Who are we?


Descendants of the Lacemakers of Calais is a group of family researchers who aim to maintain the interests of the Australian Society of the Lacemakers of Calais Inc. The Society was an incorporated association formed in 1982 and its registration was cancelled in February 2020. 

Our special interest continues to be the machinery and equipment, processes and products of the machine-made lace trade and, especially in the men women and children who worked in the trade and who migrated from England to France - in particular Calais - during the early 19th century. These English workers lived and worked with their French neighbours and often intermarried with them.


In 1848 some of these lace workers and their families migrated again – some returned to England while some travelled to Australia. Yet others chose to remain in France. After 1848 some continued to use their skills in the lacemaking trade in England and France while others acquired new skills in work vastly different from their original trade. Some families prospered while others found despair and misery.

It is all of these lacemaker families in England, France, Australia and other countries that we call the

Lacemakers of Calais.


We are a web-based group that aims to provide a growing data base for the many researchers who are finding that their ancestors worked in the machine-made lace factories of Calais and who lived through the upheavals there in 1848. We also aim to foster connections between the descendants of those lacemaking families wherever they now live.


Much of our information on this website is free to search. For more particular data, we can provide access to the lacemaker families pages for a modest one-off fee. To gain access to the Lacemakers of Calais Families sections or to simply ask a question, please contact us.

We would love to hear your story.


Australian Society of the Lacemakers of Calais Inc. - who were we?