Author Topic: Do you have corkcutter ancestors?  (Read 78138 times)

Offline Timbottawa

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Do you have corkcutter ancestors?
« on: Monday 04 October 04 14:03 BST (UK) »
Dear All,

My g-g-grandfather was a cork cutter.  I've never been totally sure what that involves, but making stoppers for bottles and so forth would have been involved, I'm sure.

In about half a dozen references to his occupation, from census records, birth and marriage certificates of his children, he is always a cork cutter.  To my surprise, on the most recent acquisition, another birth certificate of a child, he is a "Tobacconist (Master)".  This is only 5 months after the 1861 census, in which he is still a cork cutter.  Unless the apprenticeship for a master tobacconist was very short (and he subsequently returned to cutting cork!), I presume that there must be some link between these two professions.  Googling doesn't show any obvious link.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Tim
Boyle, Butler, Yarborough, Baldwin, Midwood, McHale, Carter, Noble, Kay, Raper, Greenwood, Swift

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Offline genna

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Re: Cork cutting
« Reply #1 on: Monday 04 October 04 16:02 BST (UK) »
Hi Tim

My g grandfather began his working life as a cork cutter and his father was possibly a cork manufacturer. I haven't been able to find much info about the occupation other than cork was used for insulation and as stoppers etc. 

My g grandfather went on to become a police constable but I doubt there was a link between the jobs  ;)

If I come across any info I'll let you know

Helen
Brassington - Leek
Byrne - Liverpool and Macclesfield
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Chittenden - Kent
Gorse - St Helens
Martin - Kent and India
Rimmer, Scott - Lancashire
Little - India
Gilliard - Essex and Kent
Brookes, Woolley - Worcestershire

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Offline Timbottawa

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Re: Cork cutting
« Reply #2 on: Monday 04 October 04 17:35 BST (UK) »
Thanks Helen,

Reading my own message again, it was probably not very well worded.  My g-g-grandfather didn't simply switch professions ... he was a cork cutter again after the "Tobacconist (Master)" entry, so it seems that he might have used them inter-changeably.

Of course, it's not unknown for people to inflate their professions - perhaps at the time of the particular birth registration he wanted to claim some higher station, for some reason.

Cheers

Tim
Boyle, Butler, Yarborough, Baldwin, Midwood, McHale, Carter, Noble, Kay, Raper, Greenwood, Swift

Offline peterbennett

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Re: Cork cutting
« Reply #3 on: Monday 04 October 04 17:57 BST (UK) »
Hi Tim
           Found this explanation

>From The Book of Trades or Library of Useful Arts 1811
(Volume 2)

" The cork-cutter's business requires but little ingenuity; the knives
used in the operation have a peculiar construction, and they must be
exceedingly sharp. The knife is almost the only instrument wanted in the
trade. The principal demand for corks is for the pourpose of stopping
bottles; these are cut by men and women, who receive a certain price per
gross for their labour. Cork-cutters sell also corks by the gross. It is
one of the blackest and dirtiest of all the trades, and not very
profitable either for the master or the journeyman."

regards

peterbennett

All census look up transcriptions are Crown Copyright<br />www.NationalArchives.gov.uk <br />Cheshire BMD  www.cheshirebmd.org.uk/ <br />Cheshire Wills database http://www.cheshire.gov.uk/recordoffice/wills/Search.htm<br />Cheshire family history society  www.fhsc.org.uk/<br />Cheshire Records Office http://www.cheshire.gov.uk/Recordoffice/aboutus/recoffcontact.tm<br /><br />--------------------------------------------------------------------<br />Bennett/,Whaley,Chesh/Lancs, Brindley Staffs

Offline Timbottawa

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Re: Cork cutting
« Reply #4 on: Monday 04 October 04 18:56 BST (UK) »
Hi Peter,

Thanks ... I found the same entry, but it casts no light on any link to tobacconists.  I really can't envisage any link, so I think the answer is that there isn't one.  Quite why my g-g-grandfather would have taken a break from a life-long career as a cork cutter (or, at least, claimed to have been something different) is beyond me.  If cork cutting really was so menial, and he had succeeded in becoming a "master" tobacconist, which must have paid much better, why go back to cutting cork?

Cheers

Tim
Boyle, Butler, Yarborough, Baldwin, Midwood, McHale, Carter, Noble, Kay, Raper, Greenwood, Swift

Offline Hackstaple

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Re: Cork cutting
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 06 October 04 21:51 BST (UK) »
Coincidence! The latest Your Family Tree magazine has a short letter about a Cork Cutter, a reply and a small reproduction of an engraving of a C.C.
That is the second time I have heard about Cork Cutters in a week - but the magazine one is a "Fancy Cork Cutter".
Southern or Southan [Hereford , Monmouthshire & Glos], Jenkins, Meredith and Morgan [Monmouthshire and Glos.], Murrill, Damary, Damry, Ray, Lawrence [all Middx. & London], Nethway from Kenn or Yatton. Also Riley and Lyons in South Africa and Riley from St. Helena.
Any census information included in this post is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline corkcutter

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Re: Cork cutting
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 09 October 04 17:30 BST (UK) »
Hello Tim,

Re your corkcutting ancestor - I've been studying cork cutting in England for the last two years and so have quite a lot of information about it now. I have never come across any connection between tobacconists and corkcutting (until much later circa 1890 when some cutters made cork filter paper for cigarettes.) 1861 was about the time when mechanisation of the industry was really taking hold. Maybe he was made redundant, tried the tobacco job, and then found another place back in his old trade. Corkcutters who owned their business managed fairly well economically. Their workmen did not earn a very good living but it was steady work, indoors and not too heavy.

I wrote an article for Family History Monthly on corkcutting which came out at the beginning of this year. You can probably get a back number if you would like to know more about the job.

If anyone reading this had corkcutting ancestors, I would love to have their names, dates and location as I am trying to build up an index of corkcutters in England.

Thanks,

Cheryl
Ball(s), Mewett, Keegan, Stoner, Newman,
Thompson, Rolfe,Cullum, Bayley (Bailey)
Trade of CORKCUTTING

Offline Timbottawa

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Re: Cork cutting
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 09 October 04 17:55 BST (UK) »
Hi Cheryl,

Thanks for your great message.  I shall certainly look for your article.  I think you must be right about my g-g-grandfather's occupation - her probably left the trade briefly, then went back to it.

For your database of cork cutters, his name was James BOYLE, born Leeds, in 1827.  He was already a cork cutter by the time he married in 1848, but his father was not in the trade - he was a joiner.  James died about 1894.

Cheers

Tim
Boyle, Butler, Yarborough, Baldwin, Midwood, McHale, Carter, Noble, Kay, Raper, Greenwood, Swift

Offline Clincher

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Re: Cork cutting
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 09 October 04 21:19 BST (UK) »
1861 Census RG9/277 folio 58b
Morgan Street, Saint George in the East, Middx
Thomas HOCKADAY 64 cork cutter Middx Shadwell
George TOLL 13 cork cutter Middx St Geo in East.
Seen today!!! For Cheryl's database.