Postal pensions on Zooniverse

as featured on Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine‘s Transcription Tuesday 2021.

Help discover the extent of poor health among British postal workers in the 1800s. Join the project and transcribe the causes and rates of sickness absence and retirement for the UK’s Post Office employees.

By transcribing this unique set of records, we can learn about the effects of working and living environments on the health of tens of thousands of workers. We’ll find out how sickness rates changed over time and varied between different types of places. This will be a major advance as information about ill health for the Victorian and Edwardian period has, until now, mainly relied on causes of death.

Learn more and get involved at

Death certificates

Death certificate of former postal worker William Shuttleworth, 1896

We’re tracking a sample of our postal pensioners all the way to the ends of their lives. This will tell us how long they lived in retirement, and the causes of their deaths.

Pensions index

Excerpt from the Postal Museum’s pensions index

The Postal Museum’s archive includes a handwritten list of retired postal workers. The list contains lots of useful information in itself, and we can also use it to track down the former employees’ full pensions records.

Reports of the Post Office’s Chief Medical Officers

The annual reports of the PO’s medical staff contain a wealth of information about the health of postal workers and of the medical services provided by their employer.

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