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Week 39: My ancestor was a carter or carman

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  • Week 39: My ancestor was a carter or carman

    Week 39: Carter/Carman

    This is an opportunity to showcase a carter or carman from your family tree, you might want to offer a short biography and speak about their work eg
    Birth location/date
    Family background
    Where you've found them on the census
    Their workplace/employer
    Any tips on researching this occupation?

    Trades and Occupations - Family Tree Forum

    [Next week: Wheelwright]​

  • #2
    My great grand father Henry Page was a carman. Born 1863 in Leeds Kent, I imagine it was his knowledge of horses that enabled him to do the job. He probably worked for his brother George who had his own business in Belvedere, Kent.
    They left Leeds, likely for economic reasons and turn up on the 1881 census in Belvedere where they lived for the rest of their lives, where they married and raised families.


    • #3
      George Hurt, my G Grandfather was a Drayman on 1891 census and a Brewers Carter on 1901 census. He was born 28 November 1853. Baptised twice in the same church 5 years apart. He married and had 2 children and unfortunately Georgiana died soon after. He then married my G Grandmother Harriet on 6 November 1881 At the same church he was baptised at. They went on to have 10 children and all survived. He died on 24 June 1903 of pneumonia 21 days. Wonder if he got kept working when ill and got worse and worse. We will never know. He was buried in Rock Cemetery in a grave purchased by his wife Harriet for £3 3s 6d. His youngest child was 3.

      Searching Lowe, Everitt, Hurt and Dunns in Nottingham


      • #4
        One of the Facebook local history groups has just posted a carman's time sheet for one day from the 1920s, which had to be handed in at the employer's (a builder) at the end of every day. It has the following (blank) headings:

        Loads Description of Goods Time Weight Where from Where delivered

        The carman also had to note if it was a 1 horse or 2 horse delivery, and there is space for 8 journeys.


        • #5
          I have lots of car(t)men who left agricultural labouring and swapped village life for either local towns or the city from the 1890's to 1914. The introduction of more agricultural machinery meant farming was less labour intensive and so not as many staff were needed, whilst the expansion of the railway system created a need for additional unloading, transporting and delivering goods. So, many farm lads left the land and chanced their luck by becoming the white van men of their day. (They were highly skilled at working with horses and carts.) The wages were higher, but they lost their rent-free accommodation and, depending on their boss, some also had had a weekly allowance of free milk, eggs, and butter, with the occasional side of bacon thrown in in the Autumn. Their cottage garden had also provided them with free seasonal fruit and veg, which could be stored away to last throughout the year. Farm work had meant a longer working week and less money, but life in the town and city probably brought a less healthy diet and a more polluted environment. Swings and roundabouts, perhaps.
          Janet in Yorkshire

          Genealogists never die - they just swap places in the family tree


          • #6
            My grandfather Henry Ellison Dodds was a Haulage Contractor by the time of the 1921 census, living in a the small hamlet of Ingoe in Northumberland. He progessed to owning a bus in the early 1930's and ran a weekly service to Newcastle-upon-Tyne as well as a wekkly service to the more local town of Hexham. One of the stories I was told was that he would go around the village collecting the butter and eggs for the market and would take them to someone on the market to sell on the village ladies behalf. He would then collect the takings and rtake them back to all the relevant parties on his return to the village. He gave up the haluage business and moved south in 1935 for the sake of his wife's health and died in 1942 (ironically his wife didn't pass away unti 1979)