Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day - The Jobs of My Ancestors

Farmers, farmers, farmers, more farmers. That was my 1st thought about the jobs of my ancestors. When I really stopped to look I found a few other occupations but my first impression was pretty accurate. Out of 28 ancestors over 4 generations, there were 25 farmers although 6 of them had another job for at least a short time or as a supplement to farming. 

4. John William McCauley - farmer, coal miner
6. Elmer Dennis Hopkins - railroader
7. Emma Ewers Taylor - teacher, post office clerk, bank clerk, postmistress

8. Joseph Smith Lanier - farmer
10. Thomas Leander Hankins - farmer, Baptist minister
12. James Arton Hopkins - farmer
14. John Cook Taylor - farmer, blacksmith

16. William Washington Lanier - farmer
18. John T. Bennett - farmer
20. Albert Hankins - farmer
22. John R. Petty - farmer
26. John Covey Howard - farmer
28. James Francis Taylor - farmer, wagonmaker
30. Madison Crawford Owens - farmer

32. James Lanier - farmer
34. Samuel Jackson - farmer, carpenter
36. Lewis Bennett - farmer
38. David Gamble - farmer
40. Houston Hankins - farmer
42. John Emerson Goodloe - farmer
46. Jesse Thomas - farmer, miner
50. Stephen Hopkins, Jr. - farmer
52. John Howard - farmer
54. Littleton Morris - farmer
56. William Taylor - farmer
58. Thomas Ramsey, Jr. - blacksmith
60. Alfred Owens - farmer
62. Wesley Owens - farmer

To find an unusual occupation among my ancestors, you have to go back to my 10th great-grandfather, Nicholas Lanier. Nicholas was a musican in the Court of King Henry II of France and the Courts of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I of England. In 1604 he was named Musician of the Flutes. Several of his sons and grandsons were also court musicians.

Information about Nicholas Lanier from "Lanier, A Genealogy of the family who came to Virginia and their French ancestors in London" by Louise Ingersoll (Washington, D. C.: Goetz Printing Company, 1965). For sources on the other occupations, see my website.

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