas, as the village sweep got to work cleaning our chimney, I paused to reflect just how lucky my seven-year-old is not to have been born in an earlier era, when it could have been him stuck up on top of the roof instead of the brushes.
Apprentice chimney sweeps often spring to mind when we think of child labour in the past, but there are many more occupations that children were involved in – and they were usually brutal and often deadly. In our January issue, Mary Evans kicks off her new series on researching your ancestors’ occupations with an expert guide to the best websites and sources for finding out about work carried out by children. Discover how to trace youngsters working in small cottage industries or agriculture, in factories or as chimney sweeps and down the mines, apprenticed to tradesmen or launched into a life of servitude as domestic servants.
Featuring more than 75 sites and sources, from web links and books to unmissable museums and records collections, we take you down new avenues of research to widen your understanding of your poorer ancestors’ lives. Keep reading every issue for more sources for tracing old occupations – in February, we’ll be covering forebears employed in workhouses, prisons and asylums.