What Does That Job Title Mean?

At some point in the past, I was given a list of occupational titles that are found in historical documents with corresponding current job titles.  I’ve frequently pulled it out to help me understand the occupation title used in census and other records.  Unfortunately, the name of the author was not included on my photocopy.

Records in geographical regions usually used the same occupational terms, but when we look at records in another location, the titles change based on the preponderance of occupational opportunities in that locale.

The occupation list has helped me find family members many times because I could now correctly interpret the occupational clue.

Other than to say “thank you” to whomever originally created the list, sharing it with other genealogy researchers seems to be the best way to honor their work.

Accomptant – accountant

Accoucheur – man who acts as a midwife

Accoucheuse – midwife

Administatrix – female administrator

Almoner – giver of charity (alms) to the needy

Amanuen(sis) – secretary or stenographer

Aquarius – ewer; waterman

Artificer – maker or fixer of intricate objects; soldier mechanic who does repairs

Ashmanshipman – sailor

Aulnager – official responsible for inspecting and measuring woolen cloth

Aurifaber – goldsmith

Avenator – plantifene; hay and forage merchant

Bailie – bailiff

Banksman – gives instruction or assistance to driver; overseer at a mine pit

Barker – tanner

Baxter – baker

Belhoste – tavern keeper

Belleyetere – bellfounder

Blacksmith – one who shoes horses

Boniface – innkeeper

Borsholder – officer appointed by the manor or parish, constable. Bowyer – bowmaker

Brasiler – dyer

Brazier – brass worker

Brewster – brewer; beer maker

Brightsmith – metal worker

Brownsmith – copper or brass smith

Burl – cup-bearer

Burneman – carrier of barm or waters for brewers

Burnisher – metal polisher

Campaner – bell maker

Cancellarius – chancellor

Cardmaker – maker of cards (instruments for combing wool)

Carner – granary keeper

Carnifex – butcher

Carpentarius – carpenter

Carter – maker or driver carts

Caulker – filler of cracks (in ships or windows)

Cautioner – guarantor (One who becomes security for another)

Chaisemaker – carriage maker

Chaloner – dealer in shalloon (a material made in Chalons)

Chandler – maker or seller of candles; retailer of groceries; dealer or trader

Chapman – merchant, often itinerant

Chesterman – guard

Chiffonier – wigmaker

Chirugion – apothecary or surgeon

Cissor – tailor

Clarke – cleric or scribe

Clericus – clerk

Clerk – clergyman, cleric

Clicker – printer in charge of final layout

Clicker – (shoe mfg) in charge of lace holes

Cobbler – shoe maker/repairer

Cocus (Keu) – cook

Cohen – priest

Collier – coalminer

Colporteur – peddler of books

Combere – woolcomber

Conveyor – grantor or seller

Cooper – maker or repairer of vessels made of staves & hoops ie. barrels, casks and tubs

Coppice keeper – one who takes care of small wood

Cordewanarius/Cordwainer/Corvisor – shoemaker, originally any leather worker using Cordovan leather (leather from Cordova/Cordoba, Spain)

Costermonger – peddler of fruits and vegetables

Cotiler – cutler

Crayman – driver of a cart carrying heavy loads

Crocker – potter; maker of crocks

Crowner – coroner

Cuhreur/Cunreur – currier

Culler – gelder of male animals

Cuper – cooper

Currrier – tanner of leather; user of curry comb on horses

Cutler – one who makes or sells knives etc.

Dareman – dairyman

Daunsel – gentleman in waiting; groom; squire

Dexter – dyer

Diviner/Dowser – one who finds water under the ground

Docker – stevedor; dock worker who loads and unloads cargo

Dowser – finder of water (or other items) using dowsing rods or witching stick

Draper – dealer in cloth and dry goods

Drayman – driver of the dray: a long strong cart without fixed sides for carrying heavy loads (later a brewery delivery team ie. the Budweiser Clydesdales)

Dresser – surgeon’s assistant in a hospital

Drover – driver of animals to market; dealer in cattle

Drummer – traveling salesman

Dubbere – cloth dubber ie. one who raises the nap of cloth

Dudder – probably a maker of coarse cloaks

Duffer – peddler

Dyer – one who dyes cloth

Dysshere – probably a ditcher, or in some cases a disher

Elymaker – oilmaker

Endholdernn – inn keeper

Enumerator – census taker

Executrix – female executor

Faber – smith

Factor Agent – merchant for commission (or factor); attorney (not in the modern US sense); one who transacts business for another (usually absent); Scottish steward or bailiff of an estate

Falkner – keeper/trainer of falcons

Farmer – tax-collector or bailiff

Farrier – horse doctor, one in charge of horses; blacksmith; shodder of horses

Fell Monger – one who removes hair or wool from hides in preparation for leather making

Fence Viewer – person who inspects farmer’s fences

Ferur/Ferator – farrier or blacksmith

Feuar – holder of lands granted for services

Fisher/Fishdryver – victualler

Flauner – confectioner

Flax Dresser – one who works with flax fibers

Fleshewer – butcher

Fletcher – maker of bows and arrows; arrowmaker

Forestarius – forester

Framar – farmer

French polisher – polish wood by hand using French polish, wax or lacquer

Frereman – servant of the Friars

Fuller – fuller of cloth; shrinker and thickener of woolen cloth by washing, heating and pressing; a felter; cleaner and thickener of cloth; one who trampled cloth, see also walker

Furber/Furbour – furbisher of armour

Furner – baker

Gaoler – jailer

Garcifer/Garcio – groom; attendant

Garlekmonger – garlicmonger; dealer in garlic

Ginerr – joiner

Glassewryght – glasswright; maker and mender of glassware

Glazier – glazier; repairer of windows

Glover – dealer or maker of gloves

Gobar – jobber

Grecher – grocer

Guilderer – maker of gold or silver coins

Gynour – engineer

Hacker – hoe maker

Hamberghmaker/Hamberow – horse collar maker

Hansard – weapon maker or seller

Harper – musician

Hatcheler – one who combed out flax

Hawker – peddler

Haymonger – dealer in hay

Hayward – keeper of fences

Headborough – constable

Hedger – one who trims and tends hedgerows

Herd – shepherd or herdsman

Hetheleder – provider of heather for fuel

Higgler – itinerant peddler

Hillard/Hiller/Hillier – one who covers houses with slate; tiler

Hind – farm laborer

Hooker – reaper

Hooper – maker of hoops for casks, barrels, tubs etc.

Horsler – hostler (stableman or groom), horse servant at an inn

Hosteler – innkeeper

Huckster – seller of small articles/wares

Husbandman – a farmer; animal husbandry; tenant farmer

Indentured servant – one who has committed to working for someone for a fixed number of years

Ironmonger – dealer in iron goods

Jorman – journeyman

Journeyman – craftsman who had served his apprentice, a master craftsman

Joyner/Joiner – joiner; skilled carpenter

Keeler – bargeman

Keller – salt keeper

Kellogg – slaughter man

Kempster – wool comber

Kepegest – innkeeper

Lardner – official in charge of pig food or keeper of the cupboard

Latouner – worker in latten (a metal resembling brass)

Lavender – washer woman

Lederer – leather maker

Leech – physician

Limeburner – maker of lime

Limner – draughtsman or artist

Lokeer – locksmith

Longshoreman – stevedor

Lorimer/lormer – bridlemaker

Macon/Macun/Marson – mason

Malender – farmer

Malster – brewer of malted beverages (beer)

Manciple – steward

Marescallus – marshall

Marshall – horse servant, or groom

Mason – stone carver

Mayer – physician

Medicus – leech; doctor

Mercator – merchant

Millow – miller

Millwright – one who designs or builds mills

Mintmaster – issuer of local currency [mintner?]

Molendinarius/Muner – miller

Monger – seller (of goods ie. ale, fish)

Muleskinner – teamster

Neatherder – cow herd

Nedder – needle-maker

Nettir – knitter

Ordinary – innkeeper; keeper of a fixed price Inn

Osler – bird-catcher

Osnard – herder of oxen

Outrider – mounted attendant riding before or behind a carriage

Packman – itinerant peddler

Palmer – a pilgrim; one who had been, or pretended to have been, to the Holy Land

Paneler – saddler

Pannarius – clothier and draper

Pannebeter – pan-hammerer, or perhaps clothdriver

Pardoner – one licensed to sell Papal Indulgences

Parcheminer – parchment maker

Parochus – rector, pastor

Patton/Patten Maker – a maker of a clog shod with an iron ring; maker of iron-rimmed pattens for footware. A clog was a wooden pole with a pattern cut into the end

Peever – pepper-seller

Pelliparius/Peltarius – skinner

Peregrinator – itinerant wanderer

Peruker/Perukmaker – wig maker

Pettifogger – shyster; lawyer

Pictor – painter

Pigman – crockery dealer

Pilcher – maker of pilches

Pinder – keeper of the pound or pinfold

Piscarius – fishmonger

Piscator – fisherman [Pescador (sp?) in Spanish]

Pistor – miller or baker

Plantifene – see avernator

Plomer – plumber

Ploughwright – one who makes or repairs ploughs/plows

Plumber – one who applied sheet lead for roofing and set lead frames for plain or stained glass windows

Porcher – pig-keeper

Porter – gate-keeper or door-keeper

Poulterer – dealer in poultry

Puddler – wrought iron worker

Pynner – pin-maker

Quarrier – quarry worker

Quarryman – stonecutter

Revenuer – federal officer enforcing the law against illegal manufacturing of whisky

Rigger – hoist tackler worker

Ripper – fish monger

Roper – ropemaker; maker of rope or nets

Rotarius – wheelwright

Rower – builder of (small) wagon wheels

Saddler – maker and repairer of saddles and bridles

Safernman – grower of saffron

Samitere/Samite – maker of a kind of heavy silk stuff

Sauntere – probably salt maker

Sausere – salter

Savant – servant

Sawbones – physician

Sawyer – sawer of wood; carpenter

Scabbler – person who uses a scabbler (pick) to trim the sides of a tunnel

Schumacker – shoemaker; cobbler

Scribbler – minor or worthless author

Scrivener – scribe or clerk; professional or public copyist or writer; notary public

Scrutiner – election judge

Seinter – girdlemaker

Seler/sellarius – sadder

Serviens – sergeant

Servus – servant

Sevier – sieve-maker

Sewer – tailor or shoemaker

Sharman/Sherman/Shearman – one who raised the surface of wollen cloth and then sheared it to a smooth surface; cutter of woolen cloth

Shether – see vaginarius

Shrieve – sheriff

Sifker – sievemaker

Sissor/Cissor – tailor

Sizer – one who applies size to textiles

Slater – roofer; tiler

Slatter – slater (same as hillard)

Slaymaker/Sleymaker – maker of reeds or slays (instruments to part threads in weaving) for looms

Slopseller – seller of ready-made clothes in a slop shop

Snobscat/Snob – shoe repairer; cobbler

Soper – soapmaker

Sorter – tailor

Soyor – sawyer

Spicer – grocer

Spinster – unmarried woman; spinner (female)

Spittleman – hospital attendant

Spragger – person who inserts a piece of wood (sprag) between the wheels of a lorry (truck) to bring it to a standstill

Spurrer/Spurrier – spurmaker

Stabler – ostler

Stasyon/Stawsun – probably a stationer

Stokiner – maker or weaver of stockings

Squarewright – carpenter, specifically a furniture maker

Squire – country gentleman; farm owner; justice of peace

Stuff Gown/Gownsman – junior barrister

Sugarer – dealer in sugar (grocer?)

Sumner – summoner or apparitor

Supercargo – officer on merchant ship who is in charge of cargo and the commercial concerns of the ship

Sutler – one who supplies an army with provisions

Tabernarius – taverner; innkeeper

Tannator – tanner; curer of animal hide into leather

Taper – candlewick maker or seller

Tapley – one who puts the tap in an ale cask

Tasker – reaper

Tawer – one who taws (makes hide into leather without the use of tanning)

Teamster – one who drives a team (horses or oxen) for hauling

Teinter – dyer

Tenter – attendant for an engine

Textor – weaver

Thatcher – roofer (using thatch)

Thirdbororough – tithing man or deputy constable

Tide Waiter – customs inspector

Tinker – an itinerant mender and seller of kettles, tin pots and pans

Tinctor – dyer or possibly a painter

Tipstaff – policeman

Todd – fox hunter

Travers – toll bridge collector

Tripper – dancer

Tucker – cleaner of cloth goods

Turner – turner of wood (using a lathe) into spindles

Upholder – upholsterer; also a cheapjack and seller of secondhand goods

Vaginarius – sheather; scabbard maker

Venator/Venur – huntsman

Verderer – a Borsholder, Constable. Victualer – tavern keeper, or one who provides an army, navy, or ship with food supplies

Vitner – wine merchant

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

Walker – fuller; cloth trampler or cleaner

Webber/Webster – weaver; loom operator

Wharfinger – owner of a wharf

Wheelwright – builder/repairer of wagon wheels, carriages etc.

Whitcher – maker of chests

Whitesmith – tinsmith; worker of iron who finishes or polishes the work

Whittawer – one who tans skin into white leather

Wonkey-scoop – driver who operates a one horse scoop

Wright – workman, especially a construction worker ie. wheelwright

Yeoman – farmer who owns his own land; freehold farmer

Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2011-09-07 13:12:00
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Family history research is a favored avenue of relaxation. It is a Sherlock-like activity that can continue almost anywhere at any time. By leveraging a lifetime involvement in technology, my research efforts have resulted in terabytes of ancestral data, earning me the moniker of Lineagekeeper. And yes - We are all related to Royalty.