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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Labor Day - The Jobs of our Ancestors: Workaday Wednesday

A prompt from www.geneabloggers.com to help us look back at the occupations of our ancestors, commeorated on Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2011,  in the United States

Trap Farm overgrown , c.1998

My Danson family came from a rural part of Lancahsire in north west England, so occupations on the land were the norm - whether it be Ag. Lab, husbandman, carter, or cowman, with two generations reaching the status heights of being described as yeoman farmers. It was all change in the 1860's when my great great grandfather Henry Danson of Trap Farm, Carleton  left farming  and became a toll collector at the newly built Shard Bridge over the River Wyre, near Fleetwood.

Great Uncle George at his station bookstall
This was an age of great social change, from rural to urban life.  The period saw the rise of the seaside resort of Blackpool and fishing town of Fleetwood with a  predominant theme the impact of the railway. 

New occupations appeared in the census entries for the family - pointsman, railway telegraph clerk, railway porter, railway coach examiner, and railway labourer, with a related trade that of my great uncle George who worked at W. H Smith's newsagent stall on station platforms. 


Trades in the family  included coal merchant, rope dealer, and even tripe dealer, with Danson daughters marrying  a shoemaker, joiner, innkeeper, and watchmaker. 

The women were undertaking roles as laundress, and much more appealing - a confectioner's shop woman, and keeper of a sweet shop. 

Elsie Oldham in the 1920's opened her own home-based business  as a hairdresser, styling herself as "Elise". See the posting "Bobbing, Shingling and Marcel Waves"
In the early 20th century, three of my great grandparents large family, Harry, Robert and Jennie all worked for the post office. 

Jennie Danson, 2nd left, with her colleagues from the Post Office.

Copyright © 2011 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

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