Other resources

This guide was last updated in 2010

There are any number of other sources that may mention your ancestors or their shop, so now is the time to do some lateral thinking.

A newspaper obituary about a long-time figure on the High Street may mention when and how they acquired their shop or job and give anecdotes or specific details about their work. There may be advertisements for the shop in the local newspaper or, if it fell on hard times, bankruptcy notices in the London, Dublin or Edinburgh Gazettes: see www.gazettes-online.co.uk. Carol Vorderman even found an advertisement for her ancestor’s butchery business in a local tourist guide.

Journals of particular trades may give a flavour of the work or even mention your ancestor by name. Wills may indicate how successful the business was. You might also re-examine the census to see if everyone in the street is a shopkeeper, or whether the retail industry was a major employer in the area.

If the shop in question still exists, you could even pay it a visit and see if you can identify the building your ancestors would have known, and whether the function of the property has changed.

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