View Full Version : We are posh in Liverpool !
I cant remember when I last had an " Ag Lab " as an occupation.........plenty of farmers living in Roads & Streets............did the term die out ?
Alan, i have very few Ag Labs in my tree, the one's i have seem to be In-Law's.
Saying that.........I'm posh anyway....ROFL !!!
Ag Lab (Agricultural Labourer) sounds like an official term invented for compiling statistics. I imagine the people themselves would have described themselves as just labourers or workers or perhaps farmer's men or maybe something slightly more specialised like dairyman or pig man. A Farmer ought to mean someone who owned or was a tenant on a farm, ie employer rather than employee.
Just been googling for something written about the job of the Ag Lab, cant find it but I came across this from our own site member Georgette
Olde Crone Holden
An agricultural labourer was a specific job title to describe a labourer on the land who was paid by the day and lived out.
Ag labs as such died out because the practise of paying by the day died out.
I have now found what I was searching for earlier so here it is.
Ag Labs. Salt of the Earth! How about this? Found in Liverpool Family Historian June 02
Food For Thought- He must have been an Ag Lab
"Ask yourselves whether you know the gestation period for a sheep or a cow, and you can't read or write to make a note of it. The ag lab knew when the animal would calve by observing the position of the stars and work it out from that, or from the particular religious festivals being celebrated in church at the appropriate times. Reading and writing is one thing, but it wasn't necessary, numeracy however or a limited knowledge of it was essential so as to count his or his masters livestock and his own money and to tell the time. It was no good thinking that 7 o'clock came immediately after three bells had just struck on the church clock!
There was no electricity, the lanes were bad and there was no health service. The Ag lab knew how to make his own rush lights to light his home, the shortest and driest route between 2 places and which herbs to pick as remedies for his families ailments. He knew his neighbours far better than we know ours. We isolate ourselves in our cars and in front of our television sets. He relied on neighbours with different skills from his, to help him out when the need arose. He was thrifty where we borrow on bits of plastic he and his family had to make ends meet regardless or with great shame go on the parish.
Yes he could even forecast his local weather watching the reactions of wildlife and plants to changing conditions. He was far better at it than any of us from our centrally heated homes and offices. He knew how to thatch and how to get straight straw for thatching whereas we send for experts to fix a cracked slate.
He was tough. He could walk for days behind a plough, pulled by a team of horses, and still walk miles to church each Sunday. A 20 mile walk laden with produce or purchases to and from market each week was also the norm for some. No fancily equipped gymnasium for him, yet he was fitter than today's health freaks who maybe should take a lesson or two from his ancestors.
Can you use a sickle or scythe from dawn to dusk, in all weathers? Can you snare a rabbit for dinner or cut beanpoles from a hedge in a manner that will promote further growth? Can you mix your own whitewash, or train a dog to hunt or round up sheep for you? Come to that can you milk a cow or slaughter and butcher a sheep or pig?
So called ag labs were no fools. they survived and very few of us would be here to read this if they hadn't!
I was really "skitting" at myself ....................quite a few relations were 'Ag labs' in fact that was the usual occupation. I got all exited when the odd one was an engineer or in one case a surgeon. Since I've been transcribing, the term ' Farmers ' seem to have replaced Ag Labs as occupations.
Thanks to all for your responses.
I think it's only logical that there were fewer Ag Labs in cities such as Liverpool. Most of the Ag Labs in my tree lived in villages, which were surrounded by farmland. My Liverpool ancestors had other occupations such as Mariner, Shipwright, Pawnbroker, Auctioneer, Painter & Glazier, Plumber, etc.
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