Drugster? Snobscat? Can you guess these old-time occupations?
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Occupations come and go, and sometimes job names do, too. Here are a few classics you probably won't be seeing on résumés for the class of 2015: ?brewster or maltster ? maker of ales, beers, and other alcoholic beverages ?chandler ? candle maker; also seller of provisions ?cooper ? barrel maker (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.) ?crocker ? pottery maker ?currier ? prepares or dresses leather for another trade; one who uses a curry comb to dress a horse ?cutler ? makes or sells knives or swords ?drugster ? a druggist or apothecary ?farrier ? a horse doctor or one who replaces horseshoes ?glass bender ? worker in a glassworks who forms glass into curved panels or tubes ?joiner or joyner ? an expert in properties of wood who joins different woods with glue or special joints for cabinetmakers ?muleskinner ? a teamster (driver of a team of animals, not always mules) ?ordinary ? innkeeper ?sawyer ? precisely cuts wood and makes veneers for cabinetmakers ?slater ? roofer ?snob or snobscat ? cobbler; repairer of shoes ?turner ? uses a lathe to turn wood into spindles, rods, decorative woodwork ?vulcan ? iron worker; blacksmith (Blacksmith, Southeast Missouri Farms. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.) ?wainwright ? wagon maker ?webster ? loom operator ?white cooper ? makes barrels from tin or other light metals ?whitesmith ? works with tin; tinsmith ?woodsrider ? supervisor of a lumber operation Sometimes you'll find clues to occupations in surnames. A person's occupation or place of residence was often used to differentiate between individuals and may later have been adopted as a surname (Barber, Miller, Weaver). You can also find clues about a person's occupation in records you're already familiar with: draft registration records, death certificates, passenger lists, naturalization records, obituaries, tombstone inscriptions, marriage records, land and court records, city directories, and, of course, the census. (Adapted from George G. Morgan's I Saw What You Did, which appeared in Ancestry magazine. You can listen to George, along with Drew Smith in the Genealogy Guys podcasts.) Is your surname derived from the occupation of your ancestors'