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Ask a Genealogist: What was a Sleymaker?

(New England, Occupations) Permanent link
 

Question:

Can I ask you if you have heard of the occupation for a woman as a "Sleymaker"? I do not assume this has anything to do with the production of sleighs.

Answer:

In the trade of weaving the "Sleymaker" was the person who seperated the thread into two or more sections.

Ask a Genealogist: What was a Spittleman?

(Occupations) Permanent link
 

Question:

In the 1871 Census in London my ancestor had a lodger who was a Spittleman.  Can you advise me what that was?

Answer:

A spittleman was another name for an attendant or assistant at a hospital.  You see this term not so much in the United States but in England.

Ask a Genealogist: Atlantic Canadian Railroad employees

(Occupations) Permanent link
 

Question:

I am looking for employment records fort Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Railroad employees.  Can you offer me a suggestion to locate these records?

Answer:

The Library and Archives of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario have some of the surviving railroad employee records online already.  You can search by first and last name of the records of the Railway Employees Provident Fund setup in 1907.  This collection deals with employees of the Intercolonial and Prince Edward Island Railway.  You can start your search online at: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/black-porters/001051-100.01-e.php

Ask a Genealogist: What was the occupation of a Brightsmith.

(Occupations) Permanent link
 

Question:

Can you explain the what the occupation of a "Brightsmith" was?

Answer:

A "Brightsmith" is a name for someone who works shaping bright metals.  For instance a "Brightsmith" works with brass, tin and copper metals.  This same occupation can be referred to by the specific metal such as a Tinsmith, Coppersmith, etc.

Ask a Genealogist: What was a Todhunter?

(Occupations) Permanent link
 

Question:

Can you tell me what the occupation of a Todhunter was in the 18th century?

Answer:

A "Todhunter" is the occupation of a man who was hired by a parish or village to hunt foxes.

Ask a Genealogist: What was the occupation of a Delver?

(Occupations) Permanent link
 

Question:

Can you explain what the occupation of a "Delver Man" was?  I thought it was "Delivery Man" but it is spelled without the letters (i) and (y).

Answer:

This occupation is generally listed as "a delver".  A delver was a person who used a shovel for ditch digging, and sometimes digging wells.

The Online Genealogist: What was a Webster?

(Occupations) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: I was examining a probate in Cheshire England in 1628, the occupation is not common.  Can you tell me what a webster was?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Answer: A webster was the occupation of a loom operator.  This was also know as a weaver, and was generally a female occupation when dealing with the looms.

The Online Genealogist: Postmaster in the family.

(Occupations) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: I discovered my great-grandmother's brother was a local postmaster in Maine.  Can you tell me where I can find out the cost to mail a letter in the 1870's to 1910's? His diaries discuss the rate changes, and I thought it would be helpful to follow along with a list.

Answer:  This website provides the costs for U.S. Postal rates for letters and postcards from the 1860's to present - http://www.akdart.com/postrate.html


The Online Genealogist: What was a Flusherman?

(New England, Occupations) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David ALlen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  Can you tell me what the old occupation of a "Flusherman" was?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Answer:   A "Flusherman" was an old term for a plumber, or one who would flush out water pipes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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