London Census 1891 Transcription Blog



Victorian Occupations

A collection of the occupations or job descriptions of the people living in London in the 1890's.  Most of the descriptions are fairly self explanatory, I'll elaborate on the ones that aren't in due course.


Daguerreotype Artist An early name for a photographer (from the Daguerreotype method).
Dairyman worker or owner of a dairy farm or seller of dairy products
Damster A builder of dams for logging purposes.
Danter female overseer in the winding rooms of a silk mill
Dareman A Dairyman
Dataller, Dateler, Daytaleman or Day Labourer See Day Man
Daunsel A gentleman in waiting; groom; squire
Day Man A casual worker, usually employed and paid by the day, the term was used in many different industries and trades.
Dealer in Building Material Obvious really
Dealer in Books ditto
Dealer in Dogs ditto
Dealer in Handcarts ditto
Dealer in second hand clothes ditto
Dealer, Shop Shopkeeper, all kinds
Deathsman An Executioner.
Decimer A person elected by the householders in a street to act as their representative at the borough's Court Leet.
Decorator decorates houses
Decoyman A person employed to decoy the wild fowl, animals, etc, into a trap or within shooting range.
Decretist A person knowledgeable in decrees, decretals.
Deemer, Deemster, Demster or Dempster A judge, often in the Channel Isles or Isle of Man.
Delivery Clerk clerk in charge of delivery
Delver dug ditches
Dentist fixed teeth
Departer A refiner of precious metals.
Deputy safety officer for the pit crew in the mining industry.
Deputy, Lodging House made sure that everyone paid for their bed
Derrickman A person who worked on an oil well handling the tubes and rods used in drilling.
Devil printer's errand boy
Deviller operated the devil, a machine that tore rags used in the textile industry
Dexter A dyer
Dey Wife female dairy worker
Diamond Polisher polished diamonds
Digger A person who worked at the coal face in a mine, or a day labourer in a stone or slate quarry.
Dikeman A hedger or ditcher.
Dipper worked in the pottery trade and was responsible for the glazing of items
Dish Thrower, or Disher A person who made bowls and dishes from clay.
Dish Turner A person who made wooden bowls or dishes.
Distiller A person who made alcoholic beverages by distillation - spirits. Also called a Rectifier.
Distributor A parish official attached to the workhouse or poorhouse who looked after the secular needs of the poor.
Diviner See Dowser
Dock Cooper a cooper who worked on the dock
Docker Stevedore, dock worker who loads & unloads cargo
Dock Laborer american spelling of general labourer who worked on the dock
Dock Labourer general labourer who worked on the dock
Dock Master in charge of a dockyard
Dock Porter a porter who worked on the dock
Dock Walloper A dock worker, or Longshoreman.
Doctor's Lad, Porter doctor's assistant
Dog Breaker A person who trained dogs.
Dog Killer A person employed by the parish to kill any dogs found wandering around loose.
Dog Leech A veterinarian.
Dog Muzzle Maker made dog muzzles
Dog Whipper When foxes were hunted for bounty the tail of the fox was nailed to the church door as proof of capture. The Dog Whipper was employed to deal with the dogs which disrupted the church service, attracted by the tails.
Domesman Nickname for a judge.
Domestic, Dom or Domestic Servant household servant
Donkey Boy or Man The driver of a carriage for passengers.
Door Keeper guard, janitor, or porter
Dorcas A seamstress.
Doubler A person who operated a machine used to twist together strands of cotton, wool or other fibre.
Dowser or Diviner Someone who claims to be able to find water underground, using a forked rod or witching stick made of hazel.
Dozener See Decimer.
Dragman A fisherman who fished by dragging a net along the bottom of the water.
Dragoman A Turkish or Arabic interpreter.
Dragoon A cavalryman.
Drainer A person who made drains.
Draper dealer in fabrics and sewing needs, cotton, linen and woollen, or a dealer in dry goods
Draper Come Traveller travelling draper
Draper's Assistant assisted - obvious really
Draper's Porter carried stuff for a draper
Drapery Painter One whose painting skills were not that good, they usually finished paintings for the artists by painting on the clothes of the subject, hence Drapery Painter.
Draughtsman drew technical drawings
Draughtsman Engineer got a degree and drew technical drawings
Drawboy A weavers assistant in the shawl making mills. They sat atop the looms and lifted the heavy warps.
Drawer A person who made wire by drawing the metal through a die, or a person who raised the coal up the shaft to the surface in a mine.
Dray Man or Drayman One who drives a long strong 4 wheeled cart called a dray, without fixed sides for carrying loads, usually beer kegs
Dredgerman A person who went on the River Thames in a boat to collect the debris that had fallen overboard from other vessels which they would then sell. Also an Oyster Fishermen.
Dress Fitter fitted dresses
Dress Maker made dresses
Dresser A surgeon's assistant in a hospital, or a person who prepared things, e.g. clothing for a noble person, food, etc. Also a person who operated a machine that prepared threads in the textile industry.
Dressing Gown Maker made dressing gowns
Dressing Machine Maker A person who made sewing machines.
Dressmaker A person who made clothing, particularly dresses.
Drift Maker A person who made drift nets, used in the fishing industry.
Dripping Man dealer in dripping (the fat collected during the cooking of meats)
Driver A slave overseer.
Drover One who drove cattle, sheep to market, also a dealer in cattle.
Drugger A Chemist or Pharmacist.
Druggist prepared drugs for sale
Drug Grinder ground drugs to a powder
Drum Battledore Maker A person who made galvanised metal drums fitted with paddles used as mechanical agitators in washing machines (battledore is the name of the bat shaped paddles).
Drum Maker made drums
Drummer Traveling salesman
Dry Salter A dealer in pickles, dried meats, salted meats, and sauces. A dealer in dyes and colours used in the dying trade. Also a person who made or dealt in salt.
Dry Stone Waller A person who built stone walls usually using the stones removed from the fields as building materials. The art was in not using any cement or mortar. Dry Stane Dyker - Scottish term for the same thing.
Dubbere A cloth dubber, someone who raises the nap of the cloth.
Dudder A maker of coarse cloaks.
Duffer peddler of cheap goods
Dustman or Dustbin Man collected domestic refuse, a garbage collector
Dyer employed in the textile mills to color fabric prior to weaving
Dykeman or Dysshere A hedger or ditcher.
Dyker Scottish term for a stonemason.