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Bricklayers

The Operative Society of Bricklayers was formed in the late 1820s or early 1830s. In 1848 divisions led to a split into two separate unions: the London Order of Operative Bricklayers' Society (soon after renamed the Operative Bricklayers' Society) and the Manchester Unity of Operative Bricklayers' Society. In 1921 these two societies reunited when they amalgamated with the Operative Society of Masons, Quarrymen and Allied Trades of England and Wales to form the Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers. Since 1971 this has been the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT).

The sources below are those of the above union identified as being of potential interest to genealogists. If you have established a person's membership of a trade union and their period of membership, and also have the relevant information outlined below, it may be worth searching these records for further information. Please note that without all the information listed as required, Modern Records Centre staff are unable to conduct a search.


Operative Bricklayers' Society (MSS.78/OB)

The Society initially had branches throughout England and South Wales. In the 1890s it started to expand into North Wales and Scotland, and in the 1900s it also started opening branches in Ireland.

Yearly returns of members' payments, 1871-1920 (MSS.78/OB/2/1/1-89)

Information required: Name, branch and year.

Information provided: Age, date of admittance.

Hull Branch minute book, 1890-1892 (MSS.78/OB/BR3/1/1)

Contains a list of proposed new branch members during this period.

Information required: Name. Must have joined Hull Branch between 1890 and 1892.

Information provided: Age, years at trade, marital status.

Lambeth Branch contributions registers, 1909-1918 (MSS.78/OB/BR5/2/1/1-2)

Contains a list of branch members' addresses.

Information required: Name. Must have been a member of Lambeth Branch between 1909 and 1918.

Information provided: Address.


Manchester Unity of Operative Bricklayers' Society (MSS.78/MB)

The Unity had lodges (branches) in Northern England, the Midlands, North Wales, Ireland and Glasgow. It began to be eclipsed by the Operative Bricklayers' Society in the late 19th century.

Contributions registers, 1875-1906, 1917-1920 (MSS.78/MB/2/7/1-6)
Ledger of members' payments, 1905-1916 (MSS.78/MB/2/2/1)

Information required: Name, lodge and year.

Information provided: Month of retirement or death (if within the period covered).

Death books, 1867-1922 (MSS.78/MB/2/1/1-2)

Information required: Name and year of death.

Information provided: Lodge, cause of death, death benefit paid.

Monthly/Quarterly reports, 1868-1918 (MSS.78/MB/4/1/1-50)

Contain lists of funeral benefits paid for deceased members and their wives.

Information required: Name and year of death.

Information provided: Lodge, cause of death, death benefit paid.


Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers (MSS.78/AU)

Quarterly branch returns, 1921-1940 (MSS.78/AU/2/3/1-149)

These contain lists of new members, members in receipt of superannuation benefits, and funeral benefits paid.

Lists of new members

Information required: Name, branch and year of admission.

Information provided: Date of admission, age, marital status.

Lists of members receiving superannuation benefit

Information required: Name, branch and probable year of retirement.

Information provided: Date admitted, age, date of retirement.

Lists of funeral benefits paid for members and their wives

Information required: Name, branch and year of death.

Information provided: Date member admitted, age of member, date of death, age at death, cause of death.

Annual reports, 1921-1970 (MSS.78/AU/4/1/1-60)

There is a slim chance that these volumes may contain a short obituary of a prominent member.

Information required: Name and year of death.

Information provided: Varies.