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DEFINITIONS OF OLD OCCUPATION NAMES

(Contributed by Evelyn Owens)
Compiled by Dan Burrows Copyright © 2003, Dan Burrows

"I put these 130 items together from many sources and used it as a handout for our local Orange County (NY) Genealogical Society. I was asked by many recipients if the CHART could be forwarded to other lists or used in local newsletters. The answer is yes - please share this information."
Dan Burrows

OLD OCCUPATIONS



Accomptant -      Accountant

Almoner -         Giver of charity to the needy

Amanuensis -      Secretary or stenographer

Artificer -       A soldier mechanic who does repairs



Bailie -          Bailiff

Baxter -          Baker

Bluestocking -    Female writer

Boniface -        Keeper of an inn

Brazier -         One who works with brass

Brewster -        Beer manufacturer

Brightsmith -     Metal Worker

Burgonmaster -    Mayor



Caulker -         One who filled up cracks (in ships or windows or 

                  seems to make them watertight by using tar or 

                  oakum-hem fiber produced by taking old ropes apart.

Chaisemaker -     Carriage maker

Chandler -        Dealer or trader; one who makes or sells candles; 

                  retailer of groceries, ship supplier

Chiffonnier -     Wig maker

Clark -           Clerk

Clerk -           Clergyman, cleric

Clicker -         The servant of a salesman who stood at the door 

                  to invite customers; one who received the matter 

                  in the galley from the compositors and arranged it 

                  in due form ready for printing; one who makes eyelet 

                  holes in boots using a machine which clicked.

Cohen -           Priest

Collier -         Coal miner

Colporteur -      Peddler of books

Cooper -          One who makes or repairs vessels made of staves and 

                  hoops,such as casks, barrels, tubs, etc.

Cordwainer -      Shoemaker, originally any leather worker using leather 

                  from Cordova/Cordoba in Spain

Costermonger -    Peddler of fruits and vegetables

Crocker -         Potter

Crowner -         Coroner

Currier -         One who dresses the coat of a horse with a currycomb;

                  one who tanned leather by incorporating oil or grease



Docker -          Stevedore, dock worker who loads and unloads cargo

Dowser -          One who finds water using a rod or witching stick

Draper -          A dealer in dry goods

Drayman -         One who drives a long strong cart without fixed 

                  sides for carrying heavy loads

Dresser -         A surgeon's assistant in a hospital

Drover -          One who drives cattle, sheep, etc. to market; 

                  a dealer in cattle

Duffer -          Peddler



Factor -          Agent, commission merchant; one who acts or transacts 

                  business for another;  Scottish steward or bailiff of 

                  an estate.

Farrier -         A blacksmith, one who shoes horses

Faulkner -        Falconer

Fellmonger -      One who removes hair or wool from hides in preparation 

                  for leather making

Fletcher -        One who made bows and arrows

Fuller -          One who fulls cloth;

                  one who shrinks and thickens woolen cloth by moistening,

                  heating, and pressing; one who cleans and finishes cloth



Gaoler -          A keeper of the goal, a jailer

Glazier -         Window glassman



Hacker -          Maker of hoes

Hatcheler -       One who combed out or carded flax

Haymonger -       Dealer in hay

Hayward -         Keeper of fences

Higgler -         Itinerant peddler

Hillier -         Roof tiler

Hind -            A farm laborer

Holster -         A groom who took care of horses, often at an inn

Hooker -          Reaper

Hooper -          One who made hoops for casks and barrels

Huckster -        Sells small wares

Husbandman -      A farmer who cultivated the land



Jagger -          Fish peddler

Journeyman -      One who had served his apprenticeship and mastered 

                  his craft,not bound to serve a master, but hired by the day.

Joyner / Joiner - A skilled carpenter



Keeler -          Bargeman

Kempster -        Wool comber



Lardner -         Keeper of the cupboard

Lather -          Installer of lath strips in old-time walls

Lavender -        Washer woman

Lederer -         Leather maker

Leech -           Physician

Longshoreman -    Stevedore

Lormer -          Maker of horse gear



Malender -        Farmer

Maltster -        Brewer

Manciple -        A steward

Mason -           Bricklayer

Mintmaster -      One who issued local currency

Monger -          Seller of goods (ale, fish)

Muleskinner -     Teamster



Neatherder -      Herds cows



Ordinary Keeper - Innkeeper with fixed prices



Pattern Maker -   A maker of a clog shod with an iron ring. A clog was a

                  wooden pole with a pattern cut into the end

Peregrinator -    Itinerant wanderer

Peruker -         A wig maker

Pettifogger -     A shyster lawyer

Pigman -          Crockery dealer

Plumber -         One who applied sheet lead for roofing and set lead 

                  frames for plain or stained glass windows.

Porter -          Door keeper

Puddler -         Wrought iron worker



Quarrier -        Quarry worker



Rigger -          Hoist tackle worker

Ripper -          Seller of fish

Roper -           Maker of rope or nets



Saddler -         One who makes, repairs or sells saddles or other 

                  furnishings for horses.

Sawbones -        Physician

Sawyer -          One who saws; carpenter

Schumacker -      Shoemaker

Scribler -        A minor or worthless author

Scrivener -       Professional or public copyist or writer; notary public

Scrutiner -       Election judge

Shrieve -         Roofer

SheriffSlater -   Roofer

Slopseller -      Seller of ready-made clothes in a slop shop

Snobscat / Snob - One who repaired shoes

Sorter -          Tailor

Spinster -        A woman who spins or an unmarried woman

Spurrer -         Maker of spurs

Squire -          Country gentleman; farm owner; justice of peace

Stuff gown -      Junior barrister

Stuff gownsman -  Junior barrister

Supercargo -      Officer on merchant ship who is in charge of cargo 

                  and the commercial concerns of the ship.



Tanner -          One who tans (cures) animal hides into leather

Tapley -          One who puts the tap in an ale cask

Tasker -          Reaper

Teamster -        One who drives a team for hauling

Thatcher -        Roofer

Tide waiter -     Customs inspector

Tinker -          An itinerant tin pot and pan seller and repairman

Tipstaff -        Policeman

Travers -         Toll bridge collection

Tucker -          Cleaner of cloth goods

Turner -          A person who turns wood on a lathe into spindles



Victualer -       A tavern keeper, or one who provides an army,

                  navy, or ship with food

Vulcan -          Blacksmith



Wagoner -         Teamster not for hire

Wainwright -      Wagon maker

Waiter -          Customs officer or tide waiter; one who waited on 

                  the tide to collect duty on goods brought in.

Waterman -        Boatman who plies for hire

Webster -         Operator of looms

Wharfinger -      Owner of a wharf

Wheelwright -     One who made or repaired wheels; wheeled carriages, etc.

Whitesmith -      Tinsmith; worker of iron who finishes or 

                  polishes the work

Whitewing -       Street sweeper

Whitster -        Bleach of cloth

Wright -          Workman, especially a construction worker



Yeoman -          Farmer who owns his own land




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This page last updated: Tuesday, 25-May-2010 14:05:29 MDT