CAPITAL AREA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

www.capitalareagenealogy.org

 Glossary of Terms

 

OLD TIME OCCUPATIONS:

Ships passenger lists, census returns and other documents used in genealogy may give an ancestor's occupation. This list gives more modern interpretations of those terms.


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 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

-A-

 

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

Axle Tree Maker maker of axles for coaches and wagons

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-B-

 

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

Bluestocking female writer
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

Burgonmaster - mayor
Burl - cup-bearer
Burneman - carrier of barm or waters for brewers
Burnisher
- metal polisher

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-C-

 

Calendrer a person who calenders cloth, a calender

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
Clark - 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.

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-D-

 

Dareman - dairyman
Daunsel - gentleman in waiting; groom; squire
Dexter - dyer
Diviner/Dowser - one who finds water under the ground
Docker - stevedore; 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

 

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-E-

 

Elymaker - oilmaker
Endholdernn - inn keeper
Enumerator - census taker
Executrix - female executor

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-F-

 

Faber - smith
Factor Agent - merchant for commission (or factor); one who transacts business for another (usually absent); Scottish steward or bailiff of an estate

Faulkner - 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
Furber/Furbour - furbisher of armour
Furner baker

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-G-

 

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

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-H-

 

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

Holster a groom who took care of horses, often at an inn
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

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-I-

 

Indentured servant - one who has committed to working for someone for a fixed number of years
Ironmonger - dealer in iron goods

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-J-

 

Jagger fish peddler

Jorman - journeyman
Journeyman - craftsman who had served his apprentice, a master craftsman
Joyner/Joiner - joiner; skilled carpenter

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-K-

 

Keeler - bargeman
Keller - salt keeper
Kellogg - slaughter man
Kempster - wool comber
Kepegest
innkeeper

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-L-

 

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 - stevedore
Lorimer/lormer
- bridlemaker

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-M-

 

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

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-N-

 

Neatherder - cow herd
Nedder - needle-maker
Nettir
knitter

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-O-

 

Ordinary Keeper- innkeeper; keeper of a fixed price Inn
Osler - bird-catcher
Osnard - herder of oxen
Outrider - mounted attendant riding before or behind a carriage

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-P-

 

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

Patroller patroller of slaves
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

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-Q-

 

Quarrier - quarry worker
Quarryman stonecutter

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-R-

 

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

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-S-

 

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 - saddler
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, stableman
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

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-T-

 

Tabernarius - taverner; innkeeper
Tanner/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

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-U-

 

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

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-V-

 

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

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-W-

 

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

Whitewing - street sweeper

Whitster - bleacher of cloth
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

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-X-

There are currently no terms for this category.

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-Y-

 

Yeoman - farmer who owns his own land; freehold farmer

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-Z-

 There are currently no terms for this category.

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