Posted by: kbenoy | August 24, 2011

Organising the Wilkie Family Papers

I have pretty much finished cataloguing the internal business records of Smith, Son and Wilkie. These records have been split into three series:

  • Financial and Accounting records
  • Employment records
  • Operational records

The Time Ledgers and Time Summaries that I mentioned in my previous post are in the Operational records series, along with records of Bills Rendered, Office Cash Books and Office Expenses and something called the Fire Order Book. This book, from the 1860s, contains details of Fire Insurance policies bought through Smith, Son and Wilkie as agents for Norwich Union with descriptions of the properties to be insured. I will tell you more about that another day.

The Employment records series contains wage books, which give information on the staff at Smith, Son and Wilkie. The Financial and Accounting records series contains a set of Client Account Books covering two decades as well as Cash Books and Ledgers.

I have now started to sort through the Wilkie family records in this collection…

Wilkie Family Records

These records relate to some properties in London owned by Mein Wilkie, who worked as an accountant at Smith, Son and Wilkie. He dealt with the estate records for his late brother George Golightly Wilkie of “Ellerslie” Thorne Road, Doncaster. The collection of records relating to the estate of George Golightly Wilkie is extensive with a number of ledgers and cash books and many files of correspondence making up the majority of the Wilkie family papers.

More Wilkie Family Records

I am looking forward to cataloguing this part of the collection and learning more about the Wilkie family, although I anticipate it will take a couple of weeks to get it all organised and listed completely.



  1. Hello – just wondered if you could shed any light on the role of the fire insurance surveyor? My great grandfather was employed in Manchester in that capacity from around 1880 – 1920 and I’d love to know what he actually did. Would he have surveyed propertie prior to a policy being taken out or perhaps after a fire. Any info would be fantastic

    • Hello, that is an interesting question! I have asked around and the general consensus seems to be that a Fire Insurance Surveyor would have assessed a building or property prior to an insurance policy being issued. A book that may be useful to you is ‘Fire Insurance Records for family and local historians 1696 – 1920’ by David T Hawkings. We have a copy available for reference in the searchroom at Wolverhampton Archives.

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