|Below is a list of some of the more obscure occupations that you may find on the English Census during your genealogy research. The English census has been taken every 10 years since 1841 but, because they can not be viewed by the public for 100 years, we only have access to the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 census. Because many of these jobs are no longer in existence here is a brief description against each one. Please note this list is by no means exhaustive.
ABECEDARIAN A teacher of the alphabet
ABLE SEAMAN An unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. Also an Able Seaman was (and is) a naval rank for the lowest but one sailor rank, the lower rank being Ordinary Seaman or Seaman. It indicated a qualified sailor with service.
ACATER A present day caterer. A person who supplied food provisions to various outlets
ACCOMPTANT An accountant
ACCOUCHEUR A professional obstetrician. Assisted women in childbirth. A male physician skilled in the art and science of managing obstetrics. pregnancy, labour and the time after delivery
ACCOUCHEUS A midwife
ACCOUTREMENT MAKER or ACCOUTRER Someone who supplied dress or trappings equipment – i.e. the equipment of a solider other than arms and uniform.
ACTOR A theatrical performer. Performed on stage to audiences. (In the past, only men could become actors. In the ancient and medieval world, it was considered disgraceful for a woman to go on the stage -a belief that continued up until the 17th century.)
ACTUARY An account keeper. An officer or a mercantile or insurance company. Skilled in statistics, especially on the expectancy of life and the average proportion of losses by fire and other accidents
ADMINISTRATOR (ADMINISTRATRIX – female) Someone who directed the affairs of another i.e. A man who manages an intestate estate.
ADVOCATE One who pleads a case for another. To defend. E.g. Solicitor, Barrister.
AERONAUT A Balloonist. In some countries a trapeze artist
AFFEEROR or AFFEERER An official who assesses the monetary penalty due
AGISTER A person who affords pasture to the livestock of others for a price. (e.g. cattle, pigs, sheep, ponies, horses) Can also refer to forest pasturage or herbage.
ALABASTERER A person works with alabaster
ALCHEMIST A medieval chemist who claimed to be able to turn base metals into gold
ALDERMAN A civic dignitary in the local council. Next in rank below the mayor
ALE DRAPER A seller of ale
ALE TASTER An appointed inspector/quality tester of ale and beer first recorded in London 1377. The forerunner of Weights & Measures Act
ALE TUNNER Someone employed by the brewery to fill ale casks (tuns} with ale
ALE-CONNER or ALE FOUNDER An inspector of ale, who tested the quality and measure of ale served in public houses
ALE-HOUSE-KEEPER or ALEHOUSE KEEPER The landlord of a tavern / public house landlord (pub, Inn)
ALE-WIFE A woman who keeps an alehouse or tavern
ALMONER The person who distributed alms or charity to the poor on behalf of the parish
ALNAGER or ALNAGAR or AULNAGAR An officer in England formally appointed to inspect and measure woollen cloth, and fix upon it a seal.
AMANUENSIS A Scribe or a person who takes down dictation. Secretary or stenographer or a manual labourer.
AMBER & JET CUTTER A person who cuts and polishes amber and jet for jewellery
AMBER CUTTER A person who cuts ambergris which is an ash coloured odorous substance used in perfumery.
ANCHORITE or ANCHORET (male) ANCHORESS or ANCRESS (female) Denotes a person who, for religious reasons, withdraws from secular society to lead an intensely prayer-oriented, ascetic and focused life. As a result, anchorites are usually considered to be a type of religious hermit, although there are distinctions in their historical development and theology. Hermit or religious recluse
ANCHORSMITH A person who made anchors for boats and ships
ANGLE IRON SMITH A person who made angle iron i.e. flat iron bars bent at an angle
ANILEPMAN A sub-tenant on a smallholding
ANKLE BEATER A young person who helped to drive the cattle to market
ANNATTO MAKER Someone who worked in the manufacture of dyes for paint or printing, using dye from annatto. This is a dye, yellow or orange in colour and was gained from the achiote trees found in Latin American and the Caribbean.
ANTIGROPELOS MAKER A person who made waterproof leggings
ANNUITANT Not strictly an occupation but something you may come across under the occupation title which indications that the person was able to support themselves financial from their own savings or investments � for example stocks and shares.(See also Fundholder or LOOM)
ANVIL SMITH Someone who made anvils and hammers for blacksmiths
APIARIST A Beekeeper
APOTHECARY Someone who prepared and sold medicines or drugs; pharmacist,chemist
APPARITOR or USHER Formerly an officer to execute the order of the magistrate, judge or court. An official who serves the summons and executes the process of the ecclesiastical court. Also the mace bearer or beadle of a university or similarly functionary.
APPRAISER An evaluator who estimates the value of land
APPRENTICE Someone who was learning a trade by being bound to a skilled worker for a specified time
APRONEER or APRONMAN Commonly refered to a London shopkeeper – or someone who wore an apron to work.
AQUAFORTIST A person who etches or engraves with aqua-fortis – a solution of nitric acid
AQUAVITA SELLER Someone who sold unrectified alcohol (popularly ardent spirits like brandy)
ARBALESTER A crossbow man
ARCHIATOR A chief physician or doctor
ARCHIL MAKER Someone who used lichens to make a violet-coloured dye to use in the textile industry.
ARKWRIGHT A skilled craftsman who produced wooden chests or coffers (Arks)
ARMOURER A person who made suits of armour or plates of armour for buildings or ships etc.
ARMY CLOTHIER One who made clothes / uniforms for the Army
ARPENTEUR A land surveyor
ARTIFICER A highly respected skilled or artistic worker or craftsman or a skilled mechanic in the armed forces, chiefly British. It may also refer to a person who makes artifacts
ASHMAN A dustman
ASSAY MASTER Determined the amount of gold or silver to go in coins
ASSAYER Determined the proportions of metal in ore
ATTORNEY A Lawyer
AUCTIONEER Dealer. Person who sells goods at auction and is usually paid by commission on the sale.
AUGER MAKER Someone who made the carpenters augers (used for boring holes in wood)
AURIFABER A Goldsmith
AXEMAN or AXMAN One who wields an axe. Woodsman.
AXLE (AXEL)TREE MAKER or AXLE (AXEL) TREE TURNER Made axles for coaches and wagons
BACK WASHER Employed to clean the wool in the worsted manufacturing industry
BACKMANN or BACKSTER or BAXTER or BECK or BECKER A Baker
BACK’US BOY A kitchen servant from the back of the house
BADGER A licenced huckster (peddler (pedlar), hawker). A corn miller or dealer or an itinerant food trader. Travelling provisions dealer. Licensed pauper who wore a badge with the letter P on it and could only work in a defined area (the term “Badgering comes from this”). A petty jobber, or trickster.
BAGMAN Travelling salesman
BAGNIOKEEPER In charge of a bath house or brothel
BAILIFF or BAILIE or BAILLIE or BAILLEE Officer of the sheriff, a land steward acting on behalf of the Landowner or Landlord and in Scotland a magistrate of the burgh, also looked after the fishing rights on certain rivers
BAIRMAN or BAREMAN Pauper or beggar
BAL MAIDEN or PIT BROW LASS A female mine worker who worked on the surface
BALANCER The person, usually a boy, who operated the balance – a pulley where full tubs were pulled up a slope in a mine and emptied
BALER A person who bales hay. In the mills one who bailed wool or cotton goods
BALISTER Archer – most commonly a crossbowman
BALLARD MASTER One in charge of loading the ballast into the hold of empty ships
BALLAST HEAVER or BALLAST MAN Person who used to load ballast into the hold of empty ships
BALLER or BALLER UP Person who measured out the balls of clay for the potter
BAND FILER A metal worker in the gun making industry
BANDSTER One who bound the wheat sheaves after harvest
BANG BEGGAR An officer of the parish who controlled the length of stay of any stranger to the parish
BANKER A person who dug trenches and ditches to allow drainage of the land, placing the surplus earth in banks around the edge
BANKSMAN or BANK MANAGER Employed in the mining industry being in charge of the cages at the pit head
BARBER or BARBER SURGEON A barber who also acted as a surgeon (an Act was passed that limited Barbers to hair-cutting, shaving, dentistry and blood letting in the 18th century)
BARD Poet, writer or minstrel
BAREMAN A beggar or pauper
BARGE MATE Supervise or coordinate activities of crew aboard ships, boats, barges, or dredges: Naval officer
BARGEE or BARGEMAN One who worked on or owned and operated a barge
BARILLA MANUFACTURER Made barilla, a substance obtained from burning saltworts, the resulting mixture of sodium salts being used in the glass and ceramics industry
BARKEEPER Another name for a tollkeeper or tavern keeper
BARKER One who strips bark from trees. Also one who prepared leather with bark, a tanner
BARKMAN Anyone who tanned leather using the bark of trees.
BASIL WORKER Workers who used bark to tan the skins of lambs and sheep. The leather was called basil
BASKETMAN Made baskets and furniture from wicker, a person employed to empty the basket of coal being off-loaded from the colliery into the barges
BASS or BAST DRESSER Employed in dressing fibre or matting
BATMAN Officers servant in the army
BATT MAKER Mattress maker. Made the wadding used in quilt and mattress making
BATTER OUT Sliced a short cylinder of clay and threw it onto a mold shaped for the face of a ceramic plate
BATTLEDORE MAKER A person who made the (usually cane) beaters used on clothes, carpets etc to remove the dust. Very popular at spring cleaning time.
BATTUERE A person who drives game from cover during a hunt
BAUER German for Farmer
BAYWEAVER or BAIZEWEAVER One who wove bay – a fine woollen fabric also known as baize
BEAD PIERCER Employed to drill the holes in beads
BEADLE or BEDEL or BEDELL Officer of the parish whose principle duty was to keep order. Was also the town crier
BEADMAN or BEADSMAN or BEDESMAN Employed to pray for his employer, inhabitant of an almshouse / poorhouse or hospital or tenant employed by the manor for a specific service. Person who carries out prays in accordance to a list. Almsman, Almswoman.
BEAGLE Officer of the law (Policeman)
BEAMER Winds the warp on the roller before putting it on the loom in the textile industry
BEARER Worked undergrpound carrying the coal to the bottom of the pit shaft and placed it in the containers for uplifting to the surface
BEATER Cleansed and thickened the cloth by treading it underwater with fullers earth (sedimentary clay rich in minerals). Also a man employed to rouse game.
BEAVER Made felt used in hat making.
BEDMAN Sexton whose main job in the church was to dig the graves
BEDWEVERE Made the webbing for bed frames and also one who wove quilts
BEESKEEPMAKER Made beehives
BEETLER Operated a beetling machine, used in the textile trade for embossing fabric
BELHOSTE Tavern keeper
BELL HANGER Installed bells in churches
BELLFOUNDER or BELLEYETERE or BELTER or BILLITER Made bells
BELLMAN Employed as a watchman or town crier or who worked for the post office and collected letters for the mail coach by walking the streets and ringing a bell
BELLOWS MAKER Made bellows used for organs or blacksmiths fires
BELLY BUILDER Built and fitted the interiors of a piano. Performs any combination of following tasks to fit and assemble wood soundboard, cast metal plate, and wood bridges to wood frame to fabricate back panel of piano
BENDER Cut leather
BESOM MAKER Made brooms usually from twigs with a centre pole
BESSWARDEN Appointed by the parish to look after its animals
BEVER Beverage maker
BIDDY Female servant usually of Irish stock
BILL POSTER or BILLBOARDER Put up notices, signs and advertisements
BILLIER or BILLYMAN Operated a Billy Roller, a machine used in the cotton industry to prepare the cotton for spinning
BINDER Bound items, e.g., books, hats etc .
BIRD BOY Employed to scare away birds from crops
BIRD CATCHER Caught birds for selling
BLACKING MAKER Made polish (blacking) for shoes
BLACKSMITH Is a person who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal. They produce objects such as gates, tools, agricultural implements, cooking utensils and weapons.
BLADESMITH Swordmaker or knife maker
BLEACHER A bleacher of cloth or paper pulp
BLEMMERE A pre 19th Century term for a plumber. A plumber was also called a plumbum man.
BLENTONIST or DOWSER Water diviner. Finds water using a rod or wooden witching stick
BLOCK ENGRAVER Engraved the blocks used in the printing trade
BLOCK PRINTER Printer who used engraved wooden blocks for printing
BLOCKCUTTER or BLOCKER Made wooden blocks used in the hat trade or laid down the blocks on which a ships keel was laid. A blockcutter was also a person who made and cut the patterns into wooden blocks for textile printing
BLOODMAN or BLOODLETTER Person who opened veins to let blood out of a persons body. Quite often he would use leeches to do this – believed to be a cure for many ailments
BLOOMER A worker in a iron forge or puddling furness. A bloomer extracts wrought iron from ore which is worked with a hammer or rolled. (See also Shingler)
BLOWER Glass blower. A person who operated a blowing machine used to clean and separate fibres in the textile trade. A person who operated the bellows at a blacksmiths. One who is employed in melting tin.
BLOWFEEDER Fed the fibres into a blowing machine in the textile industry
BLUE MAKER Used or made blue dye for whitening fabrics in manufacture or washing (Dolly blue)
BLUESTOCKING A bluestocking is an educated, intellectual woman. A literary woman, usually with the imputation of pedantry.
BLUFFER Innkeeper or landlord of a pub (slang USA)
BOARDING CLERK A clerk in the customs or in a mercantile firm who communicates with the masters of ships on their arrival in port
BOARDING OFFICER Inspected ships before entering port
BOARDWRIGHT A carpenter
BOATMAN or BOASTSMAN A man who lets out boats for hire. Or a person who works or manages a boat, predominately on rivers and canals. Also the name given to a boat repairer
BOATSWAIN or BO’SUN Ship’s officer in charge of riggings and sails. On a war vessel a warant officer in charge of rigging, anchors, cables and cordage. On a merchant ship a superior seaman having similar duties.
BOBBIN CARRIER Worked in spinning and weaving sections of the mills
BOBBIN TURNER Made the bobbins used in the spinning and weaving industry
BOBBY Policeman usually of constable rank
BODEYS or BODY MAKER Made bodices for womens garments
BODGER One who used a traditional wood turning craft to make chair legs and spars – usually from green (unseasoned) wood. A carpenter.
BOILER PLATER Made rolled iron plate for use with steam boiler engines etc
BOLL One who looked after power looms in the weaving industry
BOLTER Oversaw the sifting of meal or floor
BONDAGER A cotter bound to render certain services to a farmer. Or a female worker paid by a cotter to render certain services on his behalf to a farmer. Bonded to the farmer
BONDMAN Peasant bonded to a master for the purpose of learning a skill or trade. Serf, man slave
BONE BUTTON TURNER Made buttons using a lathe
BONE CUTTER Associated with a number of industries but in particular button making, handles for knives and the rigid parts of corsets/stays.
BONE LACE MAKER A person who made pillow lace. Also known as bobbin lace
BONE MOULD TURNER Made the moulds for button manufacturers
BONE PICKER Collected rags and bones also known as a Rag and Bone Man. They also collected ‘pure’ (dog dung) for use in the tanning industry.
BONESETTER A ‘surgeon’ – non qualified practitioner who sets fractured and dislocated bones
BONIFACE Keeper of an inn
BOOK GILDER Decorated books with gold leaf
BOOK KEEPER Looked after the accounts for businesses
BOOKHOLDER Prompter in the theater
BOOKMAN A literary man. A lover of reading. Student.
BOOT CATCHER A servant at an inn who pulled off traveller’s boots
BOOT CLOSER Worked in the shoe trade stitching together all the parts of a shoe
BOOTBINDER Employed to operate the machines which bound footware
BOOTHMAN Corn merchant
BORRELER Made borrel, a woollen cloth with a coarse feel
BOTCHER A mender or a patcher
BOTTILER or BOTTLER A person who made leather containers for holding liquids eg wine flasks or water bottles
BOTTLE BOY Pharmacists assistant
BOTTOM CAPTAIN A superintendent in charge of the deepest working parts of a mine
BOTTOM KNOCKER Sagger makers assistant in the pottery industry
BOTTOM MAKER Moulded the bottoms for saggers in the pottery industry
BOTTOMER Worked down the pits moving the ore to the bottom of the shaft for removal
BOWDLER Worked with iron ore – a person who expurgates (cleanse, purify or purge) iron ore
BOWKER A person who bleached yarn. English (chiefly Manchester) occupational name for someone whose job was to steep cotton or linen in lye (a strong alkali) to cleanse it. A local term in some parts of Lancashire for a butcher or slaughterer
BOWLER Made bowls and dishes and also a term used for those who made the rounded part of spoons before casting
BOWLMAN or BOWLWOMAN Dealer in crockery
BOWLMINDER In charge of the vats used for washing raw wool before processing
BOWYER or BOWER Made, sells or uses a bow. A maker of bows in archery
BOZZLER Parish constable
BRACHYGRAPHER Shorthand stenographer. Secretary
BRAIDER Made cord by twisting threads or strips of leather.
BRAILLER Made girdles
BRAKEMAN or BRAKESMAN Operated the winch at the pit head or operated the braking mechanism on trains and trams
BRASILER Dyer using the dye obtained from the Brazilian red wood tree
BRAZIER Worker with brass
BREWSTER Female brewer
BRIGHTSMITH A person who works with bright metals such as copper, tin or brass
BROOM SQUIRE Broom maker
BROOM-DASHER Dealer in brooms
BROTHERER or BROWDERER or BRODERER or BROIDERER Embroiderer
BROW GIRL Female employed at the pit head
BROWNSMITH Works with copper or brass
BUCK WASHER A person who used to wash or soak clothes or cloth in lye (buck) – a bleaching agent. E.g. Cothing manufacturer, laundry. (see also bowker)
BUCKLE TONGUE MAKER Made the metal pointed (tongue) part of belt buckles
BUCKLER or BUCKLESMITH Made buckles
BUCKRAM MAKER Worked with buckram (a coarse linen cloth stiffen ed with glue) used in stiffening materials such as belts, lapels and collars
BUDDLER or BUDDLEBOY Employed to use and maintain the vats used in the lead and tin mines – washes the ore
BULLOCKY A term for the driver of a bullock team (Australian)
BUMBOAT MAN or BUMBARGE MAN or SCAVENGERBOAT MAN A man who used a bumboat and meet ships at anchor (in port or off shore) with goods / provisions for passengers and crew to purchase
BUMMAREE Middle man between the wholesaler and the retailer at the fish markets (eg Billingsgate, London)
BUNTER Female rag & bone collector
BURGESS Represented a borough at official levels
BURGOMASTER Magistrate or one employed in the goverment of a city e.g. mayor
BURLER A dresser of cloth. Removes small knots or lumps in cloth or thread. In the process of fulling.
BURMAIDEN or BOWERMAIDEN A Chambermaid or lady-in-waiting
BURNISHER A person who polishes or makes glossy
BURYE MAN Grave digger
BUSHELMAN or BUSHELWOMAN Tailor’s assistant who repaired or altered clothes
BUSKER A street entertainer
BUTTER CARVER Made imprints in butter pats
BUTTON -MAKER or BUTNER Button maker
BUTTY Middleman who negotiated mining contracts and supplied the labor
CADDY or CADDIE One who waits about for chances to do odd jobs. Errand boy. Messenger
CADGER A market man, peddler or huskster. Beggar
CAIRD Another term for a tinker
CAKE PRESSMAN Person involved with making cattle feed who operated a press to extracted oil from seeds
CALCINER Burnt bones to make powdered lime (Reduced by heat)
CALENDARER A person who complies lists
CALENDERER or CALENDERMAN or CALENDER WORKER Operated a machine (a calender) which pressed cloths or paper between two large rollers in order to makes them smooth and glossy.
CALICO PRINTER A person who prints figured patterns on calico
CAMBIST A banker specialising in exchange rates
CAMBRIC MAKER A maker a fine linen (cambric)
CAMLET or KAMLET MERCHANT Seller of camlet, a costly fabric of satin weave made in Asia of camel’s or goat’s hair or angora wool
CANAL BANK RANGER Looked after a section and all aspects of the canal waterways eg locks, barges, canal traffic, licences, etc. A towpath warden
CANDLE MAKER On who made and sold candles
CANDLER One who candles eggs
CANER or CAINER Made walking sticks
CANER or CHAIR BOTTOMER Made the seats for chairs out of woven cane
CANNONEER Man who fires a cannon. A solider who serves as a gunner
CANON or CANONESS A member of the chapter of a cathedral. One of the bishop’s associate council.
CANTER One who uses cant as a beggar.
CANTING CALLER Auctioneer
CANVAS CLIMBER A sailor
CANVAS MAKER A person who made canvases a course cloth made from hemp. Used for sails, tents, paintings, tapestries.
CANVASER A person whose job is to solict peoples opinions, votes or orders
CAP MAKER Made caps usually worn by the working class
CAPILLAIRE MAKER Person who made capillaire, which is a clear syrup flavoured with orange flower water. Capillaire is added by confectioners to their products.
CAPITALIST Investor. Person of large property.
CAPTAIN In charge of a ship or a group of soldiers and also term for an overseer
CARD NAILER or NAILORA Maintained the teeth (nails) on the carding machine used for preparing wool and cotton for weaving
CARDER Operated or tended machines to prepare industrial or consumer products for storage or shipment.
CARDMAKER A maker of cards or instruments for combing wool
CARDROOMER or CARD ROOM WORKER Term for anyone who worked in the carding room of the mills
CARETAKER Takes care of another’s property
CARMAN Drove a vehicle used to transport goods
CARNIFEX Public executioner
CARRY-IN-BOY Took finished bottled (products) to the tempering oven
CART WHEELER OR WHEELWRIGHT Made cart wheels
CARTER Carries or conveys goods in a cart
CARTOGRAPHER A map maker
CARTOMANCER Fortune teller who used cards (USA)
CARTWRIGHT Maker of carts and wagons
CASE MAKER Maker of ornamental/ jewellery cases. Often worked in shagreen leather (Shagreen – leather prepared from the skin of horses, asses, mules)
CASEMAN Amongst printers one who works at the case, or sets up type. A compositor
CASTER One who casts. One who casts in metal. One who mades small bottles used for sprinkling salt, pepper, sugar etc. One who assigns the parts of a play to the actors. One who calculates fortunes. One who computes.
CASTRATOR or GELDER One who castrated farm animals –
CATAGMAN or COTTAGER A tenant who leased a cottage and plot of land where they grew their own produce and often kept a small amount of livestock.
CATCHPOLE or CATCHPOLLA A sheriff’s officer or sergeant, especially one who makes arrests for debt. A bailiff
CATECHISTA A teacher of religion
CATTLE JOBBER Buys and sells cattle
CATTLE-MAN One who tends or raises cattles
CAULKER or CALKER Filled up cracks (in ships or windows) or seams to make them watertight
CEILER Puts up the ceilings in buildings
CELLARMAN Looked after the beer, wines and spirits in public houses or the warehouse
CHAIR BODGER Traveling chair repairman
CHAISE MAKER Made or assembled carts and carriages
CHAMBER MASTER A small master who makes up material at home and sells goods to the shops. (e.g. Shoes, clothes, bric-a-brac)
CHAMBERLAIN A steward to either royalty or nobility, in charge of the household. Or a treasurer.
CHAMBERMAID A female servant attending to bedrooms in houses or inns (domestic Service)
CHANDLER A candle seller, grocer, provisioner, usually associated with small wares. Usually associated with ship provisions – SHIPS CHANDLER
CHAPEL MASTER Head of a chapel of printers
CHAPELER Made and sold hats
CHAPERONE A matron who attends a young lady in public places for protection or propriety
CHAPMAN or COPEMAN or PETTY CHAPMAN or CEAPMAN A dealer or peddler of goods usually itinerant going from village to village. Often sold fabrics such as wool and cotton. Peddler or hawker
CHARCOAL BURNER / MAKER Made charcoal from wood. Charcoal is mostly pure carbon, called char, made by ‘cooking’ wood in a low oxygen environment. This process took days and burnt off volatile compounds such as water, methane, hydrogen, and tar. Usually the charcoal makers lived near a local wood where trees were regularly cut.
CHARGER One employed in charging or discounting money
CHARLEY or CHARLIE A night watchman
CHARWOMAN or CHORE WOMAN Cleaning woman (Domestic service) who usually worked for hourly wages, often on a part-time basis. They usually had several different employers and unike maids, did not ‘live-in’.
CHAUNTER A street entertainer who sung ballads (Busker)
CHECK-TAKER A taker of tickets
CHECKWEIGHMAN Employed by a group of miners paid piecework (by the ton mined) to check coal weight recorded by the mine management
CHEESE FACTOR or CHEESEMAN or CHEESE MONGER A dealer in cheeses
CHIFFONIER A rag picker / gatherer
CHILDBED LINEN WAREHOUSE KEEPER or DEALER Hired bedlinen mostly for childbirth as most children were born at home
CHIMNEY SWEEP Chimney cleaner -In Victorian times he would usually employ young children to ascend the chimneys
CHINGLER or SHINGLER Roofer – who used wooden shingles
CHIP or CHIPPY Shipwright or carpenter
CHIPPERS LABOURER Assistant to a carpenter
CHIROPODIST Treats diseases and conditions of the feet and hands
CHIRUGION or CHIRURGEON Apothecary or surgeon (usually learned by apprenticeship)
CHORISTER A singer – usually in a choir
CHRONOLOGIST Recorded official events of historical importance
CINDER WENCH Female who collected the cinders from gas works and sold them door to door
CLAY CARRIER Assistant to the shot firer in the pits
CLAYMAN or CLEYMAN Worked in the clay pits usually preparing the clay for making bricks and also one who coated the outside of buildings with clay to make them water proof
CLERICUS Clerk or clergyman
CLERK Clergyman or cleric
CLICKER The servant of a salesman who stands at the door to invite customer in. Worked in the shoe trade cutting out the lowers. One in charge of the final stage of layout before printing
CLIPPER Attached the coal carts to the wire or rope which was used to drag the carts to and from the coal face. Sheep shearer. A person who clips – e.g. Chips edges of coin
CLOD HOPPER Plowman (rustic) A clown
CLOGGER Maker of wooden shoes – clogs
CLOISTRESS A nun
CLOTH LAPPER Took the cloth from the carding machine readied it for the next process
CLOTH LINTER or CLOTH PICKER Removed unwanted threads and lint from the finished material
CLOTHIER or CLOTHESMAN or CLOTHMAN Person who made or sold clothes
CLOUTER Made nails and another name for a shoemaker
COACHMAN or COACHER or COACH DRIVER Drove any coach
COAL BACKER Carried the sacks of coal from the coal barge to the coal wagons. A coal porter at ship docks
COAL DRAWER Worked in the mines pushing or dragging the coal carts to the bottom of the pit
COAL FITTER Conducts the sales between the owner of a coal pit and coal merchant
COAL GETTER One employed in digging, or in getting out by digging. Miner who worked at the coal face
COAL HEAVER Unloaded coal
COAL RUNNER Attended the coal carts underground
COAL TRIMMER A coal trimmer was a man who worked as part of a team distributing the coal into the hold of a ship. His job involved dealing with all coal handling tasks from the loading to its delivery to the stoker.
COAL WHIPPER Unloaded coal from ships using baskets attached to a simple form of crane
COALER One who makes a business supplying or transporting coal
COALMAN or COAL MERCHANT or COAL HIGGLER Sold coal usually from a horse and cart, house to house.
COALMETER One appointed to measure the coal
COAST SURVEYOR or WAITER Customs officer who watched over the off loading of goods on the coast
COASTAL-PILOT A pilot who conducted vessels along the coast
COASTGUARD A body of men employed to prevent smuggling around the coast, now also to provide rescuie services at sea (mainly)
COBLEMAN A fisherman who used a flat bottomed boat
COD PLACER Put fire proof containers, which held the pottery for firing, into the kiln
CODDER A gatherer of cods or pease
COINER Worked at the mint stamping out coins
COLLAR MAKER Made either horse collars or male shirt collars
COLLIER Coal miner, a coal merchant or one who worked on the coal barges
COLOUR MAN Preparer and seller of colours. Mixed the dyes in the textile trade and also assistant to a house painter
COLOUR SERGEANT Chief sergeant of a company
COLOURATOR or COLORATORA Worked with dyes
COLPORTEUR Travelling Bible or religious books and pamphlets salesman
COMB MAKER Made combs either for the textile industry for combing wool etc. or the maker of hair combs
COMBER or COMBERE Combed wool during preparation
COMPOSITOR Set the type ready for printing
CONDER or CONNER Gave steering instructions to the steersman and also gave directions to inshore fisherman of fish movements on shoals (usually from the top of cliffs or rocks)
CONEY or CONY CATCHER Rabbit catcher
CONFECTIONER Sweet / candy maker
CONNER Inspector or tester
COOPER or CUPER Maker of wooden barrels
COPEMAN or COPER Dealer in goods and also dishonest dealer. A marketman. Coper – is also a dealer in horses on a limited scale
COPPERBEATER or COPPERBETER Coppersmith
COPPERSMITH Worked with copper. Made household and jewellery items from copper
CORACLE MAKER Made coracles, a small round boat used for fishing
CORDINER or CORDWAINER or CORVINER or CORVISOR Originally term used for one who worked with Cordovan (a special leather from Spain) but later term used for shoemaker
CORK SOCK MAKER A cutter of inner soles of cork for shoes, helping to keep feet dry and comfortable.
CORNET This was the lowest officer rank in the cavalry. (See also Ensign, ordinary seaman and Midshipman)
CORPORAL Lowest none-commissioned officer
COSTER WIFE Female fruit seller
COSTERMONGER Fruit seller
COTILER or COLOTIER or COLETER Maker of Cutlery. Cutler. A knife seller or sharpner
COTTAGER A rural labourer
COTTER or COTTAR In Scotland a peasant occupying a small holding
COTTIER A peasant cottager
COUPER A trader in commodities / goods (In Scotland)
COUPLER A man or boy who worked on the haulage system coupling tubs together in mines
COURANTEER A Journalist
COW LEECH (LEACH) Forerunner of a cattle vet
COWHERDER Cow tender
COWKEEPER Kept one or more cows (a common source of livelihood in cities) when a cow was kept in the back yard of a house, providing milk which was sold at the front door or window, forerunner of the local dairy
COXWAIN or COXSWAIN Ship or boat helmsman
CRATCH MAKER Made cratches e.g. mangers, cribs, or frames
CRIER Law court officer, auctioneer, town announcer
CRIMPER Member of army or navy press gang. One who decoys people to a place where they are robbed or pressed into service.
CROFTER Tenant of a small piece of land
CROPPER or SHARE CROPPER A tenant who works land in return for a share of the yield.
CROSIER or CROZIER Bearer of the pastoral staff of a bishop or the bearer of the cross before the archbishop in the church
CULVER A person who kept pigeons
CURER Cures various foodstuff (eg ham, fish, tobacco)
CURRIER A man who dresses and colours leather after it is tanned.
CUTLER Knife seller or sharpener
DAGUERREOTYPIST Early name for a photographer using silver plate (from the Daguerreotype method)
DAIRYMAN Worker or owner of a dairy farm or seller of dairy products
DAMSTER Builder of dams for logging purposes
DANTER Female overseer in the winding rooms of a silk mill
DAY MAN Casual worker, usually employed by the day
DECOYMAN Employed to decoy the wild fowl, animals etc into a trap or within shooting range
DELVER Someone who used a spade . E.g. Dug ditches
DEPUTY Safety officer for the pit crew in the mining industry
DERRICKMAN Worked on an oil well handling the tubes and rods used in drilling
DEVILLER Operated the devil, a machine that tore rags used in the textile industry
DEW POND MAKER A person who created ponds on the Downs for local famers to water their livestock. (also known as Mist, Cloud or Fog ponds). The pond was an artificial pond usually sited on the top of a hill and used in areas where a natural supply of surface water was not readily available. It is believed that the creation of dew ponds is an ancient craft. Rainfall was believed to be the main source – rather than dew or mist.
DEY WIFE Female dairy worker
DIKEMAN or DYKEMAN Hedger or ditcher. Digger of dykes and drainage ditches
DIPPER One who worked in the pottery trade and was responsible for the glazing of items
DISH TURNER One who made wooden bowls or dishes
DISTILLER Brewer of alcoholic beverages
DOCK MASTER Person in charge of a dockyard
DOCKER or DOCK WALLOPER dock worker, longshoreman
DOCTOR’S MAN Person who went from house to house collecting owed doctor’s fees
DOFFER Unloaded full bobbins from a spinning machine
DOG LEECH Veterinarian
DOG-WHIPPER Drove dogs away in a village (modern day dog catcher)
DOMESMAN Judge or umpire
DOMESTIC Household servant
DOOR KEEPER Guard, janitor, or porter
DOUBLER Operated a machine used to twist together strands of fibre (cotton, wool etc)
DOWSER or DIVINER Water finder
DRAGMAN A fisherman who used a dragnet. A net that is dragged along the bottom of the sea.
DRAGOON A mounted soldier who carried an infantry weapon such as a `dragon` or short musket,
DRAGSMAN The driver of a drag or coach. A thief who follows carriages to cut away luggage from behind. One engaged in dragging a a river, lake, pond, harbor, or the like, in search of something.
DRAPER Dealer in fabrics and sewing needs
DRAWBOY Weavers assistant in the shawl making mills , they sat atop the looms and lifted the heavy warps.
DRAWER The person who was employed by the collier (mines) to take full tubs from the workplace to the haulage and bring back empty tubs
DRAYMAN: Cart driver
DREDGERMAN or DREDGER One engaged in dredging. (To clean out by means of a dredge – net)
DRESSER One who dresses another. A surgeon’s assistant. Also one who operated a machine which prepared threads in the textile industry
DRIFT MAKER Made drift nets, used in the fishing industry
DRIPPING MAN Dealer in dripping – the fat collected during the cooking of meats. Often used to roast potatoes or spread on bread with salt to make a ‘dripping butty’.
DRIVER Slave overseer
DROVER Sheep or cattle driver
DROWNER (Also known as a Waterman) A man who understood irrigation. He was appointed to control the watering of the common water meadows, especially in Dorset, Wiltshire, Avon and Hampshire.
DRUMMER Traveling salesman – as in ‘to drum up sales’
DRY SALTER A dealer in salted or dried meats, pickles, sauces, etc. Or a dealer in dyestuffs, chemical products / preparations. Drysalters usually sold a number of saline substances and miscellaneous drugs.
DRY STONE WALLER Built stone walls. (Mostly farmers wanting to restrict their livestock) No cement or mortar was used just stones of varying sizes that they fitted together to make a substantial wall.
DUBBERE A cloth dubber – , one who raises the nap of cloth
DUFFER Peddler or hawker of cheap goods. Especially one who takes orders for dress goods by samples. Also one who sells spurious or flashy articles represented as stolen or smuggled.
DUSTMAN or DUSTBIN MAN A collecter/remover of domestic refuse, ashes etc.
DYER Employed in the textile mills to colour fabric prior to weaving
EARER A ploughman or tiller
EARTH STOPPER One who plugs up animal holes e.g. rabbits, badgers, foxes
EBONITE TURNER One who worked with ebonite or vulcanite, making combs or ornaments etc
EGG FACTOR or EGGLER One who gathers, or deals in, eggs. Egg or poultry dealer
ELEPHANTS TEETH DEALER One who dealt in ivory ornaments etc
EMBOSSER A person who moulded or carved designs that were raised above the surface of the material
EMPRESARIO or IMPRESARIO (Former USA) Land broker, settlement scheme promoter, ( Latter UK) showman, organiser of concerts / festivals, Entrepreneur
ENGINE DRIVER Train driver
ENGINE MAN Employed at a mine to be in charge of the machinery used to crush the ore
ENGINE TENTER or TENTER Someone who is in charge of machinery, usually in a factory. The word is closely related to the word “tend” so he is someone who “tends, or looks after� the engine.
ENSIGN The lowest officer rank in the Army in the infantry and navy. The equivalent cavalry rank was Cornet. These were roughly equivalent to a naval Midshipman. The Royal Navy never had Ensign however the United States Navy did, (and still has), as the lowest officer rank.
ENUMERATOR One who collected the information for the census from the householder and recorded it
EQUERRY Officer of the royal household usually responsible for the royal horses
EREMITE or HERMIT A person who chooses to live a solitary life
ESQUIRE A man of standing in society. (Originaly one who attended a knight)
ESTAFETTE or EXPRESSMAN Express courier – usually military. A special messenger who delivered goods quickly.
EWE HERD Shepherd
EWER Water carrier. Man who came round with water.
EXCHEQUER Revenue collector
EXCISEMAN Excise tax collector
EYER or HOLER Maker of eyes in sewing needles
FABER A skilled workman -carpenter, wheelwright, shipwright (Quite often working with wood). Skilled artisan
FABRICATOR A maker of a product – to fabricate something e.g. metalworker, woodworker, ironworker
FACTOR A person who acts for another, notably a mercantile and/or colonial agent. Also a Scottish term for an estate steward responsible for collecting land rents.
FAGETTER Made up faggots into bundles, seller of firewood
FAGOT A man formerly hired to fill a vacancy in a military company on a muster day.
FAKER A person who dressed up black and white photographs by a hand in colour before colour film was available. Photographic assistant
FALCONER or FAWKNER Trainer / handler of falcons – birds used for hunting. A person skilled in the art of falconry
FANCY MAN A pimp. An agent for prostitutes who collects part of their earnings for services rendered.
FANCY PEARL WORKER Made fancy goods in mother-of-pearl
FANCY WOMAN A prostitute. Offering sexual favours for money
FANNER See grain winnower
FANWRIGHT A maker and repairer of fans or winnowing baskets
FARMER Farmers work the land, either arigulturaly or with livestock. In the past they were usually descendants of gentry and noble classes. Besides farm workers they often having servants.
FARRIER or FERROUR Horse shoer -often referred to as a blacksmith
FAWKNER Trainer of falcons
FEAR NOTHING MAKER A weaver of special kind of strong thick woollen cloth known as fearnought (or dreadnought) – a heavy overcoating that is made of wool often mixed with shoddy. Used as protective clothing, also as lining for portholes, walls, and doors of powder magazines on board ships.
FEATHER BEATER or FEATHER DRIVER Cleaner of feathers
FEATHER-DRESSER One who prepared feathers for sale
FEATHERMAN Agent who dealt in feathers
FELL MONGER A dealer in fells or hide. Someone who sells or works with animal hides and skins. A dealer in fells or sheepskins, who separates the wool from the pelts
FELTER Worker in the hatting industry
FERONER See Ironmonger
FERRETER A manufacturer or trader dealing in ferret – a narrow piece of tape used to bind or edge fabric. Or a ferret keeper/dealer
FETTLER Someone who keeps things in good order (fettle), neat and tidy. Applied to several occupations such as; one who cleaned the machinery in woollen mills, removing accumulated fibres, grease, etc. One who sharpened the fustian cutters knives or needlemaker who filed the needle to a point. One who grinds and sands ceramic products (eg tiles) to remove defects or rough spots. This could be done using wire or stiff brush or power grinder. Smooths (fettles) edges and surface of product, using sandpaper or handstone. Discards broken or poorly pressed tile. Stacks ceramic tile or clay slates in specified pattern on boards, plates, trays, or in saggers. May measure dimensions of tile for conformance to specifications, using gauge. May tend machine that automatically fettles tile.
FEWSTER A worker in wood, and specifically one who made the wooden framework of the saddle-tree – the wooden frame part of the horse saddle before being covered with stretched leather
FEWTERER or FEUTERER A keeper of hounds, for hunting or coursing
FIDDLER A person who used a small knife (fiddle) to remove the flashing from cast clay forms such as bowl, creamers, cups or pitchers. Pottery occupation
FILE CUTTER A maker of files, which also involved the cutting of grooves on the file surface
FILIBUSTER A lawless military adventurer, especially one in quest of plunder; a freebooter.
FILLER Person who filled bobbins in mills
FINE DRAWER Invisible mending. A person employed in tailoring to repair tears in the cloth.
FINISHER Operated machine giving final touches to a manufactured article in various trades
FIREBEATER Looked after the boilers that powered the cotton mill machinery
FIREMAN inspected for, and removed explosive gasses underground in mining or stoked the boilers on ships and locomotives
FISH FAG A female fish monger
FISHER or FISHDRYVER A provider of fish (especially dried fish)
FISHMONGER A seller of fish – usually via a shop
FITTER One who fits or adjusts. Eg clothing, machinery, gas etc
FLASHER Specialist process worker in the glass industry
FLATMAN or FLOATMAN Person who navigated a flat, a broad flat-bottomed boat used for transport, especially in shallow waters
FLAXDRESSER Prepared flax prior to spinning
FLESHMONGER or FLESHER Butcher or a person who worked in a tannery
FLETCHER Arrowsmith (from French fleche)
FLOATER A person who irrigates or floods land to regulate its water content – eg marshes, fields, watermeadows
FLOGGER To flog. Door to door salesman, peddler
FLOWER GIRL or FLOWER WOMAN Female who sold flowers on the street
FLUSHERMAN A person who cleaned out water mains
FLYCOACHMAN A driver of one-horse carriage hired by the day
FLYING STATIONER A street broadsheet seller
FLYMAN One who drives a fly (a single horse carriage). One who works the ropes in the flies of a theater
FOOT MAIDEN Female servant
FOOT PAD A thief who preys on pedestrians. A highywayman who robs on foot.
FOOT POST Messenger who travelled on foot delivering letters
FOOT STRAIGHTENER Watchmaking industry. One who straightens timepiece dial, holding feet by using holding device and gauge
FOOTMAN Servant who ran errands
FORESTER Game warden or forest ranger
FORGEMAN Blacksmith or assistant
FORGER Blacksmith, worker at a forge
FOSSETMAKER Man who made faucets for ale-casks, etc
FOWER One who cleans (fows); as in cooking utensils or house maintenance or street cleaner
FOWLER or FOGLER or FUGLER Keeper or catcher of birds
FRAME SPINNER Loom worker
FRAMEWORKER KNITTER An operator of hosiery machinery. (Associated occupations within the hosiery industry; Frame Maker, Frame Smith and Frame Mender)
FRESHWATER MAN Boatman who plied his trade via fresh water (rivers)
FRISEUR A hairdresser
FRUITERER Fruit seller
FRUITESTERE Female fruit seller
FULLER Fabric worker who shrinks, beats and presses the cloth (also see WALKER)
FUNAMBULIST A tightrope walker
FUNDHOLDER Not strictly an occupation but something you may come across under the occupation title which indications that the person was able to support themselves financial from their own savings or investments � for example stocks and shares.(See also Annuitant or LOOM)
FURBISHER One who or that which furbishes, or makes bright by rubbing; one who or that which cleans or polishes. E.g. sword cutler, who finishes sword blades and similar weapons. A polisher.
FURRIER A worker, seller or producer of furs
GABELER Tax collector. A collector of gabels or taxes.
GAFFER Foreman of a work crew. Or in glass factory, one who smoothed, reheated the neck of and formed lip on a bottle
GAGER An exciseman. Collector of liquor taxes. One who gages (gauges); specifically, an officer whose business is to ascertain the contents of casks and other hollow vessels.
GALVANISER Iron worker who handled process of coating metal with zinc, to inhibit formation of rust
GAMESTER Gambler or prostitute
GANGER Overseer or foreman
GANGSMAN or GAFFER Foreman
GAOLER Jailer, prison officer
GARLEKMONGER or GARLICMONGER Dealer in garlic
GARTHMAN The proprietor of an open weir for taking fish. Owner or worker of a fish trap.
GAS MANAGER Mining occupation: Forman in charge of checking for poisonous gas in coal mine shafts
GATER Watchman, Security
GATHERER Glassworker who inserted the blow iron into the molten glass ready for the blower
GATHERERS BOY Held a shovel to shield the gatherer’s face from the heat
GAUGER Customs duty officer who measured the capacity of imported barrels of liquor in order to calculate the payable duty
GAUNTER Maker of gloves
GAVELLER or GAVELMAN or GAVELKINDER “Someone who pays gavel for rented land. In coal-mining, the agent of the crown having the power to grant gales to the free miners. A harvest worker, usually female. ”
GELDER Castrator of animals, especially horses
GEOMETER Trained in geometry
GILDER Applies gold leaf to objects such as books, ornaments, jewellery, pottery etc,
GIRDLER Maker of leather belts and girdles, mostly for the forces
GLASSWRIGHT A glassmaker and mender of glassware
GLAZIER A glass cutter or window glassman
GLOVER Someone who makes or sells gloves
GOLD BEATER Beats gold into a specific shape
GOLDSMITH A person who makes gold articles. Or a banker
GOOSE HERD One who looks after geese
GORZEMAN A seller of gorse or broom
GRACE-WIFE Midwife – nurse who delivers babies
GRAFFER Notary or scrivener (legal document writer / lawyer)
GRAIN WINNOWER An agricultural worker who separated the grain from chaff. The method of winnowning was also used to remove weevils or other pests from stored grain.
GRAINER Painted grain on wood to make it look good
GRAVER Engraver, carver, sculptor. Or a dockside worker who burned and tarred the underneath of ships to clean them
GRAZIER A rancher who grazes cattle or sheep for market
GREEN GROCER A fruit and vegetable seller, usually with stalls set up outside the shop
GREENSMITH Worker in copper or latten ( a kind of brass type alloy hammered into thin sheets)
GREEVE or GRIEVE or GREAVE Overseer, steward, Bailiff, foreman, sheriff
GROOVER A miner
GUINEA PIG (Slang) A person rendering services more or less for a nominal fee of a guinea e.g. company director, juryman, deputy clergyman, officer on special duty
GUMMER A workman whose business it is to use the gummer in widening the spaces between the teeth of a saw. A person who improved old saws by deepening the cuts.
GUNPOWDER MAKER Made gunpowder in a gunpowder mill
GUTTA-PERCHA MANUFACTURER Makes a white to brown substance resemblimg rubber but containing more resin (Latex). Often used in dentistry and insulation.
HABERDASHER Dealer in small wares; tapes, pins needles, thread, linen.(Formerly also hats)
HACK A person who hires himself out for any sort of literary work
HACKER or HACKNEY MAN A man who lets out horses
HACKLER or HACKMAN or HECKLER One who separated the coarse part of flax or hemp with a hackle, an instrument with teeth in the linen industry
HAIR DRESSER A maker of wigs who also dressed the hair (e.g. put in curls, tassels,bows etc)
HAIR SEATING MERCHANT Dealer in horse-hair stuffing used in upholstery
HALBERT CARRIER A soldier or halberdier, armed with a halberd, a combination spear and battleaxe (a ceremonial officer)
HAMMERMAN Hammerer, a blacksmith or whitesmith
HAND FLOWERER Ladies living mainly in rural locations who embroidered flowers or similar designs on muslin or cambric
HANDLE STICKER Put handles on cast ceramic cups, pitchers, etc
HANDSELLER or STREET SELLER Person who sold their wares in the street. Street vendor
HANDWOMAN A handmaid. Female attendant
HANGER-ON or HOOKER-ON or ONSETTER Mining industry. Hung corves (originally baskets) on rope at the pit-bottom
HANKYMAN A travelling magician in Victorian/Edwardian England
HARBOUR PILOT A person who directs or steers ships into the harbour.
HARLOT A vagabond, beggar, rogue.
HARMER BECK A parish constable or beadle
HARPER Harp player
HATCHLER A person who combed out or carded flax
HATTER A maker or dealer in hats
HAWKER or HUCKSTER Peddler
HAY COLLECTORS Collected hay ready for sale to stables dairies, horses and cows. Often transported by canal
HAYBINDERS Bound hay ready for collection
HAYMONGER A dealer in hay
HAYWARD A parish or town officer in charge of fences, enclosuers, commons etc, and who is responsible for the impounding of stray cattle etc.
HEADSMAN One who cuts off heads. Executioner. A labourer who conveys coal from the work face to the horseway. Also pertaining to whaling and is the man who takes charge of the boat after the whale has been struck.
HECK MAKER A maker of a part of a spinning machine by which the yarn is guided to the reels
HEDGE LOOKER Supervised repairs of fence and enclosures
HEDGER Hedge cutter/ trimmer
HEELMAKER Made shoe heels
HELLIER or HILLIER or HILLARD A roofer; a tiler or slater.
HENCHMAN or HENSMAN A squire, a page, a servant, a groom, a footman or an attendant.
HENTER or HENDER A person who seizes or gets possession of something. Eg baliff, or thief
HEWER A mine face worker who cut coal
HIGGLER A person who haggles or bargains or an itinerant dealer, similar to a cadger
HIGHWAYMAN Robber, thief, who preys on public roads
HIND Farm servant. Agricultural worker. One in charge of two horses and alloted a house on a farm. A rustic, a peasant, a boor, a menial
HIRED MAN A person who hires themselves out – e.g. gardener, farmhand, or labourer
HODSMAN or HODCARRIER A labourer who carried bricks or mortar in a hob
HOGGARD Pig drover
HOLDER UP Was an assistant at a forge or smithy who was involved with holding hot metal rivets in place with a long handled hammer/tool whilst the smithy (or riveter) and his mate hammered them into place. Often a ‘holder up’ worked on the inside of ships, whilst the hammerers/riveters (usually one left hander and one right handed) worked on the outside taking turns at hammering the rivet into place. It was hard, hot and sometimes dangerous work if they had to hold the rivets in place above their heads. (In Scotland known as: ‘Hauder Oan’)
HONEY DIPPER (slang) A person who collects household sewage. A person who extracted raw sewage from catch basins and out-houses
HOOFER A professional dancer, especially a tap dancer.
HOOKER A worker that hooks or uses hooks e.g. In woolen, cotton industry
HOOPER Makes hoops for casks
HORNER Worker using horn to make items such as spoons, combs, or musical horns
HORSE COURSER Race horse owner
HORSE KNAVE Groom
HORSE LEECH Veterinarian, farrier
HORSE MARINE Man-handling barges on canals where horses can’t be used, e.g. Long tunnels
HORSE-CAPPER A dealer who sells worthless horses for good prices.
HOSIER Retailer of stockings, socks, gloves, nightcaps
HOSTLER or OSTLER Cares for horses, stableman, groom, repairer or railway engines
HOTPRESSER A worker in paper or textile industries where product was pressed between glazed boards and hot metal plates to obtain a smooth and shiny surface
HOURGLASS MAKER The hourglass (time piece – also called a sand glass or sand clock) was made by using two globes of glass connected by a narrow funnel so that the sand flowed from the upper globe to the lower over the course of an hour. A frame usually enclosed the globes to allow inversion of the hourglass to start the flow of sand again.
HOUSE JOINER House framer
HOUSEWRIGHT House builder
HOWDY or HOWDIE A midwife (chiefly used in Scotland)
HOYMAN A person who carries goods and passengers by water on a hoy (type of boat)
HUCKSTER Seller of small wares
HUNTSMAN Employed on large estates. The person was responsible for handling the hounds and organising the day’s hunting as required by the Master of the Hunt. He would be assisted by whippers-in, who helped him look after the hounds in the kennels. During a day’s hunt, he was the man who helped to keep the hounds together, counting them and relocating any that get separated from the rest of the pack.
HURDLEMAN A man in charge of a hurdle (fence) or fold; specifically, a keeper of new-born lambs
HURRIER One who draws a corf or wagon in a coal-mine. A young boy or girl employed in a coal mine to drag baskets or small wagons full of coal from the coal face where it was mined, up to the surface.
HUSBANDMAN A tenant farmer
HUSH SHOP KEEPER Person who brewed and sold beer without a license (usually as a side line)
ICEMAN A seller or deliverer of ice
IDLEMAN: A gentleman of leisure
INFIRMARIAN Person in charge of an infirmary
INTENDENT Director of a public or government business
IRON FOUNDER A person who made iron castings.
IRON MONGER Dealer in hardware made of iron
IRON TURNER An iron turner was a metal machinist. The lathes were driven by a belt attached to a pulley wheel on a line shaft up at ceiling level which was driven by an engine. The ‘Turners’ turned (machined) cast iron, brass and bronze castings.
IVORY WORKERS Makers of combs, boxes, billard balls, buttons, and keys for pianofortes in ivory
JACK Lumberjack, young male assistant, sailor
JACK-FRAME TENTER A cotton industry worker who operated a jack-frame, used for twisting thread
JACK-SMITH A maker of lifting machinery and contrivances
JAGGER A carrier, carter, pedlar or hawker of fish; 19th century, young boy in charge of ‘jags’or train of trucks in coal mine; man in charge of pack horse carrying iron ore to be smelted
JAKES-FARMER One who emptied cesspools or cesspits. One who contracted to clean out privies; a scavenger.
JAPANNER One who applies a hard brilliant coat of any of several varnishes to objects
JERQUER A customhouse officer who searches ships for unentered goods.
JERSEY COMBER A worker in woollen manufacture (Jersey: wool which has been combed but not spun into yarn)
JIGGERMAN Operated a spinning wheel (Jigger) to form the foot (back side) of a ceramic plate
JOBBER One that buys merchandise from manufacturers and sells it to retailers. One that works by the piece (piecework)or at odd jobs. A middleman in the exchange of stocks and securities among brokers. One who does small jobs or chance work.
JOBMASTER A person who supplied horses and carriages and drivers for hire
JONGLEUR A wandering minstrel, poet, or entertainer, who went from place to place singing songs, generally of his own composition and to his own accompaniment
JOURNEYMAN or JORMAN A master craftsman. One who served his apprenticeship and mastered his craft; properly, one who no longer is bound to serve for years but is hired day to day (Often self employed)
JOYNER or JOINER Carpenter
KEEKER or WEIGHMAN A colliery official who checked quantity and quality of coal output
KEELER or KEELMAN Bargeman (from keel, a flat bottomed boat)
KEEPER An attendant, a guard, a warden,or gamekeeper. A person who of anything. E.g. One who keeps control of the quantities of ore and fuel, regulated the blast and tapped the molten metal from the furnace.
KEMPSTER Wool comber
KIDDIER Skinner or dealer in young goats
KILNER Limeburner, in charge of a kiln
KISSER A person who made cuishes and high armour
KNACKER A harness maker, buyer of old horses and dead animals. ‘Knacker’s Yard’
KNAPPERS A person who dressed and shaped flints into required shape and size
KNOCKER-UP or KNOCKER-UPPER Person paid to wake up northern mill and factory workers on early shifts
KNOLLER Toller of bells
LACE-DRAWER A child employed in lace work, drawing out threads
LACEMAN A dealer in lace, who collected it from the makers, usually only those who had bought his thread, and sold it in the lace markets
LACE-MASTER or MISTRESS A man who employed workers in factories or in their homes for the production of lace
LACE-RUNNER A young worker who embroidered patterns on lace
LAGGER Sailor. One who installs lagging.
LAMPLIGHTER A man who would put out or turn on, the gas street-lights.
LANDWAITER Customs officer who checked landed goods
LARDNER Keeper of the cupboard / larder
LASTER One who worked or shaped shoes on a last (the mould of the human foot made of wood and used to shape footwear).
LATH RENDER A person who split wood into lath. These thin strips of wood would often be used for lath and plaster walls, to form lattice-work, or for blinds or shutters.
LATTENER Brass worker. A worker in latten
LAUNDERER Washer of clothes
LAVENDER A washer; a washerwoman; a laundress.
LAYER A worker in paper mill responsible for a particular stage in paper-making process
LEAVELOOKER A municipal inspector of markets in an English town (as in Lancashire) – an examiner of food on sale at market
LEECH or SAWBONES Physician, doctor
LEGERDEMAINIST A person who practices or performs sleight of hand. Magician
LEGGER A man employed by the owners of a canal to push boats through narrow canal tunnels. The legger would lie on his back on a piece of wood on the boat with his feet reaching to the tunnel wall, and walk it along. This could be done by the boat’s crew, but the canals employed men specifically for the task because they could do it faster and prevent a tunnel becoming a bottleneck for traffic
LEIGHTONWARD A gardener
LIGHTERMAN Someone who operates a flat bottomed boat used in loading or unloading ships.
LIMNER One who limns; an artist or delineator; more especially, one who paints portraits or miniatures.
LINENER A dealer in linen; a linen draper. A shirtmaker.
LINER or LYNER One that makes or puts in linings.
LINKERBOY or LINKERMAN One who carried a link or torch to guide people through city streets at night for a small fee.
LISTER or LITSTER A preaching friar; a lector. A person that creates or maintains lists.
LITTER BEARER The carriers of an enclosed or curtained couch mounted on shafts and used to carry
a single passenger.
LOADSMAN A ship’s pilot
LOBLOLLY BOY or LOBLOLLY MAN In 18th and 19th century warships, a non-professional assistant to the ship’s surgeon, or errand boy
LOCK KEEPER An overseer of canal locks
LONG SONG SELLER A street seller who sold popular songsheets printed on paper
LONGSHOREMAN A stevedore
LOOM Although not an occupation you may come across this in the occupation column with is short for ‘Living Off Own Means’ Which meant they could financial support themselves, usually due to savings, investment or inheritance. (See also Annuitant and Fundholder)
LORIMER or LORINER A maker of small iron work – e.g. horse gear; bits, spurs, stirrup-irons and other horse equipment
LUMPER A laborer employed to load and unload vessels in port; a dock-hand; a longshoreman; a stevedore.
LUTHIER A maker and repairer of stringed musical instruments
MAID A female domestic servant
MALSTER A brewer, maker or seller of malts
MANCIPLE A steward or purchaser of provisions, as for a monastery or college, or inn or court
MANGLE KEEPER A woman who offered use of the mangle for a fee
MANGLER Works a mangle for pressing water out of clothes (Wringer)
MARBLER One who stained paper or other material, veined in imitation of marble
MARSHALL A military officer of the highest rank in some countries.
MARSHMAN A person paid by various landowners to look after marshlands and tend the animals put to graze there for the season
MASHMAKER Brewing industry. A maker of the mash-vats or mashels used for mixing malt
MASON A stonecutter
MASTER One of three grades of skill recognised by the Guild of Crafts
MASTER COACH PAINTER A person who painted the inside and outside of railway coaches. Usually highly skilled decorative work, sometimes including artwork gilding.
MASTER MARINER A ship’s captain
MEALMAN A dealer in meal or flour
MELDER A corn miller
MERCATOR A merchant
MERCER A cloth seller
MESSENGER (see Foot Post above)
METALMAN A man employed to service the tunnels and rails in the haulage system of the mine.
METERER One who writes in metre; a poet.
MIDSHIPMAN A midshipman is an officer of the junior-most rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. It a term used historically in the 19th century to describe a midshipman who had passed the lieutenant’s exam and was eligible for promotion to lieutenant as soon as there was a vacancy in that grade. (See also Ensign, ordinary seaman and cornet)
MIDWIFE An experienced nurse specialising in child birth
MILESMAN or LENGTHSMAN A railway worker who had a set length of railway track to keep in good order
MILLER A corn miller, cloth miller, saw miller
MILLERESS Female miller
MILLERS CARMAN One who drove carrier to deliver the flour or seed to the customers
MILLINER A maker of hats
MILLWRIGHT A designer and builder of mills or mill machinery
MINER A worker in mines (most commonly refers to coal pit). Coal miner. Collier.
MINTMAKER or MINTMASTER An issuer of local currency
MONTHLY NURSE Someone who assisted women during the first month after giving birth
MOULD BOY One who held the mould for glassblower, also weighed the bottles
MOULDER A maker of molds or castings, brickmaker
MOUNTEBANK A hawker of quack medicines who attracts customers with stories, jokes, or tricks. A quack doctor. A charlatan
MUDLARK A sewer cleaner or riverbank scavenger – one who scavenges in river mud for items of value, especially in London during the Industrial Revolution.
MUFFIN MAKER A baker who made muffins (barmcakes, oven bottoms)
MUFFIN MAN An itinerant seller of muffins
MUGSELLER A seller of cups, mugs
MULE MINDER A minder of the spinning mules in the cotton mills
MULETEER A mule driver
MULTURER A person who has grain ground at a certain mill. Multurers are or were of two kinds � first, such as were thirled (thralled) to a certain mill by the conditions on which they occupied their land; and, second, those who used the mill without being bound by the tenure to do so. The former were termed insucken multurers, the latter outsucken multurers.(German) MUSTARDER or MUSTARDMAN One who made and dealt in mustard
NAGSMAN A person who schools horses, usually for his employer NARROW WEAVER A weaver of ribbons, tapes, etc
NAVIGATOR A person who navigates e.g waterways, seas and oceans
NAVVY A labourer building canals, roads or railways
NEATHERD A person who has the care of cattle; a cow-keeper.
NECESSARY WOMAN A servant responsible for emptying and cleaning chamber pots
NEDELLER A needle maker
NETTER A net maker
NIGHT SOILMAN or NIGHTMAN One who emptied cesspits, ashpits and backyard toilets
NIGHTWALKER A watchman or bellman
NIPPER A lorry boy, a young person employed by the carter or wagoner to assist with the collection and delivery of goods
NOB THATCHER A wig maker
NOTERER A notary
OAT HULLER A person who removed the hull (the dry outer covering of a fruit, seed, or nut; a husk, a shell) from oats. This could be done by grinding the oats between two stones (older method- miller) or by heating the oats and then spinning them in a container to remove the hulls (newer method 1900s). Either could be on census. The latter method could be done at home. (Huller – a person who removes the hulls)
OILMAN One who deals in oils; one who is engaged in the business of producing or of selling oil. One who sold oil specifically used for lamps. A retailer who sells vegetable oils, and food preserved in oil. A person who sold the oil for lamps
ORDERLY A soldier who functioned as a servant for an officer
ORDINARY SEAMAN An ordinary Seaman was originally, a sailor of the �Ordinary�, or ships in reserve and not seagoing. As such these men were considered not to be as skilled as an Able Seaman, who was qualified in seagoing ships. Later, Ords served at sea, under training.
ORRICE WEAVER A designer of lace patterns to be woven with silk thread and silk
OSIER PEELER or WITHY PEELER Person who removed bark from willow rods or osiers which were used in basket weaving, usually women and children
OSTLER Originally applied to an innkeeper/taverner or one who received guests especially in an monastery (13th century) but later on it came to mean stableboy or a person who looked after horses, coming from the old French ‘hostelier’
OUT CRIER An auctioneer
OUTWORKER A worker who carried on their occupation at home, e.g., cotton or woollen weavers but it applies to many occupations
OVERLOOKER A superintendent or overseer, especially in the textile mills (sometimes refered to as ‘looker’)
OVERMAN An official below Undermanager but above Deputy in mining who checked the miners work and the quality of the mined coal
OWLER A sheep or wool smuggler
OYSTER DREDGER A member of the crew on board an oyster fishing boat
PACK THREAD SPINNER Operator of the machine which made thread or twine
PACKER A packer of goods such as pickles or herring
PACKMAN A person who travels with a pack, especially a travelling salesman.
PAINT STAINER A person who hand-printed wallpaper and usually offered a paper-hanging service as well.
PAINTRESS A woman employed in the pottery industry to hand paint the finished articles
PANNIER A robed waiter
PANTER Keeper of the pantry
PANTLER The servant in charge of the bread and the pantry in a great house
PAPER IRONER or TIMES IRONER A servant responsible for ironing the daily newspaper
PAPER RULER Operated a machine in the 19th century printing industry who was a skilled worker/operator who set up several inking pens in a machine,by the same name, designed to draw or ink lines on paper
PAPERER One whose occupation is decorating walls with wallpaper.
PARFUMIER or PERFUMER A manufacturer and purveyor of scents such as perfumes, colognes and even incense
PARGETER One who pargets; a plasterer – walls, ornamental reliefs, chimneys
PARITOR A church officer who attended the magistrates and justices at court for the pupose of executing their orders
PASSAGE KEEPER A person who kept passages and alleys clean
PASTELER A pastry chef
PASTOR The word pastor usually refers to an ordained leader of a Christian congregation
PATTEN MAKER A clog or shoemaker.
PAVER or PAVIOUR A person who laid paving stones
PEDASCULE A schoolmaster. One who educates, guides, or instructs
PEEL (OR PADDLE) MAKER A peel maker made the long handled shovels known as peels that were used (and still are) to slide bread dough in and out of an oven quickly and efficiently to avoid losing too much heat from the oven and, for deeper ovens, to allow for easy delivery and collection from the farthest corners of the oven. Also sometimes referred to as paddles
PEELER The first policemen in London
PELTERER A person who worked with animal skins
PESSONER A fisherman or fishmonger
PEWTERER Someone who made pewter utensils
PHLEBOTOMIST A person who practices the opening of a vein for letting blood. (see bloodletter)
PHRENOLOGIST A diviner of a person’s character based on the bumps on a person’s head
PICKER or PICKER MAKER A person who cast the shuttle on a loom. Made the “Pickers” � strong, leather attachments fitted to each side of a weaving loom, to drive the shuttle across the loom.
PIECENER or PIECER Someone who worked in a spinning mill, employed to piece together any threads which broke (usually a child or woman)
PIGMAN A farm worker who looks after pigs. One who sold crockery
PIKELET MAKER A baker who specialised in making pikelets (a small teacake or crumpet)
PIKEMAN A miner who works with a pike or crowbar. A keeper of a turnpike gate. A solider armed with a pike.
PIKER A cautious gambler. A tramp or vagrant
PILOT A ship steersman
PIMP An agent for prostitutes who collects part of their earnings
PIMPMAKER or BAVIN MAKER A man who made up bundles of waste wood in coppices or forests to be sold for use as fuel. (Bundles of Kindling or firewood.)
PINDER An officer appointed by a parish to impound stray beasts – e.g. dogs, cattle.
PINNER A pin maker
PIPER One who plays upon a pipe – especially a strolling player, or the bagpipes.
PIRN WINDER Someone who wound the yarn onto large wheel like bobbins which were then ready to feed the looms in a cotton mill
PIT BROW LASS A female worker who worked on the surface of the mine sorting coal
PITMAN A coal miner
PLAIN WORKER One who performed plain sewing or needlework as opposed to an embroiderer
PLAITER A person that plaits or braids; especially, an implement for producing plaits of regular size, as in cloth. A maker of straw plaits used in the making hats etc
PLANKER One who planks or kneads the body of the hat during felting
PLANTER Someone who plants – specifically a pioneer colonist. Or an owner of a plantation
PLATELAYER A railway employee who inspects and maintains the permanent way of a railway installation.
PLEACHER or PLAICHER or PLATCHER or PLASHER To plait or interlace (branches or vines, for example), especially in making a hedge or an arbor. A hedge layer
PLOUGHMAN or PLOWMAN A farmer or farm worker
PLOWWRIGHT or PLOUGHWRIGHT A maker or repairer of plows
PLUMASSIER or PLUMER A person who makes ornamental feathers
PLUMBUM WORKER A plumber
POINTER A person who sharpened needles or pins or lace maker
POINTMAKER or POINTMAN Someone who made the tips of laces
POINTSMAN or SIGNALMAN A railway worker who operated the points (and / or signals), that changed the line on which the train was travelling
POLDAVE WORKER: One who made poldave, a coarse fabric
POLEMAN A surveyor’s assistant
POLLER or POWLER One who shaves persons or cuts their hair; a barber; a hair-dresser.
PONY DRIVER A person (usually a boy) in charge of a pony which pulled coal tubs along the haulage roads.
PORTER A door or gatekeeper
POST BOY A person who carried mail from town to town, guard who travelled on the mail coach or outrider who travelled with the stagecoach as a postillion
POSTER One that posts bills or notices.
POSTILLION One who rides the near horse of the leaders when four or more horses are used in a carriage or post-chaise, or who rides the near horse when one pair only is used and there is no driver on the box.
POT BOY or POT MAN One who worked in public houses collecting and washing dirty pots also did other menial tasks
POTATO BADGER A seller of potatoes
POTTER A maker or seller of pottery POTTER THROWER A potter who used a wheel and therefore had to throw the clay POULTER A seller of poultry POWER LOOM TUNER One who maintained the loom in mills
PRECEPTRESS A female instructor or teacher
PRENTIS An apprentice
PRINTER’S DEVIL Printer’s errand boy. A printer’s devil was an apprentice in a printing establishment who performed a number of tasks, such as mixing tubs of ink and fetching type
PROCTOR A supervisor especially of an examination or dormitory in a school.
PROP BOBBY A person who worked in mines checking the pit props
PROPMAN Carpenter / Joiner who cut and fixed the props in the mine to shore up the roof and sides of the pit.
PROSTITUTE A person (usually a woman) offering sexual favours for money
PUBLICAN An innkeeper
PUDDLER An iron foundry worker. Or a man who worked clay into ‘puddle’, to make things water tight e.g. canal walls
PUG MILL OPERATOR Man who operated a machine for mixing clay and water which then produced a pug of clay
PUMPMAKER Denotes a maker of canal locks
PUREFINDER or PURE GATHERER or PUERFINDER Old women and young girls who collected dog droppings from the streets for use in the tanning industry. In tanning, an infusion of the dung of dogs, fowls, or pigeons, used to soften the skins after liming and preparatory to tanning. Also known as bate. The soaking in such an infusion is called puering or bating.
PURSER A ship’s officer in charge of provisions & accounts
QUARREL PICKER A glazier
QUARRIER or QUARRYMAN A quarry worker
QUILLER: One who operated a machine that wound yarn onto spools
QUILTER or QUILTRESS One who makes quilted items
RACK MAIDEN A girl employed in the tin mines of Cornwall to dress the ore
RAFF MERCHANT A seller of fibre used to make raffia bags etc
RAFFMAN One who dealt in raff (saleable rubbish)
RAFTER One who is employed in rafting timber, or transporting it in rafts, as from a ship to the shore.
RAG AND BONE MAN or RAG TROTTER One who went from street to street with a cart collecting any old rubbish, usually in exchange for a small item, e.g. a block of soapstone (also known as donkey stone) which women used to put on their frontdoor step
RAG CUTTER One who cut up rags into small pieces to be used for making paper etc
RAG GATHERERS Employed to clear the rags from the machinery in the mills (usually children)
RAG MAN One who went from street to street collecting and selling old clothes and rags
RAG PICKER Someone who sorted through the left over rags to find re usable ones
RAKER A street-cleaner or scavenger.
RATONER or RATTENER A ratter or rat-catcher.
RECTIFIER One who distilled alcoholic spirits
REDSMAN or REDDSMAN or REDESMAN Person who was employed in maintaining mine haulage ways
REDSMITH or COPPERSMITH A person who worked with copper.
REEDER One who worked with reeds for hedging or thatching
REEDMAKER One who made the pipe for a musical instrument or made a weavers implement (a reed) or reed cloth or the comb used in tapestry
REELER One who operated the machine that wound the yarn onto the bobbin
REEVER One who was a clerk or scribe.
REGISTRAR An official who registered events such as land purchases, births, deaths, marriages etc
RELIEVING OFFICER These were officials of the Workhouse who were responsible for assessing the poor of their districts for eligibility for assistance.
RENOVATOR One who repaired clothing
RENT MAN Collector of rents for landlord
REVENUER or REVENUE OFFICER A taxman who enforces tax laws
RIGGER A hoist tackle worker; works on a ship’s rigging
RIPPER One who brings fish inland from the coast to market
RIVERMAN A worker on a river boat
RIVETER (Glass and China) A person who repaired damaged / broken items by drilling and inserting metal rivets in order to join the broken pieces together. (Looked similar to a modern staple)
ROCKMAN A person who worked in a quarry usually placing the charges on the rockface
RODMAN A surveyor’s assistant
ROLL TURNER A carder of wool, cotton etc into rolls prior to spinning
ROLLER COVERER One who covered the rollers for the spinning process
ROLLEYWAY MAN One who maintained the underground road in the mines
ROMAN CEMENTER or PLASTERER One who worked with roman cement used in stuccoing
ROPER A maker of rope or nets
ROVER An archer or operator of a machine used in cotton mills which prepared the carded fibre into rolls
RUBBLER A person who sorted the small stones in the quarries
RUGMAKER One who makes rugs
RUGMAN A dealer in rugs
RUNNER A smuggler. Messenger and ironically one who worked for the magistrate best remembered as Bow Street Runners
RUSTLER A livestock thief. E.g. Cattle, sheep etc.
SADDLE TREE MAKER A person who makes the wooden frames for the horse saddle before being covered with leather.
SADDLER One who makes, repairs or sells saddle or other furnishings for horses; harnesses, horse collars, bridles etc.
SAGGAR MAKER or SAGGER MAKER One who made the fireclay containers in which the stoneware was placed ready for firing
SAGGAR MAKER’S BOTTOM KNOCKER The saggar maker’s assistant who tapped the bottom off the pots
SALT BOILER One who obtained salt by boiling sea water
SALTER or DRYSALTER or SAUCER One who made or dealt in salt
SANDESMAN An ambassador or messenger
SANDHOG A laborer who works inside a caisson, as in the construction of tunnels underwater.
SANDWICHMAN: A person who wears a sandwich billboard for advertising
SARCINET WEAVER A silk weaver
SAW DOCTOR Made, repaired, maintained and sharpened a wide range of cutting tools and saw blades and also maintained and aligned mechanical parts of a range of production machines
SAWYER A person who saws timber
SAY WEAVER One who made Say, material used for table cloths or bedding
SCAGIOLA MAKER One who made imitation marble
SCHRIMPSCHONGER An artisan who carves in bone, ivory, or wood
SCREENER One who screened the ore at the mines surface
SCRIBBLER Employed in a scribbling mill where the wool was roughly carded before spinning
SCRIBE A clerk
SCRIMER One practised in the use of the sword; a skilful fencer.
SCRIPTURE READER Employed by the local clergy to go from house to house reading parts of the bible to try and encourage people to attend church, also read scriptures during some services
SCRIVENER A clerk, notary, wrote out legal documents
SCRUTINEER One who scrutinizes; specifically, one who acts as an examiner of votes, as at an election, etc., to see if they are valid
SCULLION or SCULLERY MAID Female servant who performed all the menial tasks
SCUTCHER A person that beat flax to soften the straw in the bundles
SEARCHER Customs officer whose business it is to search ships, baggage, goods, etc., for prohibited or undeclared articles liable for duty, etc.
SEDGEMAN The skilled workman who applied sedge (type of grass) which was used as an early roofing material
SEEDSMAN Sower of seeds
SELF ACTING MINDER One in charge of the automatic spinning mule in the mills
SEMPSTER or SEWSTER A man or woman (Sempstress )employed in sewing: in early use applied to those who sewed leather as well as cloth.
SEWER HUNTER A scavenger who concentrated on the sewers trying to find valuable objects
SEXTON An employee or officer of a church who cared and upkept church property and sometimes rang bells and dug graves
SHAGREEN CASE MAKER or CASE MAKER Worked with shagreen leather (the skin of a shark, ray etc) or, a granular leather made from horse’s or ass’s hide.
SHAMBLER A butcher. Slaughterman. (A shamble is a butcher’s abattoir)
SHANK MAKER Made shanks of wool
SHEARER or SHEARMAN or SHERMAN Removed the fleece from sheep. A shearer (cutter) of cloth or metal. A barber
SHEARGRINDER Person who sharpened shears, scissors
SHEATH MAKER One who made scabbards for swords
SHEEPMAN Sheep herder, shepherd
SHEET METAL WORKER A person who fabricates products from all types of sheet metal in a workshop. (Skilled man – a time served apprentice)
SHIFTER Miner paid day rate per shift, usually on repair work
SHINGLER An occupation in the iron foundries. Shingling was the process of hammering puddled iron and as with many iron-making terms it is derived from the French language in this case the word – cinglage. Can also refer to ‘ Tin Plate Works’ And can also be a roof tiler (roofer) who used wooden tiles (shingles). See Bloomer also.
SHIP HUSBAND A repairer of ships while in harbor
SHIP MASTER Owner and / or captain of a ship
SHIPWRIGHT A constructor or repairer or ships
SHOE WIPER or BOOT POLISHER Servant who polished shoes
SHOESMITH cobbler, one who shoed horses
SHOT FIRER One in charge of blasting in mines or quarries
SHUNTER One who moved rolling stock around the railway yards
SHUTTLE MAKER One who made the shuttles for the weaving mills
SICKLEMAN A reaper
SIDESMAN A churchman
SILK DRESSER One who prepared the silk for weaving
SILK MERCER One who sold cloth and other items made from silk
SILK THROWER A worker in the silk industry
SILK TWISTER A silk spinner
SILKER A person that sewed the ends of the fabric to prvent the layers from separating
SILVERSMITH A person who worked with silver
SIMPLER One who collects simples, or medicinal plants; a herbalist; a simplist.
SINKER (PIT SINKER) A skilled man who was contracted to sink new shafts in mines.
SISSOR or CISSOR Tailor
SIZER A persion that applied size to cloth or worked in a paper mill
SKEINER A worker who winds unfinished cloth into skein form for boiling off
SKEPPER or SKELPER or SKEPPRNE or SKEPPERNE A person who makes and sells woven beehives
SKINKER One who draws or pours out. A server of drink; the landlord of an alehouse or tavern. (incidently ‘Schenken’ in Dutch translates as ‘Pour Out’ and is pronounced skenken)
SKINNER A dealer in hides
SKIPMAKER: One who made the skips used in mining and quarrying for moving men or materials to the surface
SKIPPER A master of a ship
SLAPPER or SLAPER One who worked in a pottery preparing the clay for the potter
SLAYMAKER A maker of slay’s – The reed of a weavers’ loom
SLOPSELLER A dealer in cheap ready-made clothing
SLUBBER Operated the machine used to prepare cotton for spinning
SLUBBER DOFFER Removed the bobbins from the spindles in the mills
SMACKMAN One worked on a sailing ship (a smack, as a sloop or cutter, that was used chiefly in coasting and fishing
SMALLWARE MAKER Made smallware, e.g. tapes, braids etc
SMELTER Worker in a metal smelter, smelt fisherman
SMIDDY Dialectal variant of smithy – A smith
SMITH Metal worker
SNAPPER Worker in glass factory who placed molded bottle (by neck) into furnace hole
SNOB A shoemaker; a journeyman shoemaker
SNUFFER MAKER Made the candle snuffer
SOAP BOILER (SOPER) Soap maker
SOJOURNER CLOTHIER A travelling clothes salesman
SOUTER Shoe maker or cobbler in Scotland
SPALLIER or SPALDER Tin worker who performs chiefly menial tasks
SPICER Grocer or dealer in spices
SPINNER Spins yarn
SPLITTER Operated a splitting machine or one who split things by hand, e.g. stone, timber etc
SPOONER Made spoons
SPRING MAKER Maker of springs for coaches etc.
SPURRER or SPURRIER A maker of spurs
SQUIRE Practitioner of a profession, a gentleman
STAITHMAN A man employed in weighing and shipping at a staith (a landing place: an elevated staging upon a wharf, bank, shore).
STALLMAN Keeper of a market stall
STATIONER Bookseller, seller of paper & writing implements
STATIST A statesman; a politician; one skilled in government. A statistician
STAY MAKER A corset maker
STEEPLEJACK One who climbs steeples (churches) etc to do repairs etc. Also commonly employed in the north of England to repair the tall chimneys attached to cotton mills
STEERSMAN A ship’s helmsman
STENTERER One who operated the cloth finishing machine
STEP BOY Employed to help passengers to enter or leave the coach
STEVEDORE A labourer who unloads and loads ships’ cargoes
STEWARD Manager of property, purveyor of supplies or someone who attended passengers on conveyance
STOCKINGER A knitter, weaver, or dealer in stockings
STOKER One who tends the fire of an steam engine boiler originally
STONE GETTER Worked in quarry
STONE PICKER A man employed to remove the stones from the farmers fields before planting
STONE WORKERS A person who worked with stone eg masons, quarriers etc
STOREMAN A person responsible for stored goods
STOVE GRATE PATTERN MAKER Manufactured and installed stove grates. In 1901 there were many stove grate works.
STRAW JOINER One who thatched roofs
STRAW PLAITER One who made straw braids for the hat industry
STREET ORDERLY Street cleaner
STRINGER One who strings. One who makes or furnishes strings for a bow
STUFF WEAVER Wove stuff (the coarse part of flax)
SUMPTER The driver of a pack horse
SUTLER An army camp follower who peddled provisions to the soldiers
SWINEYARD or SWINEHERDER Pig keeper
SWINGLER One who beats flax to remove woody parts
SWORD CUTLER A sword maker
TABLER One who keeps boarders.
TACKLER An overlooker of power loom weavers
TACKSMAN A middleman who leased a large piece of land from the owner and sublet it in small lots
TAILOR One who made or repaired clothes
TALLOW CHANDLER One who made or sold candles
TALLY CLERK One who kept count of goods arriving or departing from warehouses, docks etc
TALLYMAN or TALLIER One who sells by sample goods to be delivered afterward, or who takes orders for such goods. One who keeps a tally-shop, selling goods on short credit, the accounts of which are kept by a system of tallies, without regular book-accounts
TAN BARK STRIPPER One who collected the bark that was used in the tanning process
TANNER Tanned (cured) animal hides for leather making
TANNEY A leather worker
TAPE WEAVER Person who weaves cotton tape – up to a couple of inches wide
TAPER WEAVER One who made the wicks for candles
TAPITER or TAPICER One who weaves worsted cloth
TAPSTER One who puts the tap in an ale cask
TAVERNER An innkeeper
TAWER or TAWYER One who taws (bleaches) skins; a maker of white leather.
THATCHER One who covered roofs with straw or reeds.
THIRD-BOROUGH A constable, or an under-constable.
TIDE GAUGER or SURVEYOR Person who monitored the state of the tide
TIDESMAN or TIDE WAITER A customs official
TIEMAKER One who made wooden railway ties
TIGER A liveried groom attending a person in a light vehicle
TILER: One who put tiles in place either on the roof or floor
TILLER A farmer
TILLMAN A ploughman
TIN BASHER Slang for a Sheet Metal Worker.
TIN DRESSER (or copper dresser) Women and younger girls who dressed the ore brought up from underground. It was hard, physical work and a dirty job which took knowledge and considerable concentration.
TINCTOR A dyer
TINKER A travelling repairman or salesman (not well respected)
TINMAN A tinsmith or tinker
TINNER Tin miner, tinsmith
TINTER OR TEINTER Artists who performs tinting
TIPPER or FLETCHER One who put the metal tips on arrows etc
TIPSTAFF An officer who bears a staff tipped with metal; a constable.
TIREWOMAN A woman employed to dress, or to attend to the dressing or dresses of, others; a lady’s-maid; a female dresser in a theater; a tiring-woman
TOBACCO SPINNER Maker of cigars
TOBBACO PACKER or TOBACCO MOULDER Packed or moulded tobacco leaves
TOLLER or TOLLGATE KEEPER or TOLLIE or TOLMAN or TURNPIKE KEEPER Worker at the toll gate to collect fees for use of the road
TOOL HELVER Made tool handles
TOP SAWYER Upper man in a saw pit
TOPMAN Sailor who works in the ship’s rigging
TOSHER Was someone who scavenged in the sewers, especially in London during the Victorian era
TOUCH HOLER One who worked in the gun manufacturing industry
TOW CARD MAKER One who made tow cards, used in the textile industry
TOWN CHAMBERLAIN One who looked after the towns affairs
TOWN CRIER One who made public announcments in the streets
TOWNS WAITER Customs man
TOZER Worked in the wool mills employed to tose or tease the cloth
TRAPPER Employed in the mines to open and shut the doors for the miners
TREENAIL MAKER One who made the long wooden pins used in shipbuilding
TRIMMER A person who trims a ship by re-arranging its cargo to distribute the weight properly
TRIPE DRESSER A butcher . One who prepares tripe for sale. (The lining of the stomach of a ruminant (especially a bovine) used as food)
TRONER A weighing official at the markets
TROTTER A messenger
TUBBER or COOPER One who made tubs and barrels
TUBMAN A barrister in the Court of Exchequer in England who had a precedence in motions.
TUCKER IN A maid who attended the bedroom and “tucked in the bedclothes”
TRUG MAKER One who makes baskets with wooden strips, as in the Sussex Trug. Mostly Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Wiltshire. People used them to carry flowers, grains and for vegetables and fruit gathering. It was Queen Victoria who made them popular as garden accessories after she saw them at the Great Exhibition of 1851
TURNER A lathe worker
TURNKEY A prison warden or jail keeper
TURNSPIT One who operated the spit handle
TWEENIE or TWEENY A servant who works between two others, or assists both. A between-maid, or maidservant who helps the cook as well as the housemai. A maid who worked “between the stairs” she assisted the cooks and the housemaids
TWISTER or TWISTERER A person who joined the ends of a fresh beam of threads onto the warp already on the loom. A sitting-down job, sometimes done by people who were crippled.
ULNAGER One appointed to examine the quality of woollen goods to be sold
UNDERVIEWER A junior official in charge of mine in ‘viewer’s’ absence
UPHOLDER or UNHOLSTERER Furniture seller – mainly chairs and couches
VALET A male servant that attended a nobleman or gentleman
VALUATOR One who valued objects
VASSAL A servant of the lowest order
VATMAN One who put the paper pulp into the moulds in paper-making industry or worked with vats e.g. in beer and wine making
VENATOR or VENUR A huntsman
VERGER Church official, acting as usher or pew opener
VERMIN DESTROYER Rat catcher. Pest controller
VICTUALER or VICTUALLER A seller of food/drink – Usually refers to an Innkeeper
VINTAGER A harvester of grapes
VINTNER or VINTER A wine merchant
VULCAN A blacksmith
WABSTER A weaver
WAD MAN A person who supplied wadding for packing, stuffing, padding
WAGONER Wagon or cart driver
WAIN HOUSE PROPRIETOR Owner of a building where wagons could be parked for a fee
WAINWRIGHT Builder or repairer of wagons
WAITER or TIDE WAITER or CUSTOMS OFFICER One who waited on the tide to collect duty on goods brought in
WAITMAN or WATCHMAN Night watchman who guarded the gates of a city, usually marking the hours with the ringing of a small bell
WAKER Person whose job was to wake workers in time for early morning work
WALKING-STICK FILER One who made walking sticks
WALLER One who built walls either brick or dry stone – also a person who worked making coarse salt
WARDER Person in charge of prisoners
WAREHOUSEMAN A person in charge of a warehouse
WARP DRESSER Warping-mill operator. Operated a machine to wind yarn from packages onto reel and from reel onto loom beams to prepare multiple colored warps for weaving
WARPER or WARP BEAME A textile worker who arranged the individual yarns which created the “warp” of the fabric upon a large cylinder called a beam. A beamer. A person who set the warp thread on the looms or employed to move boats by hauling on the warps (the ropes attached to the boats)
WARRENER In charge of a portion of land used for breeding rabbits and other small game
WASTEMAN Checked the old workings for gas and maintaining them in the mines or employed to remove waste
WATCH FINISHER Assembled watches and clocks
WATCHMAN Town official who guarded the streets at night
WATER BAILIFF Official in charge of the fishing rights on a stretch of water
WATER CARRIER Carted and sold fresh water
WATER LEADER or LEDER or LODER A person who transported and sold fresh drinking water
WATERGUARD A customs officer
WATERMAN Worked with or on boats usually on rivers
WATTLE HURDLE MAKER Made a type of fence / enclosures from wattle to keep sheep in
WAY-MAKER One employed to make roads. One who makes a way; a pioneer; a pathfinder.
WEAVER A person who runs one or more looms to weave cloth. The more looms, the more money. Weaving is a very noisy operation, leaving many weavers deaf. Whether deaf or not, most weavers will have learned to lip-read since this is the only way to hold a conversation in the weaving shed.
WEBSTER Weaver (originally a female weaver)
WEIGHER Worked on the docks to weigh the cargo as it was unloaded
WELL SINKER Someone who dug wells
WELL WRIGHT Made the winding equipment used to raise the bucket in the well
WELLMASTER One in charge of the local well with the responsibility of ensuring clean water for the village
WET GLOVER Leather glove maker
WET NURSE Woman employed to suckle tthe child of another (common practice with the rich)
WETTER Dampens paper during the printing process or in the glass industry who detached the glass by wetting
WHARFINGER One who owns or manages a wharf.
WHEELWRIGHT or WRIGHT A maker of wheels for carts
WHEY CUTTER Worker in the cheese industry.
WHIFFLER A herald or usher; a person who leads the way, or prepares the way, for another: probably so called because the pipers usually led the procession.
WHIPCORD MAKER or WHIPMAKER One who made whips
WHIPPER-IN Involved in the hunting on large estates. Managed the hunting hounds and came under the command of the Huntsman.
WHITE COOPER One who makes barrels from tin or other light metals
WHITE LIMER A person who plastered walls using lime and water plaster
WHITE SMITH or WHITESMITH A whitesmith is a person who works with “white” or light-coloured metals such as tin and pewter. Their majority of their work is with cold metal
WHITENER or WHITESTER or WHITSTER One who bleached cloth
WHITEWASHER Whitewashed the walls of cottages
WILLOW PLAITER or WEAVER One who made baskets etc
WINDER Either a Beamer, or someone who winds thread onto the spindles used in shuttles
WINDSTER Silk winder
WOOL DRIVER One who brought the wool to market
WOOL FACTOR Wool merchants agent
WOOL MAN /WOOL SORTER or STAPLER One who sorted the wool into different grades
WOOL WINDER One who made up balls of wool for selling
WOOLCOMBER Operated machinery that separates the fibres ready for spinning in woollen industry
WOOLEN BILLY PIECER Worked in the woollen mills to piece together the broken yarns
WOONTCATCHER A mole catcher (North Staffs dialect “oont” or “woont”, meaning mole
WRIGHT Builder or repairer. A skilled worker in various trades
XYLOGRAPHER One who used and made wooden blocks used in printing illustrations
YARDMAN A rail, road or yard worker
YEARMAN One contracted to work for a year
YEOMAN A farmer who owns his own land
ZINCOGRAPHER A designer who etched in relief a pattern on zinc plates used for printing
ZOOGRAPHER One who classifies species of animals
ZUMOLOGIST One who is skilled in the fermentation of liquors
ZYTHEPSARIST A brewer