One of the most enjoyable things about doing family history research is discovering what your ancestor did to earn a living. But, very often, we find ourselves scratching our heads trying to figure out exactly what an old occupation actually consisted of.
or a mudlark…
or an ealdorman.
In last week’s list of 25 free genealogy sites we mentioned a site we had only recently been introduced to — Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness. This site is a gathering place for awesome volunteers who are willing to do record lookups, cemetery searches, minor research and more for free. They also have some great resources. Like their dictionary of old occupations.
Turns out, snobscat is another word for cobbler. But if you want to find out what a mudlark or ealdorman is, or need help with another antiquated profession, you can check out their easy to use list.
Here are a few other great places to look for occupation information.
Wikipedia — this is the best place to find detailed information and images, but not all occupations are listed
Family Tree Researcher – very helpful dictionary of old occupations, similar to the one found on Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness but with some unique entries
Hall’s Genealogy Website — we like this one because it has interesting details about many of the professions listed
SteveMorse.org: Need help deciphering an occupation on the census? Find the code and look it up here
And if you haven’t checked it out already, read our fun article Ten 19th Century Occupations That You’re Not Likely to Encounter Today
Image: Underground view of men riding QMC Man-Engine, Quincy Mining Company, Hancock, County, MI. c 1890. Library of Congress