Last night while watching TV something crossed my mind that made me smile. We were watching “Storm Chasers.” Half crazed young men and a few women that roam around Arkansas during the high peak of tornado season, planting themselves in the path of developing tornados, all in the name of science. I must say bravo to them, with all that they discover, buildings, roads and warnings become well built, maintained and safety has increased.
As I sat watching them become giddy and animated I started to wonder what their job title would look like on the Census for this century. Would they be hidden in an over arching bland scientific research title or would they actually be listed as “storm chaser.” What a neat thing for a great grandchild to find and wonder about in the year 2050.
This stream of thought then sent me on a search of old occupations that have fallen off of the census or the occupation titles have changed with the times. I found a list of colonial occupations; doctors were referred to as Leech or Sawbones. Wharfingers owned wharfs, whitewings were street sweepers and costermongers peddled fruit.
Genealogy Quest has its own list of occupations from ships passenger lists, census returns and other documents.
For fun check out the stats on the census for 1851, 1861 and 1871 and see how the occupations have either grown, shrunk or were created over the 30 year period in Europe.