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co durham
Hi, my G G Grandfather William Muir has his father as William Muir, Chemist on his marriage cert in 1872.

Although the marriage was in Newcastle, William was born in Scotland.

Upon searching I find that 'chemist' isnt that common an occupation on the census and there are no Muir chemists in either the 1871 or 1861 census.

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to what else he could have described his occupation on the census.

Any help much appreciated.

I may be wrong, but if they meant chemist as in druggist etc, would he, presumably an educated man , not have given his occupation as pharmacist? Is it not more likely that he was exactly what it says on the tin, a chemist, perhaps in industry or in a school or college. Just a thought
good luck with your search

Who was William Muir's wife? I have looked on 1881 and cannot find anyone with that name in Newcastle who has an occupation that soundsa like a chemist. I found a Wm Muir a Tailor in 1881. Could he have changed his occupation later on?


It was the father William that was named as a Chemist - the son is the tailor in Newcastle, he is my G G Grandfather.

I actually believe I have solved the problem - I have for some time had my eye on a family in Edinburgh that I had a hunch may be mine but for the occupation of the father as labourer.

I have followed this family closely and found the mother to be Margaret Cochrane - I looked at her death details on Scotlands People last night and it says that she is widow of William Muir CHEMICAL works labourer.

I'm now convinced that this family is mine. Thanks for everyones interest and help.


If he was a chemical works labourer then he may well have either changed to that or was a labourer before becoming a chemist.

My 3xgreat grandfather was a labourer in a soap factory for a while.

I have a great great grandfather that went from canal boatman to bricklayer to chemist to master builder. I can't think he was that educated. He ran a chemists shop. But chemist could also mean someone that tests chemical composition as in dye works or a brewery, so its not always clear.