Unusual Occupations

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by Blackmogs, Feb 25, 2022.

  1. Blackmogs

    Blackmogs Moderator. General Dogs(cats)body. Staff Member

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    Ok gang, let's have them. What interesting things have you gleaned from various census returns?

    I will kick off with Sow Gelder, truly, no idea how you can geld a sow but it was clearly written. I cannot imagine why anyone would spey a sow but there we are.

    I also had a Brush Drawer. This one sent me off down a huge rabbit hole and unearth the fascinating art of making brushes. Domestic and yard brushes were made using tar or glue on the backs to hold the bristles in. But personal brushes were altogether different. Bristles were pushed through the drilled holes and then wired in at the back. This lass was working in Clerkenwell, London i 1861. There was even a Brushmakers Guild.
     
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  2. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    I always think my lot were all ag labs and the like, so I got Family Historian to bring up a list of occupations I had recorded. I was truly amazed at the variety of jobs my ancestors had tackled over the years, along with being sons of the soil. A few of the more unusual ones are - Book Folder, Cardboard Box Maker, Ether Distiller and Turkey Red Dyer. The last one had me thinking all sorts of odd thoughts along the lines of someone dying turkeys red for some obscure purpose, but turkey red was a dye used for colouring cotton in the 18th and 19th centuries (especially in Scotland), nothing to do with the bird :rolleyes: I also have a few generations of male Staymakers in Salisbury in the late 1700's.
     
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  3. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    I had cardboard box makers too!

    I also had scavengers. They were employed in the mills, and had to crawl under the machinery while it was in use, picking up bits of fluff.

    Puddlers, of course - working in the ironworks.

    Boots. Simply, they were boot pullers of gentlemen arriving to stay at inns.

    Oh - and slubber doffers. (How could I forget them? My favourite). They worked in the woollen mills too, removing the empty bobbins from loom spindles.
     
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  4. Andromeda

    Andromeda Well-Known Member

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    Here are my husbands: miner, miner, miner, miner, miner, miner, miner, miner, miner, publican, miner, miner, miner, miner, miner :D
     
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  5. Sue036

    Sue036 Well-Known Member

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    My great great grandmother said that her father was a gold beater. I have never found her father, nor her mother, so I don't know it it was true. However it's been pointed out to me that it's a strange job to have invented, so there probably was a gold beater involved in her family somehow.
     
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  6. Londoner

    Londoner Will always roll up her sleeves and dig around

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    Cardboard box makers in my husband family too. and I have brushmakers, but otherwise mostly farming in one capacity or another, until they get to London when a Chemist and Druggist becomes a tobacconist and later publican with one of his grandsons becoming a bookie!
     
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  7. Blackmogs

    Blackmogs Moderator. General Dogs(cats)body. Staff Member

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    :D:D:D:D
     
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  8. Auburn

    Auburn Well-Known Member

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    The worst I can offer is probably manure agent and castrator - and yes-it was the same person doing both jobs.
     
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  9. Blackmogs

    Blackmogs Moderator. General Dogs(cats)body. Staff Member

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    The latter preceding the former maybe :(
     
  10. Auburn

    Auburn Well-Known Member

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    I wondered who'd be the first to say that...
     
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  11. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    The only strange one, amongst my lot of Worstead Weavers, Blacksmiths, Labourers, carters etc. is my paternal granddad.
    His occupation on the 1911 census reads
    'mineral private on sewage works'o_O
    He dug tunnels for the London underground, but that was when dad was a lad, so he must have upgraded from sewers to trains:eek:.
    I am waiting to see what he is digging in 1921;)
     
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  12. Blackmogs

    Blackmogs Moderator. General Dogs(cats)body. Staff Member

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    I got in before @Chimp no mean feat :D
     
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  13. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    And they all moved around the coalfields - Durham, Brymbo, Gelligaer, St. Helens, Stoke, Whitehaven - just for fun. :D
     
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  14. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    Had I not been in the shower........ :D :D
     
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  15. Eve

    Eve Well-Known Member

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    My money was on the chimp !
     
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  16. Blackmogs

    Blackmogs Moderator. General Dogs(cats)body. Staff Member

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    And having to blow dry your fur after.....
     
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  17. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    Not saying this one is unusual but I hadn't come across it before.

    Fan Maker.

    Turned out to be someone who makes a tool for winnowing wheat etc, not as I first thought something for cooling the face.
     
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  18. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    No unusual occupations in mine. Just my Grandad who was a ponty boy in a coal mine in Glasgow before coming to Western Australia in 1912. Ponty boy is what he was on the 1911 census. He looked after the mine ponies. He was 14 years old.
     
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  19. Half Hour

    Half Hour Well-Known Member

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    :eek:
     
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  20. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    Mind you I thought Tambour worker was an unusual occupation until I found out what it entailed. o_O :rolleyes:
     

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