Family History

The archive is searchable by keywords including names and dates (see Searching the Archive for more information).

The archive contains letters and company minutes, together with workers, directors, employees and traders amongst others. You may be able to find out about their connection with the Canal which will help to build up a picture of their life. Information about who was involved in building the canal is provided in Who was Who - 1774-1779. Details of shareholders are summarized in Share Purchasers, by Name.

Names crop up all the time in the canal records, often with personal details. Minutes of meetings and letters written for the Company can give an insight into the work and character of individuals. Some people may be identified as supporters of the canal or as opponents to it's construction.

The company management and directors are quoted in much of the correspondence. The owners and operators of vessels using the canal will have entries in Minute Books and in more detail in Vessel movements, particularly the Tonnage Books.

Employee details will be found in the Wages Books and sometims in the Minutes and Letters.

In summary, there is a wealth of biographical detail to be found in the Archive and anyone can find it using this electronic archive.

Some of our volunteers are actively persuing research into prominent figures in the history of the canal from directors and engineers to traders and lock keepers.