• Welcome to Family History Forum 🔎

    Dive into a community where unraveling family history is a shared passion. Here, real people collaborate, offering advice, insights, and support in navigating the rich tapestry of genealogy. Engage in vibrant discussions, pose questions, or celebrate your latest findings on our active message boards.

    Whether you're piecing together ancestry or breaking through brick walls in your research, our forum is your essential resource 📚

    Join fellow family historians in this journey, where every story uncovered strengthens the bonds that connect us all 🔗

    Family History UK
  • Do you love Genealogy? Why not write for us? we're looking for volunteers to write articles for Family history. Please contact us for further information.

job descriptions

patrickw

Well-known member
Posts
148
Likes
0
Location
Colne Lancs
#1
While reading Izabels bleacher thread, it struck me how we can have different perceptions of what a word or description means. In my own case my great grandfather was described as a sleigh maker or slay maker. I though it meant that he made sledges for kids to play in the snow.!!!
I found out that it is in fact a skilled craft, making the under carrages of early horse drawn trams.
I bet others have come across similar, might make an interesting and ammusing thread.
 

gemmas' pal

Active member
Posts
70
Likes
0
Location
Kent
#3
Hello Patrickw,

A late reply I know but I've only just ventured into this thread.

I've a great little book which is a Dictionary of old trades, titles and occupations. Within this book a slay maker, or sleymaker, is a 'Maker of wooden combs for weaving'. Perhaps they advanced to undercarriages!

I've come across peruke makers. Couldn't even begin to guess on that one but apparently a peruker is a wig maker.

I don't like the sound of a whipper-in for those poor dogs!

If you're ever stuck on a trade description let me know as I may be able to help. The book certainly makes for interesting reading and it would be great to bring some of the job titles back into use!

Gemmas' pal
 

sml

Active member
Posts
81
Likes
0
Location
cheshire
#4
Hi GP,

Searching on behalf of a family member, I came across a male 48yr old's profession recorded as a "Stave Porter" in Rotherhithe, London in 1851.

Can you help?
And would love to know the title of your book.

Regards Sarah.
 

gemmas' pal

Active member
Posts
70
Likes
0
Location
Kent
#5
Hello Sarah,

There's always someone will pick something not in the book!

Nearest to Stave Porter is a Stavemaker: Maker of wooden strips for constructing barrels. Also a fence post maker. Also a walking stick maker.

Not sure if this helps. I guess it's down to what you want to imagine a Stave Porter is trying to carry! In the Rotherhithe area I think I would plump for barrels but don't hold me to that!

The book:

A Dictionary of Old Trades, Titles and Occupations by Colin Waters (intro by John Titford). Printed 1999, re-printed 2000. ISBN 1 85306 601 X and it cost £9.95 at the time of purchase. There's a website: www.countrysidebooks.co.uk - might now be out of print. If you can't find it I'm happy to answer queries!

GP
 

sml

Active member
Posts
81
Likes
0
Location
cheshire
#6
Gotcha!

But thanks for trying.

Have done some investigating myself.
There is a place called Stave Hill in Rotherhithe, built over much of what used to be Stave Dock of the Surrey Commercial Docks.
So I am assuming he most likely worked at this Dock as a Porter.

Thank you for sharing the book title.

Can you believe I am still waiting on that cert. Apparently, GRO have a terrible back-up of cert requests and returns.

Regards Sarah.
 

gemmas' pal

Active member
Posts
70
Likes
0
Location
Kent
#7
Interesting about Stave Hill and Dock, suggests a good deal of portering staves must have gone on! I must admit I had a change of mind and ended thinking bundles of walking sticks more likely for your porter! Walking sticks being very popular for those times as defense/attack weapons as well as for rickety legs! Probably they were regularly shipped to several places.

Not really surprised by the wait on the certificate. This geneology research is so big now. Can't wait to see if the 1911 Census crashes as with 1901. I imagine 1911 will be even more eagerly pounced on as it and the 1921 census will be the first of those leading into 'modern' years. We shall see!

GP
 

gemmas' pal

Active member
Posts
70
Likes
0
Location
Kent
#8
Sarah, found the following on this site: http://www.victorianlondon.org/mayhew/mayhew59.htm

I now come to the Timber and Deal trade. The labourers connected with this portion of the trade are rafters or raftsmen, and deal or stave porters; these are either "permanently" or "casually" employed. I shall give an account of each, as well as of the system pursued at each of the docks - beginning with the Commercial, because it does the most extensive business in this branch of the wood trade; and here let me acknowledge the obligations I am under to Mr. Jones, the intelligent and courteous superintendent, for much valuable information.
The Working Lumpers, as I before explained, are the labourers employed to discharge all wood-laden vessels except foreign ships, which are discharged by their own crews. The vessels unladen by the lumpers are discharged sometimes in the dock, and sometimes (when too heavily laden) in the river. The cargoes of wood-laden vessels are termed either landed or rafted goods. The landed goods are deals, battens, sleepers, wainscot logs, and, indeed, all but hewn timber, which is "rafted." When a vessel is unladen in the river, the landed goods are discharged by lumpers, who also load the lighters; whereas, in the dock, the lumpers discharge them into the company's barges, which are loaded by them as well. With smaller vessels, however, which occasionally go alongside, the lumpers discharge directly to the shore, where the "goods" are received by the company's porters. The lumpers never work upon shore. Of the porters working on shore, there are two kinds, viz., deal and stave porters, whose duty it is to receive the landed goods, and to pile and sort them, either along the quay or in the bonding ground, if duty has to be paid upon them.
From a stave porter at the same dock I had the following account:
"We are paid by the piece, and the price varies according to size - from 1s. 6d. to 10s. the 1,000. Quebec staves, 6 feet long by 2 inches thick, and a few inches broad, are 10s. the 1,000, and other sizes are paid in the same proportion, down to 1s. 6d. We pack the bigger staves about our shoulders, resting one stave on another, more like a Jack-in-the-Green than anything else, as our heads comes out in the middle of 'em. Of the biggest, five is a good load, and we pack all sizes alike, folding our arms to hold the smaller staves better. Take it altogether, we make at stave work what the deal porters do at their work; and indeed, we are deal porters when staves isn't in. There's most staves comes to the Surrey Canal Dock."

It's a good website re Victorian London but masses of tiny text!

GP
 

sml

Active member
Posts
81
Likes
0
Location
cheshire
#9
Gp, you are a treasure.
What a fantastic find. How do you do it?
I shall pass the info onto my uncle. I'm sure he'll be facinated. Thanks.
Regards Sarah.

Please check your private messages.
 

gemmas' pal

Active member
Posts
70
Likes
0
Location
Kent
#10
Only too happy to help. The thought of someone struggling with piles of walking sticks didn't sit too well so had to find another explanation! Amazing what you can find on the internet, especially as what I really do is just blunder about!

Love the Lumper job title!

GP
 

Similar threads

Top