Christmas Competition: The Historic Occupations Quiz

Sepia photograph of a worker on a horse and cart containing Christmas trees

Our Historic Occupations Christmas Quiz ran throughout December 2020 – thanks to all those who took part! Although the competition has now closed, you can still try your hand at the questions simply for the fun of the challenge. Scroll down to enjoy the quiz as many times as you like.

And the winner is…

Our lucky winner was John Bravin of Somerset, UK, who wins a copy of Just the Job by Alexander Tulloch. Congratulations, John!

Book cover of Just the Job: How Trades Got Their Names

Know your occupations? Test your knowledge here…

Here’s the quiz as it was in December 2020, but without any prizes this time – and no need to input any contact details.

The Historic Occupations Quiz

Are you ready to test your knowledge of ancestral occupations? Understanding the jobs our ancestors worked in offers a window into their day-to-day existence, and some occupational records can provide valuable genealogical information. Whether your family tree is filled with farmers, replete with raisin stoners or bursting with bargees, the quiz will cast some interesting nuggets of information your way.

Miners underground Printing press

All the occupations in the quiz have featured on the #OccupationOfTheDay hashtag on Twitter since September 2020, hosted by The Parchment Rustler's own @ScientistSoph. If you'd like to learn more about the occupations of yesteryear or brush up on your knowledge for the quiz, then:

Gamekeeper and hound Seamstress-CC0Chorus girl in costume

As the original competition has now closed, there's no prize to be won, but perhaps you'll enjoy completing the quiz for the sheer fun of it, and perhaps learn a few interesting nuggets of occupational history information in the process...

1. Which of these industries would a FLONG MAKER be involved in?

2. It’s 1920 and you’ve run up a lot of debt through some reckless gambling. Which of these might come knocking on your door?

3. Which of the following tasks was NOT involved in the work of a LACE DUCHESS?

4. Which of the following occupations would you NOT find in the mining industry?

5. What term is used to describe a worker who presses the creases out of handmade gloves?

6. It’s 1921 and your local church desperately needs the organ replacing. Who’s going to come to install the new one?

7. From what town does the term YOUNKER originate, typically used to describe a young man between the roles of boy and deck hand on a fishing boat?

8. Which of the following occupations would have been busiest during the PTERIDOMANIA craze of the Victorian era?

9. Which of these would make the display above ground for a grave?

10. In which type of industry would you find an OCTAGON MAN, an ABSORBER MAN, a BAGHOUSE MAN and a GREASE BOILER?

11. In what dangerous occupation did The Great Risko work?

12. Which of these WASN'T involved in making food or ingredients?

4 thoughts on “Christmas Competition: The Historic Occupations Quiz

  1. This was fun! However, in the “thanks” message all answers were returned to me, not just the ones I chose – which are the correct answers? You have not told me that – I have no idea where I went wrong.

    1. Hi Sher, glad to hear you enjoyed the quiz! Thanks for getting in touch. The message you receive after you submit the quiz should highlight the answers – the answer you selected is shown with a tick; for incorrect answers, you should see both your own answer and the correct one highlighted. If some of this hasn’t shown up, it might be worth checking your browser settings and extensions to be sure that it’s not being blocked. I hope this helps! If you’d like to know the answers to the quiz, then let me know and I can send those over after the competition closes.

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