More than a musical footnote Joe Gregory, popular accordionist and band leader

Joe Gregory’s name crops up online from time to time, usually as a mention in the history of “the oldest record shop” Spillers Records in Cardiff. An album launch by big name rock band The Pixies at the shop got it (and Joe) page 3 attention in The Guardian (14th September print edition) {1}.

There’s not much on the web about Joe, accordionist and band leader originally from Bush Houses, Tonypandy and a first cousin twice removed, so here’s a start at collating what is out there and adding to it. » Continue reading More than a musical footnote Joe Gregory, popular accordionist and band leader

Not quite teetotal Norwich ancestors A pub for every day of the year

One of the first stories to emerge when reviewing my initial family history research some years ago was the contrast between my Norwich born grandparents tendency to alcohol abstinence and the number of pubs managed by relatives. I made some notes at the time but never quite got round to turning them into an article. A U3A group session on ‘Pubs and Publicans’ {1} has spurred me on.

A family of pubs or non-drinkers?

 » Continue reading Not quite teetotal Norwich ancestors A pub for every day of the year

Squeals of delight The wheeling dealing Osbornes

Another delightful occupational title has come to light, after a little gap filling and “new” records checking on the family tree {1}. Previously I had somehow identified 4x great grandfather Joseph Osborne as a (farm) labourer, supposedly per his son Robert’s marriage registration {5}. However, on making use of Ancestry’s Somerset collection, the original image for this event shows him to be a ‘Pig Jobber’!

As defined by a list of old occupations {2}, this is someone who “Bought pigs and then sold them off for profit”. » Continue reading Squeals of delight The wheeling dealing Osbornes

The changing face of work Electric job generation

The changing lines of work, along with developments in technology and society, come through clearly in searches on the September 1939 register {1}. Of course, many others continue to be employed in more traditional jobs of shop keeper, coal miner, metal worker, gardener, insurance agent, teacher, printer etc. {4}

Some examples below, but this piece starts off with an oddity or two.

Much call for this line of work?

As already illustrated in Pitching for a job, occupation descriptions can be remarkably obscure to modern eyes. » Continue reading The changing face of work Electric job generation

Pitching for a job Work is unclear, but wedding photo sorted

September 1939 is not so far away as to think that a work description, certainly one for an English job, could be difficult to understand. But what exactly might be involved in being a ‘Trinidad Pitch Pourer’, as seen in this 1939 register extract?

roberts1939_pitchpourer

After a little digging on Wikipedia, Trinidad Pitch must be the product of Pitch Lake in Trinidad {1} – the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world. But was John H Roberts pouring it to make road surfaces, perhaps for roofing, to caulk boats, or what? » Continue reading Pitching for a job Work is unclear, but wedding photo sorted

Going to see Uncle An everyday tale of pawnbroker folk

A bonus, month, subscription to FindMyPast has enabled another trawl of the British Newspaper Archive records. There are more digitised journals than the last time round, but a new target seemed a good idea. Who in the family tree might be most likely to appear in a regional or local rag?

The answer was pretty obvious, given that the latest issue of Who Do You Think You Are magazine {1} turned the gaze of its regular occupation pages onto pawnbrokers. » Continue reading Going to see Uncle An everyday tale of pawnbroker folk