ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Accountancy Ancestors

An index to obituaries, biographical profiles and photographs to help researchers tracing their family history or who are studying the history of accountancy firms.

Our unique database provides a who was who in accountancy for 1874-1965 indexing over 7500 published obituaries/biographical profiles and nearly 7000 photographs of accountants in the collection of the ICAEW Library & Information Service.

Obituaries, biographical profiles, portraits and other resources

This resource has been developed to help genealogists who are tracing their family history to find out more about ancestors who were accountants. The database also provides tools to help researchers who are trying to trace the history of accountancy firms.

Users can browse the obituaries/biographical profiles index by the name of the accountant or by the name of the accountancy firm. Each entry lists the accountant's full name, their qualifications and full details of the issue the obituary was published in. The name of the accountancy firm is included in the database to enable researchers to trace the history of firms through their staff and partners. A separate index is provided to photographs.

How to use the database

The database comprises a number of indices to help you trace resources on individual accountants or the accountants who worked for a particular accountancy firm. In addition the database includes a number of people who were not accountants but who were either associated with firms/individuals, of great importance within the profession or who were significant figures in their day.

The most extensive index provided is for Obituaries/Biographical profiles and can be browsed in two alphabetical listings. The first is arranged by surname and includes all obituaries. The second listing is arranged by firm name and is less extensive, as it only includes those obituaries/biographical profiles where an accountancy firm was specified.

In both the Obituaries/Biographical profiles by Surname and Obituaries/Biographical profiles by Firm indices the last accountancy firm is given for accountants in practice, where this is stated. For some journals, the Obituaries by Firm index also includes those firms from earlier stages in the accountant's career, such as the firm the deceased was first articled to. Please note that obituaries often state the first and last accountancy firms for the deceased but may not mention all the firms in the intervening years.

In addition to this, you can also browse a number of indices that will help you research individual accountants and the history of the profession. These include an index to portraits of accountants, general illustrations and accountants in the First World War.

Select the relevant link from the list below to load each index (provided in PDF format).

Obituaries/biographical profiles by Surname 1874-1965

Index to obituaries and biographical notes/profiles published in a selection of accountancy journals.
Arranged by surname.

Obituaries/biographical profiles by Accountancy Firm 1874-1965

Index to obituaries and biographical notes/profiles published in a selection of accountancy journals.
Arranged by name of accountancy firm.

Portraits 1874-1965

Index to portraits of accountants and other individuals associated with the profession from a wide selection of accountancy journals. This includes drawings, portrait photographs, group photographs and caricatures.
Arranged by surname.

Other Illustrations 1874-1965

Index to other illustrations from a selection of accountancy journals, covering a wide range of subjects from buildings to computers.
Arranged by title of image.

First World War 1914-1918

Index to reports from the Accountant, Accountants' Magazine and Incorporated Accountants' Journal during the First World War. This includes reports on accountants, their staff and close relatives who were killed in action, wounded, reported missing in action, mentioned in despatches, awarded medals or taken prisoner.
Arranged by surname and by name of firm.

Where can I find a list of abbreviations used in the database?

The index includes references to many accountancy qualifications past and present. A short list of some of the most common abbreviations can be found at the start of the obituaries/biographical profiles files. Explanations for other abbreviations in the qualifications column can be found in our accountancy abbreviations directory.

How can I find out more on what is included?

The books and journals used to compile this index are listed below. You can find out more details on some of the sources indexed (including the dates covered) using the links below:

How can I see an obituary/portrait/illustration?

The database does not include the full text of obituaries, biographical profiles or images of portraits listed in the index. However, you can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports through our document supply service. Entries are free for permitted users, but for all other users a charge of £5 plus VAT applies per entry.

Please contact the LIS enquiry team by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by e-mail at library@icaew.com or by webchat if you would like to obtain a photocopy of an obituary.

All the obituaries listed in the index are available in the collection of the ICAEW Library & Information Service and can also be consulted in person. All the journals indexed are held in an off-site store and we require advance notice if you wish to look at these. For more information on access to the Library, please see our Who can use the Library? page.

Who created the database?

The Accountancy Ancestors database was created by LIS staff who volunteered their time to index the obituaries and photographs included in a number of journals within the collection of the ICAEW Library & Information Service. The database was first published by the ICAEW Library & Information Service in January 2007. Page numbers in the index refer to the bound copies held by the ICAEW Library & Information Service and may differ from the collections of other Libraries.

Are there any other resources that can help me trace my family or firm history?

The LIS provides access to a number of resources that can help in tracing your family or firm history, including our guide to tracing an accountancy ancestor and a series of family trees for firms published as What's in a name: Firms' simplified family trees on the web. A full listing of available resources can be found on the ICAEW Accounting History website.


This database is the result of the compilation of a number of finding aids and indices created over a number of years by different staff, who may have applied different criteria to the obituaries they included. Profiles of members and announcements of death are not generally recorded in this database.

The database is a substantial work in progress and will continue to be updated in the coming years. No guarantee can be given for the comprehensiveness of the database. Use of this database is no substitute for looking at the original source material.


The Accountancy Ancestors database is copyright of the ICAEW Library & Information Service.

Can't find what you're looking for?

The ICAEW Library can give you the right information from trustworthy, professional sources that aren't freely available online. Contact us for expert help with your enquiries and research.