1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What was a Journeyman Bricklayer?

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

  1. kernowmaid

    kernowmaid Well-Known Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    1,229
    Location:
    St Austell, Cornwall
    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
     
    Findem likes this.
  2. Daft Bat

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

    Offline
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    14,166
    Location:
    Northamptonshire, England.
    It means that he has served an apprenticeship and is employed rather than being an employer. :)
     
    Findem, Bay Horse and kernowmaid like this.
  3. kernowmaid

    kernowmaid Well-Known Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    1,229
    Location:
    St Austell, Cornwall
    Thanks Jan.
    Am I right in thinking that he would move around looking for work?
     
    Findem likes this.
  4. Daft Bat

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

    Offline
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    14,166
    Location:
    Northamptonshire, England.
    Not necessarily.

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

    Findem The Fearless One

    Offline
    Messages:
    1,885
    Likes Received:
    8,445
    Location:
    NSW, Australia, ex Chelmsford Essex
    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.
     
    kernowmaid likes this.
  6. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

    Offline
    Messages:
    1,336
    Likes Received:
    7,947
    Location:
    North-west England
    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.
     
    Findem, kernowmaid and Daft Bat like this.

Share This Page