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Old Occupations

Updated: Jan 25, 2021


Often when researching our family history, we come across defunct terms and titles. Sometimes the meaning of terms change, too. For example, a "Hooker" in olden times was a textile mill worker. Sometimes it pays to do a little background research about the language of the period to properly determine what these terms mean.

Here are some places you can find information about old occupations:

1) Genuki United Kingdom and Ireland Occupations [Link]

2) Victorian Occupations [Link]

3) Dictionary of Occupational Titles [Link]

4) Unusual Trades of the Past (French) [Link]

5) Old Occupation Names [Link]

6) Dictionary of Occupational Terms [Link]

7) Descriptions of Occupations [Link]


These documentaries demonstrate various jobs of old times. In the first, see what it took to do the job of a shepherd, a redder, a steeplechaser, and a feathery (golf ball maker).

In this one you can see what was involved with gold mining, Anglo-Saxon building, peasantry, farming, charcoal making, flour making, bog iron hunting, coin making, Viking life, monk life and guillemot egg collecting.


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