For this week’s challenge, I thought it might be interesting to compare my ancestors’ occupations with those of their descendants in 2016.
Irish farmland photographed by J Gay
There were a lot of labourers from many countries in a variety of industries among my ancestors, a few were farmers and several were sailors. One was a parish clerk. Several were silk and cotton mill workers while a mid 19th century chemist was working among them in the northern mill towns.
Taken at Styal Mill near Manchester by J Gay
One who had a trade was a lithographic printer in London, serving a 7 year apprenticeship starting in the late 1890’s.
Some were in the military outside of the World War periods. One served for nearly 20 years in India with the British after the Indian Revolution and 2 others died in India while serving in the British army and Navy in the 1860’s. At the same time, I’m sure the seller of spirits in Ireland had a lucrative business.
In one Irish port in the 19th and 20th centuries, many generations of ancestors were carpenters, joiners and ship’s carpenters.
A few of my female ancestors were small shopkeepers or sales assistants while a larger number were working from home as dressmakers or “sewers”. One was listed in a census as a “muslin embroider”. Another one who was widowed in 1890 while pregnant with her 5th child, ran a Fruit and Veg shop with her teenage son and later was a Confectioner. I really admire her strength as she never remarried and it was before the government provided widow’s pensions.
In 2016 the current generations include a couple of engineers (both women), a couple of librarians, a large number of teachers, a musician, a lawyer, an economist, a management consultant, a funeral director, some merchants, a carter and a number of nurses (both male and female). We also have a book seller, a few salesmen, a stenographer, an actor, a marine biologist, a couple of secretaries, finance coordinator. Some others are a paramedic, an accountant, a cabinet maker, a few school assistants, manager of a millinery department, a hairdresser, a storeman and a financial planner.