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Musée du Compagnonnage
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The guild press

A rather late entry as a source of information, however, may prove helpful in the search – the guild press mentioned earlier. Although they did not develop until the 1880s, guild publications were replete with names, nicknames, obituary notices, reports on festivals, lists of new members, information about guild members who had won awards in various competitions, been victims of accidents or were actively associated with the life of their society, etc. One can reasonably hope to come across some reference to an ancestor in such publications; however, complete and public collections of them are rare (there is one at the museum in Tours and another in the Bibliothèque Nationale). Nor does one always find the expected information. Sometimes the member who acted as society secretary was negligent about seeing that obituary notices were published. This could also mean that a member had ceased to be in good standing within a society and had been expelled. Furthermore, lists of new members were not always published, which is why research librarians cannot be expected to uncover what an individual family member has failed to find.

Flowing staircase

Musée du Compagnonnage

8 rue Nationale
37000 Tours
Tel: 02 47 21 62 20

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