By Shannon Bennett, Student
Many of my and my husband’s family come from England. Lots. Lots and lots. Did I say quite a few? Well, needless to say I am intrigued by the records that are over there but at times I do not understand exactly what is being said. We sort of speak the same language.
I am sure some of you can relate. Even here in the US our words have evolved over time. For example I had an ancestor who was a paperhanger. What in the world did that mean? After I researched it I learned he hung wallpaper (in addition to painting houses and odd stints as a carpenter).
It occurred to me that as I delved deeper into various records across the pond that I might come into more and more occupations that I didn’t quite understand, let alone understand the way the labor system was set up there. Thankfully there is a course I can take through The National Institute to help me learn all about this side of genealogy.
My next course is English: Occupations. Professions and Trades by Dr. Penelope Christensen. I have to say it looks intriguing! Looking over the syllabus it really looks like it is going to cover a wide range of information across a variety of fields. Most of our family ancestors were farmers or miners with a couple who were merchants or had a trade. While none of them were professionals, I think it will be interesting to learn that aspect as well since you never know when that type of information will come in handy in the future.
Fingers crossed it is not all modern, or 20th century, occupations. That would be okay for one of my husband’s lines, but I hope there is information about occupations and trades from the 1800s and before. Better yet, I hope there is information presented that might just cross over to the colonies. That would really make me ecstatic.
On that note I am off to start the first module. This course has me really excited and intrigued. Here’s to using it to understand my family heritage a bit better!