Shamere's Home Page

Old Occupations and Their Meanings

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

Burgomaster Mayor

Caulker - One who filled up cracks (in ships or windows) or seams to make them watertight by using tar or oakum-hem fibre produced by taking old ropes apart

Chaise maker - Carriage maker

Chandler - Dealer or trader; one who makes or sells candles; retailer of groceries, ship supplier

Chiffonier - 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 and 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, dockworker 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 with fixed sides for carrying heavy loads

Dresser - A surgeon's assistant in 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 woollen 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 labourer

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

Keller 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 - Inn keeper 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

Schumaker Shoemaker

Scribler - A minor or worthless author

Scrivener - Professional or public copyist or 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

Victualler - 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 - Bleacher of cloth

Wright - Workman, especially a construction worker

Yeoman - Farmer who owns his own land

E-mail me if you would like a family occupation and its meaning added to this list.