Since guild societies had no legal existence, the few archives relating to them are private. Contrary to popular belief, however, the oral tradition was not the only method employed by guild members to communicate; some of them, in fact, were responsible for writing down regulations, taking care of correspondence, and seeing to other necessary aspects of association activities. Many such documents have been lost, while others were intentionally destroyed after a certain lapse of time. Still others were seized by the police and destroyed once sentence had been pronounced. Sometimes, however, examples can be found, annexed to judicial documents from the Ancien Régime up until the 19th century. They are rare documents and of great importance to historians. While it is obvious that they can provide information about the context in which a “Companion” ancestor progressed, any search for mention of his existence is more than likely to be fruitless.