Findmypast which is available on the Digital Library now offers access to some historic Trade Union membership records, especially those for the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (ASRS) and the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners (ASCJ). Unfortunately it doesn’t include the other big craft Union, the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE).
Back in the day, I was asked for details on a carpenter who was active in Labour Party and Union politics in the early twentieth century in Auckland. The family were unsure as to where he had first apprenticed and worked as a carpenter, but I happened to know that the Modern Records Centre at the University of Warwick in Britain had historical records of the ASCJ. That Union, and others, acted as an international Union with branches worldwide, including within New Zealand. The Centre in Warwick had no difficulty in tracing our carpenter and confirmed that he was a member of a Dublin Branch before moving to New Zealand, where he transferred to an Auckland ASCJ Branch. Members readily transferred from one Branch to another as they moved around the world for work.
|Image of record from findmypast.|
The example shows a page for the Mount Eden, Auckland, Branch of the ASCJ for 1911. Note the Branch number was 892.
The particular carpenter I was looking for here was Tom (Thomas) Bloodworth who was a long time Labour Party, Trade Union and local body activist. Note he is here just as ‘T. Bloodworth’, at number 10 on the page.
You can search by name, or drill down using Education & Work and then Record Set: Britain, Trade Union membership registers. You can then select Image or Transcript.