What was a Journeyman Bricklayer?

Discussion in 'Builders & Stone Masons' started by kernowmaid, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. kernowmaid

    kernowmaid Well-Known Member

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    My elusive Gt Gt Grandad (Thomas Henry VICKERS) was a "Journeyman Bricklayer" on the 2 censuses (1861 & possibly 1871) where I've found him, and on the children's Certs. He supposedly died in an accident, sometime between 1864 & 1894, but I'm blowed if I can find him. I suspect he may have left his family.

    Does the term "Journeyman" imply "better than the average" ...
    ... or was it more a case of "goes where the work takes him"?

    (If it's the latter, then I shall have to spread my search wider than Sunderland & Manchester!)

    Jane
     
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  2. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    It means that he has served an apprenticeship and is employed rather than being an employer. :)
     
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  3. kernowmaid

    kernowmaid Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jan.
    Am I right in thinking that he would move around looking for work?
     
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  4. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Not necessarily.

    The term comes from the French "jour" meaning 'day' - being paid by the day. Not journey meaning travelling around. :)
     
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  5. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    Although the term Journeyman had nothing to do with travelling, if the Journeymen in my lot typical they certainly could and did travel to new employers or areas not being bound to a particular employer.

    My maternal great grandfather William Card was a Blacksmith Journeyman, he was born in 1836 at Sandon Essex, married my gt grandmother in 1862 at Ingatestone, their first child was born in 1867 at Leytonstone Essex and their second child was born in 1870 at Broomfield Essex. My gt grandparents stayed in Broomfield for the rest of their lives, William had his own Smithy in Broomfield.

    Another Blacksmith Journeyman on my maternal side was Michael Dalton (Master Blacksmith) my gt gt grandfather, born 1765 in Norfolk he was obviously a Blacksmith in Norfolk before moving to Coggeshall Essex and marrying Jane Anthony, a local Coggeshall born widow in 1796.

    I have other Journey man tradesmen in my tree who moved around Essex a fair bit.
     
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  6. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    I suppose, having gained their proper qualifications in their trade, they then had to move to where the work was. A small village, after all, could only hold so many Master blacksmiths. My paternal line were blacksmiths and farriers going back generations, and each successive male child apprenticed in the smithy. That's a lot of young men gaining their journeyman status, brothers, sons and nephews. Most ended up working in foundries, collieries and steelworks.

    I also have a few journeyman bricklayers in my Black Country bunch - I think these were generally builders, rather than 'brickies' employed by a builder, as they tend to be nowadays. So maybe think of them as 'journeyman' and 'master' builders.
     
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  7. Elsiesgirl

    Elsiesgirl Well-Known Member

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    Just found this post and it's interesting. My GtGt Grandfather was a journeyman bookbinder and he seemed to move about though settled in Hull. He was born in Lancashire, met and married his wife in Huddersfield in Yorkshire and they had two sons. He moved to Leeds with them after his wife died. He next popped up in Driffield and met my GtGt Grandmother who was a widow with two children. They settled in Hull after that and had two more sons, the youngest being my Gt Grandfather. I don't really understand how a bookbinder could do the work without being settled with an employer. Possibly he kept changing jobs
     
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  8. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    The term Journeyman meant he wasn't bonded to a particular employer therefore he was free to change employers when he wanted to, or when events dictated there was a need to change employers. Being free like that meant they had the opportunity to go wherever the pay or conditions were better.
     
  9. gillyflower

    gillyflower Always caring about others

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    I too have the Term Journey Man applied to a couple Of Bricklayers, and a couple of Master Joiners. My understanding is a Journeyman works for himself. A Master, has people working for him.:)
     
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  10. Elsiesgirl

    Elsiesgirl Well-Known Member

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    Right that explains it a bit. I may try to find out if there was a master bookbinder in the places he lived that he may have worked for. His second wife, my GtGt Grandmother was a book sewer so I always assumed she worked for him
     
  11. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    He wouldn't have to have a Master Bookbinder to work for or be one himself, having completed his trade apprenticeship he could set up in the trade himself or work for another Bookbinder who is not necessarily a Master Bookbinder.

    I'm not sure if there were Guild requirements to be met, that's beyond my knowledge.

    My great grandfather, William Card, who as far as I know wasn't a Master Blacksmith had his own smithy in Broomfield road, Broomfield near Chelmsford.
     
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  12. gillyflower

    gillyflower Always caring about others

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    I think the term Master …… only applies if employing people to work for you. It is a long time ago when I checked. There is a Guild of Bricklayers - but It didn't set up until the 1930's. If you google Society of Guilds something may come up.
     
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  13. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Maybe you can find out a bit about him here. It's the British Book Trade Index.

    Code:
    http://bbti.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/search/advanced/
     
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  14. Elsiesgirl

    Elsiesgirl Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, that was really helpful. I'm not good at searching different sites but think I've found him in Huddersfield in 1840, described as Bookseller, Bookbinder, Stationer, Printer. I've looked again at 1841 census and there he's described as a Printer. The site only goes up to 1851 but I'm very happy to have found this
     
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