Trade and business

Whatever commodity your ancestors dealt in, researching their lives can be a fascinating and rewarding experience, writes Jenny Thomas.

It can be very satisfying if, like William Roache, you find an entrepreneurial ancestor who was involved in business or trade. You may be lucky enough to have a photograph of him or her standing proudly outside their business.

You can sometimes feel a greater connection to these forebears than those who worked in industries that have long since disappeared, making it hard to picture what their lives were really like.

What’s even more exciting for the family historian is that ancestors in trade are likely to have left records behind that can be used to find out more about exactly how they earned their living, and just what their lives might have been like generations ago.

This can be a rich and fascinating area of research when it comes to exploring your family history. Here are some ideas about where you can look to find out more about your relatives in trade.