Build your basic tree

This guide was last updated in 2010

Your first step is to lay the foundations for your investigation: draw your family tree, complete with names, dates, locations and the sources you have to connect your ancestors to their shops.

Do you know how long they worked in any particular shop, where it was, what type of shop it was or who owned it? Quite apart from information recorded on birth, marriage and death certificates and the census, you could talk to members of your family who may know stories or other relevant details.

There may be a photograph of your great grandfather in front of his premises on the High Street, or perhaps someone remembers your grandmother’s anecdotes about helping him out on a Saturday morning, or doing his accounts.

Are there any letters, bills or other papers connected with the shop among the family paraphernalia? All of these things can provide valuable clues as you pursue more detailed research.

Trace your shopkeeper ancestors
previous Step
Trade directories
next Step
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here