Find your ancestors in Civil Service Commission appointments, promotions and transfers 1871-1942

What can these records tell me?

Expect to find some or all of the following fields in this Civil Service Commission collection. All records are from the Civil Service Commission.

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Age
  • Civil Service Commission date
  • Description at the beginning of the Commission entry
  • Category of the entries (appointments, transfers, promotions etc)
  • Heading within the category
  • Government department name
  • Details of transfers from one department to another, as applicable or in the case of promotions, the previous role
  • Occupation: Job held, and occasionally when people are about to be appointed
  • Date of a person’s certification or appointment
  • Occupation Location: This can be a specific place (Kew Gardens), or a village, town or city. In many cases a wider district or region is given, such as North West District. The boundaries of the districts or regions are not given.
  • Additional notes about an individual
  • Publication name: The London Gazette
  • Publication date
  • Publication issue number
  • Publication page number

Discover more about these records

These Civil Service Commission records were published in the London Gazette. In total there are over 872,000 entries. The records start in 1871 and continue until 1942 when, without explanation, they suddenly stop.

The entries are for Civil Servant certifications following examination, or appointments, transfers and promotions. Where examinations have taken place the relevant criteria and requirements are given in earlier editions of the London Gazette.

The entries are for the whole of the United Kingdom, including Ireland before Irish independence.

The single biggest department is the Post Office with 450,122 records, which accounts for over half of the total number. The records include many different roles including: Learners, Postmen, Sorters, Porters and Telegraphists. Most entries have an associated location of the person’s occupation. As well as the larger towns and cities, they also include small villages, or large districts or regions.

Other large departments are the Admiralty (47,428 records), Customs and Excise (15,351) and the Prisons service (14,106). The majority of the Admiralty records are associated with occupations in the dockyards.