Minor Guilds

Minor Guilds are categories, for the purpose of this Society only, in which Colonial trades having a common bond have been grouped together. The Society has created six (6) categories, which it refers to as the six (6) Minor Guilds. These categories of like-trades were compiled from the Society's online Guild’s Dictionary of Colonial Arts and Trades and they have each been given a name to reflect their common bond. For example, all trades having to do with wood-working fall under the Minor Guild called Wrights. This would include, but not be limited to, carpenters, joyners, shipwrights, coopers, and housewrights. In the Dictionary, the trade definition is followed by an alpha letter (i.e. A, P, S, T, TR, W) which denotes what Minor Guild that particular trade falls under. For example, W = Wrights. The six (6) Minor Guilds created by this Society are:
Arts (A): Those in the field of music, drama and literature; artists who create by painting, sculpting, engraving, carving, etc.; those who design or use their intellect to invent or create.
Provisions (P): Those who dealt with items such as edible/potable/soap/wax/etc.
Smiths (S): Those who worked with metal in its various forms and in a variety of ways.
Textiles (T): Those who worked with fabric, natural fibers, leather, or clay, etc.
Trades (TR): Those who sold or brokered goods.
Wrights (W): Those who used wood, stone, brick, or glass, etc. in their trade

The term Minor Guild comes from the Italian phrase Arti Minori, which was used in the 15th Century to describe the small (minor) guilds of the city of Florence. These Minor Guilds were also called craft guilds, hence the adaptation of this phrase by this Society for our use.

Minor Guild Trade List

As a cross reference to the Guild Dictionary of Arts and Trades, and as a tool for those who are researching the Colonial trades of their ancestors to try and prove an ancestor in all six of the Minor Guilds, please view the new MINOR GUILD TRADE LIST. This chart clearly defines what trade goes under which Minor Guild. Use the Guild's Dictionary to define the trade.

 

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