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Stonemasons and Quarrymen

The Friendly Society of Operative Stonemasons of England, Ireland and Wales was founded in 1833. It changed its name to the Operative Society of Masons, Quarrymen and Allied Trades of England and Wales in 1919. In 1921, the Operative Society of Masons, Quarrymen and Allied Trades of England and Wales, the Manchester Unity of Operative Bricklayers' Society and the London Order of Operative Bricklayers' Society amalgamated to form the Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers.


Friendly Society of Operative Stonemasons of England, Ireland and Wales

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.

Fortnightly Returns, 1834-1910 (MSS.78/OS/4/1/1-98)

Fortnightly return, 24 June 1869

The returns contain brief obituaries of members of the Society (usually those who have joined the funeral fund). References to the deaths of wives and (after July 1862) children registered with the fund are also included. Information given may include age, place of death or branch, date and cause of death. An index to the obituaries is available online (this also includes obituaries published in the union's journal between 1911-1921).

From the 1840s onwards, lists of members registering with or receiving particular funds (for example: sick pay, superannuation and accident pay) are included, together with applications for accident benefit. Information about fines levied on members for offences such as working in opposition or for too little pay, fraud, theft, "tattling" to an employer, and offensive acts in a lodge house are included throughout. For a better idea of the contents of the fortnightly returns, look at the example from 10th-24th June 1869 (pdf).

Given the sheer number of returns, a precise date is essential before you perform any search.

 

'Journal of the Operative Stone Masons' Society', 1911-1921 (MSS.78/OS/4/2/1-13)

The journal replaced the earlier series of 'Fortnightly Returns' (see above) but the information included in the returns was continued in the journals. The journal was issued fortnightly until 20 Oct 1920, thereafter it was issued monthly. An index to the obituaries is available online.

Admissions registers, 1886-1911 (MSS.78/OS/2/2/1-3)

  • Vol. 1 1886-1895
  • Vol. 2 1896-1905
  • Vol. 3 1906-1911

Need: The date of admission, year of birth and a precise name (in full) is essential. Searches cannot be carried out on surnames only. Biographical details such as places of work/residence and a date of death/retirement are also important for the purpose of identification and the elimination of people bearing the same names.

Contain: name, date of admission to the trade fund, branch/place joined and age. Occasionally: a comment under 'Remarks', or information on whether they had joined the sick fund or wives' funeral fund. The two later volumes also have a section for admissions to the children's funeral fund (when and where).


Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers

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.

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.