What Did They Do?: Ancestral Terminology
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Media: BOOK - paperback, 412 pages
Author: P. Christensen
Other: 2nd ed., bibliog
Publisher: Heritage Productions
Was your ancestor a Lady from Hell? Or a Gentleman of the Horn Thumb? Or was he a Rag and Bone Man? This comprehensive dictionary is the largest of it's kind, listing the meanings of old occupations, nicknames, officials, personal attributes and relationships for family historians.
Compiled from numerous sources this compilation concentrates on English terms used between 50 and 300 years ago, though there are a few North American and Australian occupations thrown in where their use differs from the British. This timeframe is what is most useful to family historians.
What Did They Do? gives you the meanings of 9750+ occupations together with various older terms no longer in use today. Use it to find out just what an Owler is, or a Necker, Lapicide, or Hand pack miller. Did you know that a Galloon maker was one who made narrow, close woven braid for binding dresses, of gold, silver, silk or cotton.
This is an important reference work for all family historians and libraries.
I have found this book very helpful in translating terminology of what my Ancesters did for a living.
This is a useful dictionary not only of ancestor occupations but also of words that may have been in common use between the 17th and 19th centuries. While this second edition extends to almost 400 pages, I was expecting more than just a bare definition for many of the occupations, though some are described better than others. I think the presentation would be enhanced by some illustrations of some of the more obscure occupations for readers to get a better understanding of how the work was performed.