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Flatman/Floatman.

p.risboy

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I've found a John Thomas b.1821.Cheshire with occupation as Flatman. I've searched the 'old occupations' site and found the description.

Boatman on a flat bottom boat (a flat) used in shallow waters (mainly rivers and canals) for transport. The term also came to refer to shallow-draft coastal sailing vessels.

http://rmhh.co.uk/occup/index.html

So it looks like I have found him in 1841 census, in Witton cum Twambrooks, Gt.Budworth, Northwich.
All I need to do is find his wife Ann and child Thomas in 1851.

Steve.:)
 
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