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09 September 2009

Learn about your ancestor's occupation

What do you really know about your ancestor's occupation and how he or she probably lived their life? Learning about the tools of their trade or what life was like for the typical cotton warper, mill worker, tailor, etc. may give you some additional insight into your ancestor's life.

Even if you think you know, you might not.

I grew up on a farm, but farm life when I grew up was different from when my father did (we never had horses for one), and it was certainly different from when my great-great-grandparents were farming. The first time I read of a "stationary baler" in a pension file, I did not know what it was. Hay balers, as far as I were concerned, were never stationary. Then it dawned on me, in 1900, they would have taken the hay to the baler. Hence the term, stationary baler.

If you read the term "stationary baler" as an item in a 1900 era probate file would you even have known what it was? Sometimes google helps with these things and sometimes it doesn't.

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