Old Time Occupations

Ships passenger lists, census returns, marriage and death records, and other documents used in genealogy may give an ancestor’s occupation, this list gives more modern interpretations of some of those terms.

Knowing the occupation of your ancestors not only gives you a better idea of what their life was like, but it may be a clue to uncovering more records. Did your ancestor’s occupation indicate advanced schooling? Was this occupation regulated on a local or national level? If a trade, was there a guild? Some occupations required a license.

Finding out that your ancestor was a miner not only helps to explain how he died in a slate fall, but it also gives you the clue that his death might have been covered in a local newspaper article about the mine disaster even if he is not implicitly named in that article.

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