So you have found the occupation of your ancestor, now what? Ancestral occupations can give clues to who our ancestors were, how they lived, where they lived, and most importantly, give them individual identity and personality. The sources that identify occupations are numerous. Church records, city directories, census records, wills, and land records are just a few that may list professions. Once you know how your ancestor earned a living, what’s next? This is where the inquisitive personality of a genealogist proves most valuable. The time spent researching can prove very rewarding. There is much we can discover about our families from their occupations and allow them to live again so that future generations can come to understand their heritage.
Nancy Waters Lauer is a researcher, lecturer, college instructor, and award-winning author. She has extensive speaking experience throughout the Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia area. She has presented at national and regional conferences including NGS, FGS, and Rootstech.