Hall Genealogy Old Occupation Names
The Flag of St George & England
Updated Fri, 18-Mar-2011


Old Name
New Name or Meaning
Nailor / Naylor / Nellier 1) Made iron nails by hand More Info 2) Maintained the teeth (nails) on the carding machine used on wool & cotton before weaving
Naperer / Napier Servant in charge of table linen in large houses
Narrow Weaver Wove ribbons, tapes etc.
Navvy / Navigator / Navor Labourer on canals or railways, roads etc.
Neatherd /er Cowherd
Neats Foot Oil Dealer Neats Foot Oil is obtained by boiling the feet of cattle. It is used to render leather soft and pliable
Necessary Woman Servant who emptied and cleaned the chamber pots
Necker Fed the cardboard into box-making machinery
Nedeller Needle maker
Needle Pointer 1) Filed or fettled the points in needle manufacture 2) Needlepoint craftswoman
Netter Net maker
Night Soilman / Nightman Emptied cesspits, ashpits and outside toilets - "middins" - usually required to work from 9pm to 5am.See also Gong Farmer
Nightwalker Night watchman or bellman
Nimgimmer Doctor
Nipper Carter's assistant for delivery of goods
Nob Thatcher Wig maker
Noon Tender Guarded quayside goods whilst officers were at lunch
Noterer Notary
Nurse Child A child being looked after by another family for payment
Occupier Tradesman
Oil Colour Man Employed in the paint manufacturing trade, mixing pigmented paints
Oil & Colour Man Dealer in the victualling trade - not to be confused with the above!
Oilman Lamp oil seller
Oil Miller Miller of seed to extract oils for food manufacture. Rapeseed, cottonseed, linseed etc. Cottonseed oil was also used to lubricate the spinning mule.
Olitor Kitchen gardener – Olitory; a kitchen garden
Oliver Smith/Man A blacksmith who used a foot operated hammer called an Oliver
Onsetter Performs the duties of a Banksman, except at the bottom of the shaft.
On the Club This is not an occupation but is often seen in census returns. It refers the the person being out of work and drawing benefit from "the Club", which was an appropriate insurance scheme.
Orderly Military batman or officer's servant
Ordinary Keeper Innkeeper with fixed prices
Orrery Maker Made an apparatus which showed planetary movements - after the inventor, the Earl of Orrery
Orrice Weaver Designed / wove lace patterns in silk
Osier or Withy Peelers Peeled bark from willow stems (osiers) for basket weaving - usually women & children
Osler Bird catcher
Ostiary Monastery doorkeeper
Ostler / Hostler Originally, a Hostler was the host of an Inn or (H)ostelry. Later became the man employed to look after the horses of the visitors
Out Crier Auctioneer
Outworker Home-worker, particularly in weaving
Overlooker Overseer or foreman esp. in textile mills
Overman Colliery supervisor - checked the workers and coal quality
Overmantel Maker Craftsman who made ornamental structures over a mantelpiece.
See Example.
Overseer The officials who performed the assessment and collection of the poor-rates. More Info.
Owler Smuggler - particularly sheep or wool
Oyster Hawker Street seller of pickled oysters - 18/19th century
Oyster Dredger Crew member on an oyster boat
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