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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

O is for Occupations & the Oldham Family - A to Z Genealogical Challenge -

Ros at http://genwestuk.blogspot.com/ has come  up with the idea of an A to Z genealogical challenge for the month of April.  It soon got me thinking, so here are my contributions.

O is for:

Occupations  -  if you are lucky, you may find records relating to an ancestor's working life in your local archive centre, though a lot does depend on the particular type of employment.

Farmers - I live in a rural area and my local archive centre has a large collection of agricultural records, that includes membership lists and minute books  of local Farmers' Clubs, Pastoral Societies and Auction Marts  that date back to the late 18th century, along with papers from indiviudal farms.   My particular interest was in the Pringle Family of Kelso, members of the Border Union Agricultural Society.  At the annual show in 1876, Adam Pringle won three prizes in the "Implements of Husbandry" Category for a self acting horse rake, a corn grinding mill, and a  turnip topping and tailing machine - recorded in the minute books.  (See below)

Courtesy of Hertiage Hub, Hawick - www.heartofhawick.co.uk/heritagehub
Policemen and Prisoners -  if your ancestor was a constable or even  on the other side  of the law, police records are a great source and include mug shot photos of criminals, lists of prisoners, plus constable registers with personal details including descriptions.

Being a Councillor might seem rather dull,  but the Burgh Minute Books, which go back to the mid 17th century give a full description of burgh affairs and discussions and can reveal interesting sidelines such as the councillor in the 1880's who was petitioning in support of woman's suffrage, long before it was close to becoming a reality.

If your  ancestor was a Teacher, then the School Records are the place to look - with Log Books recording daily  school life, and School Board Minute Books and Education Committee Minute Books recording appointments - and dismissals!  For example:

1873 - At Glenholm, Peeblesshire, a school inspector reported "This small school was taught by Mr Grieve in an intelligent, painstaking and efficient manner". We would all love to find such a  testimonial on an ancestor.  [See below]
Courtesy of Hertiage Hub, Hawick - www.heartofhawick.co.uk/heritagehub

With three of my Danson ancestors working as Postmen,  I  upgraded my Ancestry subscription recently, so I could access their Post Office Records.   All I got was a name, date of appointment and place, so I can't really say it added anything to my family story. Also if you are looking for a popular local name, it will be difficult to confirm which is "your" entry.  Still we all consult records in hope of finding something worthwhile!

Oldham Family  - my knowledge of the Oldham Family came from my third cousin, discovered through this blog.  We share the same great great grandparents in Henry Danson and Elizabeth Calvert.  This brought a new dimension to my blog with added  photographs,  particularly of  weddings,  and,  continuing the Occupation theme, tales of Carters and Coal Merchants,  of Hairdresser Elise,  and  Poet John Critchley Prince (1808-1866),  well known in his time as a writer of poetry  in the Lancashire dialect.

The first Oldham road vehicle
bought in 1921.for the carter & coal merchant buisness

Also not forgetting:   Obituaries and Old Parish Records.                                                      

1 comment:

  1. Another interesting post Susan. I'd have liked that Councillor on my family tree. The "best" occupations to have are those that are well documented ;-) Isn't it great that you've got such a good collaboration with the Oldham relations.


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