A Guide to the Index of Entries from the Coventry Apprentice Enrollment Registers 1781-1841 by Barbara Robinson. c. 1997. 14 pp. Softcover booklet and 5 sets totaling 11 fiche. Published by Coventry Family History Society, “Twin Oaks,” 88 Howes Lane, Finham, Coventry CV3 6PJ, England. Each set is £3.20 includes airmail postage.

In the 18th and 19th centuries freemen of the city were allowed to vote in elections. To become a freeman a person had to have served an apprenticeship of seven years in the same trade and to have lived in Coventry for the whole of that time. To ensure these conditions were met apprenticeship registers were kept. There were three ways to be enrolled as an apprentice: by a parent, close relative or guardian; by the parish; or by the charity trustees.

This index contains the names of boys apprenticed in Coventry to masters who were virtually all living and working in Coventry or the County of the City of Coventry. The names are in alphabetical order and provide: surname, christian name, date of enrollment, name of parent, abode and parent trade. Many of the apprentices came from the surrounding countryside or counties and so this index may lead the researcher out of the city to the parish or origin.

There are five sets of fiche:
      vol. 1   1781-1801   3 fiche
      vol. 2   1802-1811   2 fiche
      vol. 3   1812-1821   2 fiche
      vol. 4   1822-1831   2 fiche
      vol. 5   1832-1841   2 fiche

Each set of fiche contains five indexes for: Apprentices; Masters; Masters by trade; Partners; and Trades. The additional indexes are helpful for following the possible career of a person from apprentice, to Master, to potential partner in larger companies, or following the family through a particular trade.

These are large valuable indexes and the Coventry Family History Society is to be commended for their excellent work.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.6 no.1, 1999