Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Workday Wednesday: Ancestral Occupations

Do you know what your ancestors did for a living?

I know what some of my recent ancestors did. For example, my Dad was a welder and later a truck driver. My paternal grandfather Fred was an ironworker in his younger days. My Mom’s father Eugène was a chief of police and later a carpenter.

I wasn’t quite sure, though, what kind of work my Canadian ancestors of the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s did until I searched my family tree. I found a mix of humble, unskilled work like day labourer to professional and specialist work like wigmaker. The most popular occupations in all my ancestral lines were farmer, soldier (especially in the 1600s), carpenter (charpentier) and finishing carpenter (menuisier). The following lists, sorted by ancestral line, is a selection of some of my ancestors’ occupations.


Belair:
Vanasse:
Desgroseilliers:
Beauvais:

Bailiff
Cloth maker
Blacksmith
Barber/Surgeon
Brick maker
Draper
Boat captain
Baker
Day labourer
Judge
Boilermaker
Carpenter
Gunsmith
Merchant
Butcher
Cooper
Handmaid
Notary
Coalman
Edge-tool maker
Innkeeper
Sacristan
Explorer/Fur trader
Husbandry foreman
Locksmith
Shoemaker
Hatter/Milliner
Mason
Midwife
Slate roofer
Interpreter
Master butcher
Nail maker
Tanner
Weaver
Shoemaker
Wheelwright


Wigmaker


Copyright © 2012, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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