As you have done your family research you may have come across the titles or names of various occupations done by your ancestors, possibility some names you have never heard of. That is very possible since new products and services are created over the years as the ideas and needs of a society change.
An excellent example would be a blacksmith, one who can shoe horses and make metal works. True, there are plenty of horses today who still need shoes and metal works can still be crafted, but nothing like was once done. An type of occupation in recent times that is fading out is the manufacturing and repairs to telephone booths. Those large compartments on every corner, big and small towns, providing the use of a telephone for a small fee. With nearly everyone having their own personal cell phone the phone booth is on the way out. Have you seen any lately? Even the traditional British red booths are very hard to find, as any need repairs, they are instead removed permanently.
So there is an online site that has a massive listing of occupational names as recorded on the U.K. 1891 Census ad in the city of London. There were similar occupations in other parts of England at the time as well as in the United States and Canada, but this listing reflects London in 1891. It still offers insight to jobs and positions held by people over 122 years ago. Some of the jobs have remained, but had unusual names while other jobs no longer exist.
Hog Reeve was a person who rounded up wild hogs on the city streets.
Antigropelos Maker was one who made waterproof leggings.
Way Man surveyed roads.
Night soilman was one who emptied cesspits, ashpits and backyard toilets.
Donkey Boy or Man was a horse carriage driver.
Shunter was a person who moved rolling stock around the railway yards.
Xylographer was someone who used and made wooden blocks used in printing illustrations.
Mango was a slave dealer.
Check out the list to see if any relatives in United Kingdom, USA or Canada had a certain occupation and you might learn a different name for it.
Images: Hog reeve and night soilmen.< Return To Blog