occupations of the past
PineappleDanish · 22/02/2020 10:21
I do a lot of transcribing for Ancestry and the FreeCEN project, currently transcribing my way through an 1871 Oxfordshire census. Some of the occupations are fascinating. Staymakers (people who make corsets) I have come across before but today there's a new one!
"a dealer in hides or skins, particularly sheepskins, who might also prepare skins for tanning. The name is derived from the Old English 'fell' meaning skins and 'monger' meaning dealer."
Who knew? This is what I love about social history and census transcribing.
chineseny · 22/02/2020 22:26
Pineapple - what do you think this could be please?
Employed at ???? Palace?
I know this woman was a widow with 4 children living in Lambeth in 1860s I think...
PineappleDanish · 23/02/2020 08:17
Employed at Crystal Palace.
They've abbreviated the Crystal to Cryl to make it fit. A quick Google says Crystal Palace built in 1850, so that fits.
Much cooler than someone working with manky old skins!
SaskiaRembrandt · 23/02/2020 08:29
I used to do some transcribing - one my favourites was a saggar makers bottom knocker. I had to Google it, and IIRC, it's something to do with pottery making.
Notthebloodygym · 23/02/2020 09:08
I would love to know what a sail carter (I think it read) on the Manchester ship canal does. A distant relative of mine did this.
zelbazinnamon · 23/02/2020 09:10
Are you paid to do this fascinating job?! Well jealous!
Frenchw1fe · 23/02/2020 09:15
In the 1970's my husband's aunty was a tick turner at Fogartys.
She literally pushed the corners out in new pillowcases. Very hard on your thumbs.
SaskiaRembrandt · 23/02/2020 09:38
I wasn't, but I did it for volunteer run organisations, the OP does it for Ancestry who are a commercial organisation so possibly is paid.
I agree, it would be great to be able to do it for a living, it's really interesting.
SaskiaRembrandt · 23/02/2020 09:42
Notthebloodygym I've looked through directories of old professions and can't find a mention of a sail carter. Is it possible he was a carter who transported sails?
PineappleDanish · 23/02/2020 09:53
No, it's done on a voluntary basis to digitise census records (and there's a separate project for UK birth, marriage and death records) to open them up to the public on a free to access basis.
I transcribe onto a spreadsheet, it's then checked over by another volunteer and will eventually be uploaded onto the website. www.freecen.org.uk/
It's really interesting, the 1871 one shows just how much we've changed over a century. At least 80% of the people in my census are Agricultural Labourers, only around 2% of women have occupations listed, and they're the unmarried ones. The huge majority of people born within 5 miles of where they're living. Loads of widows/widowers in their 40s. 6, 7 or 8 children very common. Loads of families with servants, even the ones where the head of the family has an occupation like a farmer or blacksmith.
PineappleDanish · 23/02/2020 09:55
Sail carter - my guess would be transporting sails from wherever they're made to wherever they're sold? Canal boats don't use sails, must be something like that.
MaidenMotherCrone · 23/02/2020 10:05
To cart something can mean to move it from one place to another. Still in use today.
earlydoors42 · 23/02/2020 15:47
Hi, any ideas for this please? My great grandfather in 1901. In the previous census he was a labourer. In the following one he was a boat loader. It was in the West Midlands. Any suggestions gratefully received!
habibihabibi · 23/02/2020 18:05
When I was a student I did a job (very briefly) which was called pellmongery. It involved shaving and plucking wool from dead sheep too far gone to skin.
PineappleDanish · 23/02/2020 18:50
I can see what that wasn't a job you did for long, @habibihabibi!
Notthebloodygym · 24/02/2020 09:12
Thank you @PineappleDanish and @SaskiaRembrandt. Perhaps I misread the handwriting. That's what it looked like, though. I suppose he was carting something!
earlydoors42 · 24/02/2020 16:03
Brickin... something was a good guess - my dad has decided it is Brick maker - he identified the letter k from other words on that page with the same handwriting.
Apparently the 1911 one was in my great grandad's own handwriting, which was lovely and legible! (Boat loader)
PineappleDanish · 24/02/2020 18:39
Some of the handwriting on the census forms is appalling. And that's the enumerators. All the crossings out and faded writing don't help either.
The most frustrating thing about transcribing is that you have to type what is on the paper, even if you KNOW it's wrong. So you have to write Allice when it's probably Alice, or Abbingdon when you know perfectly well that the town is Abingdon.
Prokupatuscrakedatus · 25/02/2020 18:26
I would love to do this! I tried to volunteer for the church records of my home town but I am too far away for it to be practical.
One of my ancestors was a 'winkelier' - sb who sells things from a corner (winkel) of their kitchen or living room i. e. the keeper of a very very very small shop.
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