Union Records ~ Emigration / Migration

In the early days of the Unions attempts were made to encourage poor families (under strict criteria) to migrate to Manchester where there was a shortage of labour. Despite the potential for better pay there were few who took up this opportunity. More popular was the Emigration of people to such places as America, Canada and New Zealand.

Minutes of the Board

Details of the attempts to send families to Manchester may be found in the Minutes and, because the age and number of children were important to meet the criteria, a whole family can be mentioned. Requests for help to emigrate to America, New Zealand, Canada, etc can also be found here, again with the whole family mentioned.


These may include letters from the Migration Agents in Manchester, the individuals themselves or the shipping agents with details of the travel arrangements to the port of departure and the ship on which emigrants were to travel.

Financial Ledgers

These may show the costs incurred in providing clothing, money and travel expenses for persons emigrating aboard or migrating to other parts of the country.

Emigration papers

It will depend very much from Union to Union whether these papers have survived but where they do they may include copies of letters from other family members already living aboard and details of the departure arrangements, including the name of the ship.