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What’s my job?

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By Fiona Reid
On The Web
What's my job?

Fethelar, Girnalman, Hind - can you guess what these jobs used to be be?

Anyone searching their family history has probably come across some terms they don’t understand. Occupations can be particularly tricky to work out, as they don’t always still exist today.

We found a website that could help you untangle just what your ancestors did for a living.
The has a page devoted to old occupations in Scotland.
Entries that caught my eye included alewife, a woman who ran an alehouse; bathsmaster, the manager of a town pool; Berlin blacker, someone who applied a dull black varnish as a coating for ironware products; bedeswoman, a licensed beggar; boots, a general hotel porter; bower, a maker of bows for arrows; and cadger, a travelling pedlar.
Also on the list: cautioner, a person who stands surety for another, for example for the arrival of a groom on his marriage day; a chapper, employed to knock on doors of early risers. eg bakers, jute workers etc; colporteur, a travelling book seller; and dagmaker, a maker of pistols.
But can you guess what the following jobs entailed?
* Howdywife
* Night soil carrier
* Ranselman
* Sawbones
* Vabster
* Orraman

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