Old-Timey Family Occupations

People in my family have liked to transport goods for a really long time.

Thanks to Ancestry I know that in 1901 my great grandfather Charles Edmund Hill was listed as a “Carter.” He and his new bride lived in Moon’s Cottage in “Long Ditton, Surrey.” I had always believed that Charles was an “ag lab” or agricultural labourer, as that was what he had done when he came to Canada but the census shows differently.

The 1901 Census from County Surrey, Civil Parish Long Ditton, has 21-year-old Charles E Hill listed as occupation Carter.

What is a “carter” you ask?

Carter is of Irish, Scottish and English origin and is an occupational name given to one who transports goods by cart or wagon originally believed to be of Gaelic and Celtic origins. (per Wikipedia)

I know from pictures that my great-grandfather Charles really loved his horses. Could this have tied from his past working as a carter?

When I dug a little deeper, I was able to find the marriage record for Charles’ parents – George Hill and Jane Wattingham. At the time of their marriage, George and Jane were both living in “Ham”, a little over an hours walk away from where Charles and Ada would end up living in 1901. It was a wonderful document to find because it listed another occupation you may not be familiar with.

Jane’s father is listed as William Wattingham – occupation Drayman.

The marriage record for George Hill and Jane Wattingham in 1874 has Jane’s father William Wattingham listed as a “Drayman.”

What is a “drayman” you ask?

A drayman was historically the driver of a dray, a low, flat-bed wagon without sides, pulled generally by horses or mules that were used for transport of all kinds of goods. Now the term is really only used for brewery delivery men, even though routine horse-drawn deliveries are almost entirely extinct. Some breweries do still maintain teams of horses and a dray, but these are used only for special occasions such as festivals or opening new premises. There are some breweries still delivering daily/weekly using horses, Hook Norton in Oxfordshire being one of them. (per Wikipedia)

Is it any wonder that many members of my Hill family ended up driving trucks or running trucking companies and are still involved to this day? My uncle ran a very successful trucking company until he retired and passed the reigns to his daughter. Several of my dad’s brothers ended up as drivers for local and long haul deliveries as well. My father took a slightly different route and decided to do repairs to vehicles to keep them moving and has enjoyed “turning wrenches” for the last 30 years.

What are some interesting occupations you have come across in your family tree? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Talking before Two

Adelaide found “Cows” at Mapleton’s Organic Dairy and declared it for all to hear.

And just like that, she’s talking.

Sure her words aren’t the most clear all of the time, but she’s discovering sounds and creating sentences and loudly declaring anything that she recognizes so that everyone will know that she has found a fork, or a dog or a truck.

It’s been going on for months – her mouth forming words, so this shouldn’t come as a shock. But somehow this is. She got her haircut just over a week ago and since then it’s like she’s aged 6 months and is far older than this one-year-old about to turn two.

Adelaide found a “moose”

Yesterday as she played with her alphabet magnets, she loudly yelled out different letters of the alphabet. They didn’t match the magnet she held but she was trying to spell out words and was so confident in doing so.

At daycare she yelled out “Carinna I’m high” after climbing the rock climbing wall up to the top of the play structure. And then following up with “I go down slide”. Her babysitter was dumbfounded as it was like she was not the same baby anymore. She was a full blown toddler.

My husband calls her a “senior baby” and now she is a “senior executive baby.” I think there’s no denying her status – she is a Toddler with a capital “T” and I love her more than anything.

In less than a month, my little girl will be turning two and it’s going to be so magical and amazing because I never thought I’d reach this level of parenthood. We tried for so long to have a baby, that to have a two-year-old in the house is an incredible thing. Every new word she learns and every new skill she masters I stare at her and marvel at her awesomeness.

Adelaide pondering the world as she eats some “Nuts”

I made this wonderful thing and she is awesome.

A friend laughed when I told her how amazing it is to hear my daughter say “Mommy” in a way where it sounds like she has something really important to tell me. “That’s cute that you still love her talking,” she said.

Her voice was missing so long in my heart and it has filled me up and made me realize a love I never knew existed.

And the girl with that sweet little voice that I love, she’s going to be two July 31st.


Oh how lucky I am to be her “Mommy.”