Old Occupations

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 – dburrows1@juno.com

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
Fellmonger – 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 goal, a jailer
Glazier – Window glassmanHacker – 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 andset 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 / SheriffSlater – 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 – A 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