The Victorian Census Returns covering 1841-1891 make interesting reading. In the
second half of the 19th century the family numbers were beginning to grow quite quickly
with the geographical area beginning to expand away from West Sussex.
As you might expect, early entries are almost exclusively in and around Bosham. The
most common occupation being that of Carpenter or Wheelright. It is interesting to
see during successive Census Returns how the standing of many of the tradesmen grew
into Master Carpenters or Wheelrights employing several men or apprentices/labourers.
By the 1881 Census other trades are regularly seen including Bricklayers, Gardeners
and even a Shoemaker. But the dominating trade still is that of Carpentry, Joinery
and Wheelwight. The young boys are often shown as Farm Boys or Agricultural Labourers
whilst the young girls are mostly in Domestic Service.
Victorian Census Returns give an insight into the occupations of our ancestors
If we project ourselves on another 100 years to the time of the release of the 2001
Census Return, what occupations will we see in the family? Gone will be many of the
tradesmen and in their places the vast array of Service Industry jobs.
I like to think however that there will still be members of the family working with
their hands and wood ................for it must be in our genes!!