As the old family tree grows, obviously the number and type of occupations carried out by relatives grows too. For instance, while a large number of my relatives have been agricultural labourers, I have also discovered Farriers, Railway Workers, Dressmakers, Glovemakers, bricklayers, professional soldiers and a travelling book salesman.
Although it’s one thing adding an occupation to the chart, I’d like to find out a bit more about the jobs my relatives did and how they fitted into the bigger historical picture – I find Who Do You Think You Are? really interesting as they tell you about the relatives but explain the historical context too, showing where the relative sat in the wider society of the time.
I’ve found the ‘Tracing Your … Ancestors’ series from Pen and Sword books really useful for finding out about specific occupations or areas – I have the Railways and Yorkshire titles and bought the Liverpool book for my Grandfather-in-law for Christmas. They take a sensible and clear approach to showing the kind of records you can use for each occupation and where your next steps might be.
My Great Grandfather, Sidney Martin was a Railwayman and I’ve managed to find what I think is his employment record but, as I say, as Martin is such a common name, it is a tricky business!