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:
||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.
||Those who dealt with items
such as edible/potable/soap/wax/etc.
||Those who worked with metal
in its various forms and in a variety of ways.
||Those who worked with fabric,
natural fibers, leather, or clay, etc.
||Those who sold or brokered
||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.