Author Topic: Autobiographies of Working People 1820-1920 - perhaps one of yours?  (Read 12465 times)

Offline Biker

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Autobiographies of Working People 1820-1920 - perhaps one of yours?
« on: Saturday 20 May 06 13:43 BST (UK) »
Hello

I recently dug up a fascinating book Useful Toil edited by John Burnett - I think it's out of print but available here and there.

A rarity, it has edited versions of autobiographies of ordinary working people, some in diary form, some in narrative form about their everyday lives.  Some of the excerpts are short, some long and quite detailed.  An introductory section for each autobiography gives a bit of family history of the individual and some context to the writings.

I thought I might list them here should it help anyone is their researches, but if not it's a great piece of social history and an interesting read.

Anonymous Navvy -  b. abt 1820

Tom Mullins -  Farm Labourer, b. 1863 nr Macclesfield bur. 1950s Rushton Spencer

Lucy Luck - Straw Plait Worker, b. 1848 Tring, Hertfordshire

John Ward (O'Neil) - Weaver, b. Carlisle 1810, worked in Clitheroe, d. 1876.

William Luby - Sweet Boiler, b. Hulme nr. Manchester 1883

Thomas Jordan - Coal Miner, b Birtley, Durham 1892

B. L. Coombes - Coal Miner, b. c1894 Herefordshire, worked in South Wales

Winifred Griffiths - Shop Assistant, b. 1895 Overton nr Basingstoke, Hampshire

Rosina Whyatt - Munitions Factory Worker, b. 1888 Somerset

William Tayler - Footman, b. Grafton Oxfordshire 1807 worked in Oxon and London

William Lanceley - House Steward, b. 1854 worked at the Curragh and elsewhere

Gabriel Tschumi - Chef, b. nr Lausanne Switzerland 1882 worked in the London Royal Households

John Robinson - Butler

Edward Humphries - Page Boy, b. Totnes Devon 1889

Lilian Westall - House Maid, b. Mortlake 1893, father a cricket bat maker

Lavinia Swainbank - House Maid, b. Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1906 daughter of a Blacksmith Striker

Winifred Foley - General Maid, b. 1914 Brierley, Forest of Dean, Father a Miner

Jean Rennie - Scullery Maid, Kitchen Maid and Cook Housekeeper, b. 1906 Greenock Scotland, daughter of a Clydesdale rivetter, worked in Argylleshire, Ripon, Kelso, Surrey, London

Charles Newnham - Carpenter and Builder, b. Rochester Kent 1799, father a Freeman, worked in London esp on Millbank Penitentiary

Emanuel Lovekin - Mining Butty, b. Tunstall Staffs 1820, father a furnaceman.

An Old Potter (Anonymous) - Potter, b. Tunstall, Potteries 1832

Thomas Wood - Engineer, b. Bingley Yorkshire 1822, son of a handloom weaver

Henry Broadhurst - Stonemason, b. Littlemore nr Oxford 1840, son of a stonemason

George Sturt - Wheelright, owned wheelright shop Farnham Surrey 1880s-1920.

Paul Evett - Compositor, b. St Peters Jersey 1886, son of a battery sargeant major in the Royal Artillery.  Moved to Dukinfield Cheshire.

Arthur Gill - Gold Beater and Ticket Writer, b. Claro Place Leeds 1887, father a boot/shoe repairer

T.R. Dennis - Cabinet Maker, b. Preston Lancs 1910


Cheers  :)
Biker
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Offline Gadget

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Re: Autobiographies of Working People 1820-1920 - perhaps one of yours?
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 20 May 06 15:46 BST (UK) »
Hi Biker

This was in the list of refs that you gave me a few weeks ago. I checked Amazon and found quite a few second hand copies there - price varying from about £2 to £22. As I was going on holiday, I didn't order then but have this morning  :) and have been notified that I should get it by 24th May - not bad eh?

I was also wondering if it might be useful to have a pegged list of such general references for those of us who are 'into' the social history side of our family history. I realise that many might be area/occupational specific but a list of general ones would be a useful resource.

Gadget
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Offline Biker

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Re: Autobiographies of Working People 1820-1920 - perhaps one of yours?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 20 May 06 17:02 BST (UK) »
Hi Gaget

Glad you ordered the book.  I finally found mine again after being reminded of it when you posted the question and have now re-read it.  Think you'll find it quite informative.  Apart from the autobiographies there are quite good sections which put them in context (e.g. wages, conditions, events etc).

It would be nice to have a list of basic reference books on social history for those who are interested, but I wonder ...  where would it end as there are so many  :) 

Most of my books are London oriented but have some others.  I've been thinking of doing one for London but it's quite a task so will do it when time permits ... and will answer posts as the come up in the meantime.

Are you volunteering to compile a general one? ;D

Enjoy the book!

Cheers
Biker
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Offline jinks

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Re: Autobiographies of Working People 1820-1920 - perhaps one of yours?
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 20 May 06 18:14 BST (UK) »
I started a thread on the Lancashire board,
about local history books in the hope that people
would add to it (very few did).

I have plenty of books on local history, parish
registers, biographies and find them interesting.
I find that Family History and Local History (to me
anyway) go hand in hand.

Jinks
Ashton Lancashire
Eccles Lancashire
Fletcher Lancashire
Harwood Church/Darwen
Jackson Staffordhire/Worcestershire
Jenkinson Cockerham
Marsden Hoghton Lancashire
Mercer Lancashire/Yorkshire
Pye Wyresdale
Singleton Lancashire
Swarbrick  Longridge
Watt Scotland/Lancashire

Offline MarieC

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Re: Autobiographies of Working People 1820-1920 - perhaps one of yours?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 21 May 06 10:29 BST (UK) »
I couldn't agree more that we need a list of books on social history.

There are some threads on Rootschat, but they aren't stickied so it is a bit hard to find them again. 

Please can we have, in one place, stickied, a resource of social history that people can access?

MarieC
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Offline Keith Bateman

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Re: Autobiographies of Working People 1820-1920 - perhaps one of yours?
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 21 May 06 10:46 BST (UK) »
Hi Biker,

That sounds like a great book - and the general idea as well.

Always nice to find out about the old occupations of your ancestors - I think I know more about Papermaking than PC's!!  ;D

Cheers

Keith
Bateman - Ware, Herts, London.<br />Partington - Liverpool - Devon - Manchester<br />Foster - Liverpool - Manchester - Scotland<br />Gates - Cumberland - Liverpool - Manchester - Australia<br />Westwood - Ware, Herts<br /><br /><br />"Any information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk"

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Offline Lady Di

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Re: Autobiographies of Working People 1820-1920 - perhaps one of yours?
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 21 May 06 11:01 BST (UK) »

Excellent suggestion  8)

I, for one, would be very interested in books about the social history of the areas my families lived.

It is terribly hard to access any books from overseas when you don't know what they exactly contain.

Recommendations and summary of books would be a tremendous bonus.

Please, Please, Please  :-* :-* :-*
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Offline Gadget

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Re: Autobiographies of Working People 1820-1920 - perhaps one of yours?
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 21 May 06 11:03 BST (UK) »
Alright then, if you send me a bottle of something nice. Just come in for a coffee.

I'll get started tonight with the refs that I acquired on the other thread and some I know of and then other people can add their twopenn'orth.

Novels are also useful.

Gadget
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Offline d.weaving

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Re: Autobiographies of Working People 1820-1920 - perhaps one of yours?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 21 May 06 11:18 BST (UK) »
My father wrote his autobiography on his working life before he died,my brother reckons he sent it off to be publshed,but we have never found it,
I would have been interested to know how much personal detail he wrote,
he certainly had a sad and tragic life,thats a story in itself.
Derek.