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Agricultural Labourers. We have to admire them.

benny1982

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Staff member
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Location
Norwich
From
England
Hi

We all say that there are too many ag labs in our tree but we have to thrive on that and respect them really as they fed the country. They did back breaking work by bending down digging ditches, ploughing and weeding ditches and maintaining fields in all weathers from the simmering heat to the ice cold dark days of winter. Many were skilled and were given a cottage by their employer so were quite well looked after.

Ben
 
The facts were stark,you worked the land or went hungry..people say they were the good old days..not so sure,life for most humans was like living like an animal..eat,sleep and shush!...nearly said it,there was no luxuries,the only luxuries in life was exactly that..LIFE..even the rich were not immune,sons and daughters,fathers,wives and husbands were taken often in shocking circumstances....and thats why the church played such a big part in many peoples lives..you had to believe and hope for a better afterlife..i salute the people who strived to make our lives easier today.
 
Hi Leefer

Their lives were ruled by daylight and darkness. At night they just had oil lanterns or candles. Did ag labs do a 7 day week or did they get a Sunday off?

They say that we dont know we are born.

Ben
 
Hi

I have some ag labs in my family as well and i have often wondered what it was but i had never checked it out but now i know. I will have to have a read about it and learn some more.

gibbo
 
Hi Ben and all,
All of my paternal rellies were either ag.labs(male) or lace makers(female), with few exceptions.
The cycle never stopped until after the WW1, when my grandfather got a job at the local brewery as a drayman. Up until that time even he was on the land.
Mechanisation was just starting to get a foothold, so the days of the ag.lab were about to change. I think my grandfather saw that coming.
My rellies worked on several farms in the area, as did most others depending on what crops were sown. So there was quite a community amonst them all.
My Gt.Grandmother was born on a farm, which in later years was sold off bit by bit to form a village. There were quite a few cottages which were rented out to employees(my rellies among them) which later became that small village when they were sold.
I doubt now that you could buy one for less than £350,000. How times have changed.

Steve.:)
 
Hi

My grandmother was born on a farm. Her father and grandfather either leased or owned the farm.

My 5xgreat grandfather George Boniface practically owned a whole village once. He ran the grocer shop, sold beer, was a farmer and had the leasehold of about 5 cottages which he rented out. Unfortunately he filed for bankruptcy in 1848 with debts running back to 1831. He died a poor ag lab in 1863. One of the people he owed money to in 1848 was another one of my 5xgreat grandfathers who was a wheelwright.

Ben
 
hi
My great grandfather started as a agr lab in wybunbury cheshire
then he was a pig dealer then after years as a joiner finaly had
his own farm in worcestershire which passed down to my
grandfather then to my fathers brother who died when his
tractor overturned on him i went the other way round worked on
farms in worcestershire and north wales then became a wood
machinest till i retired
astwood>:D
 
Hi

We all say that there are too many ag labs in our tree but we have to thrive on that and respect them really as they fed the country. They did back breaking work by bending down digging ditches, ploughing and weeding ditches and maintaining fields in all weathers from the simmering heat to the ice cold dark days of winter. Many were skilled and were given a cottage by their employer so were quite well looked after.

Ben

Hi Ben,

I grew up as the daughter of an agricultural labourer (Estate Maintainence Worker) I can still remember when my father had a heart attack caused by chemicals used to stop pigs fighting the employer went to the local court to obtain possesion of our home and the horror :eek: :eek: of being 'Put Out' of our home with nowhere to go, my father still criticaly ill in hospital.

Farm labourers wages untill recently were the lowest in the land, the quality of 'tied accomodation was often of very poor quality and hours worked very, very long and the employers often taking advantage of their Lordly position of their subserviant employees.

Gwen :)
 
Hello everyone Many of my ancestors were farm labours when the were to old to work they ended up in the local union workhouse where they ended their days I read a book on the swing riots 1830 when the farmlabourers tryed to fight back against low wages they were pretty brutaly stamped on some were even hanged many transported for nothing more than asking for a proper living wage [ok they also destroyed some propertys] but it was probably more desperation than malice.
 
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I have so many of these in my tree it isn't funny. That and "farm servant" and ploughman are the top 3. I wonder what their lives were like.
 
A Farm Servant was better paid than the Agricultural Labourer and was employed yearly where a Labourer would often have to move from Job to Job. Having a cottage supplied by your employer wasn't all that great as the employer would cut your wages accordingly and you never got enough money to save and if times were hard the farmer/land owner would sack you and turn you out of your home. My mother in laws family ancestors who were agricultural labourers ended up sleeping in the hedges tramping across the country looking for work. Agricultural workers have always been multi skilled, knowing about plants the weather animals and laying hedges building walls and putting up fences. They have always been adaptable learning new skills as new technology has come in.
 
Many researchers believe that farm labourers had a hard life have had their views clouded by the changes that occurred in the 19th century.
It should however be remembered that the working class of the 19th century had a hard life.

Prior to this, in medieval times, farm labourers worked fewer hours per month than we do in the present day.
It should also be remembered that money was not particularly important in those days either as the country ran under a system of barter rather than purchase.

Farm labourers were able to grow their own vegetables (what little were eaten), glean crops, gather wild fruit etc. Many would also rear their own pig.

If you put a monetary value on their lives they were poor; that would however be a mistake as many had a richer life than poor people today.
Cheers
Guy
 
Ag Lab, Ag Lab I have written that so many times on the Stemp side of the family, I think a few of the farms they lived and worked on down in ~Surrey stil exist. Nice to know that Farm Servant was a little different, just thought that was an old fashioned way of what we do nowdays and say Crossing Attendent instead of Lollipop Lady!
 
I think ploughman had higher status than the average farm worker as this was a highly skilled job. However there must have been slack periods when ploughing was not needed so not that great. I had an ancestor who worked navvying on the railway when there was no ploughing to be had.
 
I think ploughman had higher status than the average farm worker as this was a highly skilled job. However there must have been slack periods when ploughing was not needed so not that great. I had an ancestor who worked navvying on the railway when there was no ploughing to be had.

Yeah, a jack of all trades, and usually highly skilled and adaptable. It was work or starve in a lot of cases.
They would travel the country, on the 'circuit' so to speak, and go where the labour was needed according to the season and crops.

Steve.:)
 
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