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British Companies and Their Founders

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Surname/tag: British Companies
Profile manager: Maria Maxwell private message [send private message]
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Part of United Kingdom Project

--- The goal of this project is to identify and honour as many National and International British Companies, their Founders and employees. Britian has a rich heritage as an industrial nation. Many of her companies started as family concerns and grew to international status. We will list our top companies and create profiles for their founders.

Project Leader

  • Maria Maxwell Got as far as I could with Barrs and Greggs !! Moving on to Tunnock's !!

Participants to join just add your name here and let us know what companies you are working on for the Project -

  • David Edwards - completed George Bassett and Co Ltd. Completed The Appleyard side of Johnson and Appleyard now working on the Johnson Side
  • Jutta Beer - East Riding Engineering works in Beverley - GGF - Fullerton George Gordon Armstrong (Armstrong-17412)

Will you join ? Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!

Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them, and could use your help.

  • List our biggest/oldest and best known companies
  • Create profiles for founders where none already exists on WikiTree. (all employees welcome too by the way !!)


England Companies

See the England Project's topic, English Companies and Their Founders.

Ireland Companies

  • Penneys/Primark was founded in Dublin in 1969 by Arthur Ryan (1935-2019), but he was working for W Garfield Weston (a Canadian), whose family founded Allied Bakeries/Associated British Foods. They could not use the name Penneys outside of Ireland because an American retailer was already using it, so they came up with Primark when expanding into the UK.
  • Tayto Crisps founded by Joseph "Spud" Murphy (1923-2001) in Dublin in 1954, noted for being the first Cheese & Onion flavoured crisp.
  • Tayto Group Ltd founded by Thomas Hutchinson at Tandragee Castle in 1956 licensing the name Tayto from the above Irish Republic company, but otherwise an entirely separate company. Acquired Golden Wonder in 2006.

Scotland Companies

Wales Companies

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Comments: 4

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I just posted a comment on the "English" version of this page before realising half my companies were Scots or Irish! I've started putting the companies down as they come into my head, because the process of actually finding their founders, building a profile and connecting it to the big tree is very time consuming. If anyone can help me turn all the bold names into green profile links, I will be super-grateful! If not, I will return to them all in due course, I promise.

Starting to build up a nice range of Scots and Irish companies, but where are the Welsh? Does anyone know any Welsh companies or Welshmen who started famous businesses? They NEARLY had Iceland, headquartered in Deeside, but the first store opened in Oswestry, so the English claim another.

I keep editing this comment as bits of it cease to be relevant. I still haven't got round to John West yet, so I'll leave this here.

Wikipedia: John West is complicated. He was Scots but set up his eponymous firm in Canada. However technically the John West we know from our supermarkets isn't that firm, but one set up in the UK by T. L. Pelling and C. H. Stanley in 1857, who initially imported from John West (by then in Oregon) before licensing his name to use on products in the UK.

posted by Stephen Corkey
edited by Stephen Corkey
Hi Stephen, Enjoyed reading your comments. Was beginning to sound like my Tesco or Asda shopping list ! Discovered Tayto crisps on my family research visit to County Fermanagh in 2019. My great grandson still love to find them here in Scotland !

It's a great way to do Genealogy ! Maria

posted by Maria Maxwell
edited by Maria Maxwell
Jack Cohen, the son of Jewish migrants from Poland, founded Tesco in 1919. No profile on Wikitree yet.

The Asquith family were butchers based in Knottingley, Wakefield, West Yorkshire. In the 1920s, they expanded their business to seven butchers shops in the area. Their sons, Peter and Fred, later became founding members of Asda along with Arthur Noel Stockdale of Associated Dairies. ASquith + DAiries. None of them have profiles so far as I can tell!

I've tidied up my original comment a little to take out the ones I've already added.

posted by Stephen Corkey
edited by Stephen Corkey
Thanks for starting this project Maria, as I asked the initial question I would like to be one of the first to join you.


posted by David Edwards