Blimey, Where did I put those records: Part 7 Employment Records

Genealogy Source Checklist

Research This
Research This


Today’s blog is about Employment records. Start with your own. Find your resume. Look it over what pops out at you. Memories come flooding back. What tools did you need to do your work? Make a list. Take photographs of that equipment. Find a photograph of you at work. Maybe even a newspaper article about you, your place of employment or about the type of job you do. It might be about a different company, but it explains the process of your work. Future generations want your story they want to know what you did.

Let’s go find that story for them. Document it. Maybe even write a Resume for your retirement. Wouldn’t it be fun to write about what your “leisure” years are all about? What did your parents, grandparents do for employment? In their retirement? Finding those tidbits of life will provide a glimpse not only into the life we are researching, but that of the culture and social norms of the day.

Think about what tools of the trade would be. A traveling nurse would have, uniforms, a stethoscope, bandage scissors, four color pen (now a days a laptop), thermometers, bandages, a “duffle/nurses” bag and a Blood Pressure Cuff. These are just a few of the items a nurse might need to get you started on a list of your own for whatever trade of the person your are researching.

Remember spelling didn’t matter in the beginning.  I have created a list that we should look for in our ancestral search. You will find mention of record types from earlier post listed here. It is a reminder to search multiple locations for your records.  Use the list as a guideline. You may even find or think of records that I haven’t. Add them to your list. Happy Family Researching.


Employment Records


Resume                                                                                               Work logs

Account books                                                                  Tools of the trade

Union membership                                                         Nurse’s License

Doctor’s License                                                               Insurance cards

Insurance papers                                                             Business Cards

Business Letterhead                                                       Business Advertisements/Flyers

Apprenticeships                                                               Pensions

Service Awards                                                                 Performance Evaluations

Personnel files                                                                  Company records

IRS/tax records                                                                Photographs

Annual Yearbooks                                                           Uniforms

Midwives Journal                                                             Attendance logs

Retail Logs                                                                           Store inventories

Household inventories                                                  Pharmacist records

Mechanic logs                                                                   Farmers log

Garden Plan                                                                       Slide Ruler

Compass                                                                              Telescope

Society registration cards                                             Society records/activities/publications

Farm equipment                                                              Farmers log book


I could go on and on listing items and still forget something. This list is just a jumping off point for you to think of what would be required on your ancestor’s trade. If it is a family business how did that equipment or expectations of the job change? (Mercurial thermometers to digital thermometers is one example.)




  1. Saville, Susanne; Susanne Saville- Caffeinated Natter All the Caffeine, Half the Sense; Blogspot post 13 Nov 2011; accessed 15 May 2014
  2. Thank you to all genealogist and family researchers for your time and research. I have compiled this list from what records I have encountered in my own research, listening to podcast, webinars; reading blogs. I wish I could thank everyone individually. In my earlier years of research I did not always document who suggested a record group source. Going forward in my research, I will make every effort to identify and credit who provided the lead.


Ceramic Cat Urinal Medical Equipment in the 1800's
Ceramic Cat Urinal
Medical Equipment in the 1800’s

2 thoughts on “Blimey, Where did I put those records: Part 7 Employment Records

  1. The more I journey this genealogy road the more I realize the worth of the “treasures” my mother left behind. At first I just dismissed several papers amongst the letters that I thought were “important”. I went back over that stack a couple of years ago and discovered that my father’s timeline was “just waiting” for me in a resume mother had typed up for him, no doubt for a job he applied for. Fortunately for me, she left behind “old fashioned” carbon copies which I have since scanned!!! Even though they are both gone now, I have been given a glimpse into their lives before I was born. This is worth more than gold to me! Back to work on organizing my treasures…


  2. Thank you for sharing. I love those pieces of “Gold & Silver” we find. The old cards with a note of love, a resume, a bill of sale for some off the wall piece of furniture you laughed at as a child. Memories and love.


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