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Old Occupation Names


Compiled by 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



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 & 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. 

Fell monger - 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 gaol, 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.  

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 - Sheriff.  

Slater - 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 - An 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. 

Submitted by Jerry Johnson.