About the Apprentices
This collection consists of 609 indentures, ranging in date from 1700-1849, most of which were promoted by the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of Manchester and their successors, the Guardians of the Poor of the Manchester Union. The full title is Manchester Overseers of the Poor Apprenticeship Indentures.
Also included are 68 indentures made between private parties, the apprentices not necessarily being children or paupers, and 14 promoted by the overseers of places other than Manchester. Many of these record apprenticeships to Manchester tradespeople. Others have no apparent relevance to the work of the Manchester Overseers of the Poor.
The indenture usually gives:
- Name of the apprentice
- Name of the master
- Length of the apprenticeship
Ages are not stated in the early indentures. The first instance in this collection of noting a child's age is in No. 42 (item number within the Manchester Archives records), 1730. Here it is given in the form "now about eleven years of age". Ages are stated with more certainty from 1810 (No. 390).
The original records are held by Manchester Archives and Local Studies (ref: GB127. GB127.M3/9). Please note that our search returns records for Masters as well as Apprentices.Find out more about Manchester Apprentices Search the entire Manchester Collection
Begin with the basics
The name of the person you are searching for may not be recorded in the way you expect. Henry John Davies, for example, may have been recorded as Henry Davies, Henry J Davies, H Davies, or even H J Davies. We would therefore suggest that you initially search using their last name only. If you receive too many results, you can then add a first name to narrow them down.
If you don’t find the result you want first time, it is worth trying every possible variation in the first name field. If you’ve included a middle name in your search, try searching the first name only.
Your ancestor might have used a different first name in everyday life from the one that appears on official records. For example, your great-uncle Jack’s birth name might have been John. If you can’t find someone recorded under the name you expect, try variations of that name. And if you still can’t find your ancestor using their full forename, try entering their first initial instead.
We’ve added an ‘Include variants’ tickbox next to the ‘Last name’ field to allow for common differences in spelling or incorrect spelling. For example, if you search for the name ‘Foakes’ while ticking the variants option, you may also get results for ‘Folks’, ‘Fookes’, ‘Forkes’, ‘Foukes’, ‘Foulkes’ and ‘Fowkes’.