Guysborough County Genealogy

Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Canada

Glossary of Old Terms

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on, upon, at (some place), in (about time)Swedish
Pack Thread SpinnerOperated a thread or twine making machineUK Occupation
PackmanItinerant seller - carried the goods in his packUK Occupation
Pad MakerMade small measuring basketsUK Occupation
PAFPersonal Ancestral File®. A widely used, DOS-based genealogy program created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Colonial Diseases
PaintressWoman who hand painted potteryUK Occupation
Paling ManSeller of eelsUK Occupation
PalingwrightMaker of wooden fencing (paling) for use on rural estatesScot.Occup
PalisterPark keeperUK Occupation
PalsyParalysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles. It was listed as 'Cause of death'Medical
Pannier ManFishmongerUK Occupation
PannifexWorker in the cloth tradeUK Occupation
Pansmith1)Pan maker and/or repairer- metal worker 2) Made and maintained the large, shallow pans in which salt was boiledUK Occupation
PanterKeeper of the pantryUK Occupation
PantlerButlerUK Occupation
PantographerAn engraver who used a Pantograph to transfer the pattern from a drawing to the engraving surface.UK Occupation
Papaya ManInvolved in trade with New Guinea (derived from Papua, New Guinea)UK Occupation
Paper RulerOperator of a printing machine who set up inking pens to draw on paperScot.Occup
Paper StainerPrinted wallpaperUK Occupation
PapererInserted sewing needles into paper packets ready for saleUK Occupation
ParalysisLoss of muscle function due to nerve damageScot.Dise 1855
Paralytic ileusParalysis of the bowel wall resulting in blockage of the bowelScot.Dise 1855
PardonerLicensed seller of indulgencesUK Occupation
PargeterApplied pargetting (ornamental plaster) to buildingsUK Occupation
Parish ApprenticeWorking child of the workhouseUK Occupation
ParitorChurch official attending courts to execute their ordersUK Occupation
ParkerPark keeper, usually a game parkUK Occupation
ParminsterWorked with Cotswold stone roofing tilesUK Occupation
Passage KeeperCleaned the local passageways and alleywaysUK Occupation
Passenger listA ships list of passengers, usually referring to those ships arriving in the US or Canada, from Europe.General
PastelerPastry chefUK Occupation
pastorparish ministerSwedish
PastorShepherdUK Occupation
pastorsexpeditionparish officeSwedish
PatentGrant of land from a government to an individual.General
Paternal ancestorAn ancestor on the father's side of the family.Genealogy
PaternalRelated to one's father. Paternal grandmother is the father's mother.General
PaternostererMaker of RosariesUK Occupation
PatriotOne who loves his country and supports its interests.General
Patten Maker/ PattenerMade 'pattens' to fit under normal shoes for wet/muddy use. Clog-makerUK Occupation
Pattern Card MakerMade the cards that set the pattern on weaving looms - the 'jacquard' methodUK Occupation
Pattern MakerMakes wood patterns for the construction of steel or other metal objects. eg. Patterns are made for ship construction, for castings etc.UK Occupation
PauperPerson without money and means of earning a livelihoodScot.Occup
Paver / Paviour / PavierLays paving stones etc. (in use today) also called a Flagger More Info.UK Occupation
PaviorLayer of masonry slabs and flag-stones, eg making a pavementScot.Occup
PavylerErected tents, pavilions etc.UK Occupation
PedasculeSchoolmasterUK Occupation
PedestrianA Walker, sometimes athlete, sometimes paid for competing - More Info.UK Occupation
pedigree chartA report showing an individual along with parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. for a specified number of generations.Colonial Diseases
pedigree1. A list of ancestors; record of ancestry; family tree 2. Descent; lineage; ancestry 3. A recorded or known line of descentColonial Diseases
PedlarSeller of small goods from door to doorScot.Occup
Pee-deeA boy employed by the skipper of a Newcastle Keel - a river boat carrying coal down river to ships loading off-shore. See Keeler.UK Occupation
PeelerPoliceman - after Robert Peel, founder of the policeUK Occupation
peerageA book containing a list of peers with their genealogy, history, and titlesColonial Diseases
PeltererWorked with animal skins - peltsUK Occupation
PemphigusSkin disease of watery blistersMedical
PendiclerSub-tenant with some grass and arable landScot.Occup
PensionMoney paid regularly to an individual, especially by a government as reward for military service during wartime or upon retirement from government service.General
PensionerOriginally meant someone receiving an Army pension after active serviceScot.Occup
PerambulatorSurveyorUK Occupation
PerchSee measurements.General
PerchemearParchment makerUK Occupation
PeregrinatorItinerant wandererUK Occupation
PericarditisInflammation of heartMedical
PeripneumoniaInflammation of lungsMedical
PeritonitisInflammation of abdominal areaMedical
Periwig-makerMaker of wigs for gentlemenScot.Occup
personernasthe person\'sSwedish
Peruker / Peruke MakerA wig makerUK Occupation
PessonerFishmonger - from the French, poissonUK Occupation
PetardierMade Petards - explosive devices used for storming castles. More Info.UK Occupation
Petechial FeverFever characterized by skin spottingMedical
PetermanFisherman - biblicalUK Occupation
PettifoggerA shyster lawyerUK Occupation
Petty ChapmanPeddler - itinerant small goods sellerUK Occupation
PeutererWorker in pewterScot.Occup
Pew OpenerOpened the doors to private church pewsUK Occupation
Pewterer / PewtersmithOne whose occupation is to make utensils of pewter; plates, bowls, dishes, tankards, pots for the kitchen and table, also larger vessels for inns and businesses. Almost all old wills leave valuable amounts of pewter to members of the family. More Info.UK Occupation
Philosophical Instrument MakerMade Scientific instrumentsUK Occupation
PhonologistA person versed in Phonology - the science or doctrine of the elementary sounds uttered by the human voice in speech, including the various distinctions, modifications, and combinations of tones; phonetics. Also, a treatise on sounds.UK Occupation
PhrenologistRead bumps on the head for character assessmentUK Occupation
PhthiriasisLice infestationMedical
PhthisisChronic wasting away or a name for tuberculosisMedical
Phthsis pulmonalisTuberculosis of the lungs, consumption . Also spelled phthisisScot.Dise 1855
Picker MakerMade the 'Pickers' - strong leather attachments fitted to each side of a weaving loom to drive the shuttle across the loomUK Occupation
PickerCast the shuttles on a loomUK Occupation
PickermakerMill worker who made the 'pickers' - leather attachments which drove a shuttle across a weaving loomScot.Occup
Piece BrokerDealer in fabric remnantsUK Occupation
Piece WorkerWorker paid for by the number of articles finished. Usually home workers, and factory workersUK Occupation
PiecemasterThe middleman between employer and pieceworker, who allocated the workUK Occupation
Piecer / PiecenerEmployed to piece together broken threads in weaving. Often children. More Info.UK Occupation
PiecerPiecers in mills, often children, had to lean over spinning-machines to repair broken threadsScot.Occup
Pig JobberBought pigs and then sold them off for profit. A pig trader.UK Occupation
pigamaid, maiden, servant girlSwedish
Pigmaker1) Poured molten metal to make 'pigs' for distribution of raw metals 2) Pottery workerUK Occupation
Pigman1) Crockery dealer 2) Pig herdUK Occupation
PikarA petty thiefScot.Occup
Pikelet MakerBaked Pikelets - small crumpet or pancakeUK Occupation
Pikeman1) Miller's assistant 2) Soldier armed with a pike 3) Turnpike workerUK Occupation
PikerTramp, vagrantUK Occupation
Pile / PilerFitted arrowheads to their shafts (pile was the old term for arrowhead)UK Occupation
PillerRobberUK Occupation
PilotShip's steersmanUK Occupation
pilt(ebarn)boy, male childSwedish
PinderDog catcher & pound keeperUK Occupation
PinerLabourerUK Occupation
pingstPentecost, WhitsundaySwedish
Pinner up1) Dressmaker's assistant 2) Sold ballads in the streetUK Occupation
PinnerPin makerUK Occupation
PiperInnkeeperUK Occupation
Pirn WinderMill worker who threaded yarn on weaving loomsScot.Occup
PistorBakerUK Occupation
Pit Brow LassFemale surface worker at the coalminesUK Occupation
Pit BrusherCoal miner who repaired mine passage roofs and sidesScot.Occup
Pit RoadmanMine worker preparing and repairing underground passagewaysScot.Occup
Pit SinkerMan contracted to sink new mine shaftsScot.Occup
PitheadmanOver-ground worker at a coal mine (pit)Scot.Occup
PitmanCoal minerUK Occupation
Placenta praeviaCondition of pregnancy in which placenta grows too close to cervixScot.Dise 1855
PlagueAn acute febrile highly infectious disease with a high fatality rateMedical
Plain WorkerPlain needle-worker, as distinct from embroidered workUK Occupation
PlaistererPlastererUK Occupation
PlaiterMake straw plaits for hat makingUK Occupation
Planker'Planked' or kneaded the felt in hat-makingUK Occupation
PlatelayerLaid and maintained railway tracks. The name predates railways, and is derived from the original 'plateways' which existed hundreds of years ago, laid for coal mines. More Info.UK Occupation
PlaydererMade plaidUK Occupation
Pleacher / Plasher / Platcher / PlaicherHedge layer. A skilled jobUK Occupation
PleurisyAny pain in the chest area with each breathMedical
PleuritisPleurisy, an inflammation around the lungs due to bacterial or viral infectionScot.Dise 1855
Plod Weaver / Plaid WeaverWove plaid material - Plod was a C16-17th variant of plaidUK Occupation
PloughboyLed the oxen pulling a ploughUK Occupation
PloughmanFarm servant with working horse, or team of horses, ploughing the fieldsScot.Occup
PloughwrightMade or repaired ploughsUK Occupation
Plumassier / PlumerMade ornamental feather plumes or sold feathers - from French, plumeUK Occupation
PlumberApplied sheet lead for roofing and set lead frames for plain or stained glass windows. As lead was the usual material for pipes, the modern term evolved. Plumbium - Latin for leadUK Occupation
Plumbium WorkerWorked with plumbium (lead) - a plumber. from the Latin, plumbium = leadUK Occupation
PlungerSpeculatorUK Occupation
PluralistA person who had the 'living' of more than one parish, or churchUK Occupation
Plush WeaverWove Plush, a type of textile which has a nap or pile similar to velvet - used in royal courtsUK Occupation
PLWPower-loom weaver-- weaver working a powered loom in a textile millScot.Occup
Point of entryThe first place (border entry or port) immigrants arrive when entering a country.Genealogy
Pointer / Pin Pointer1) Lace-maker 2) Sharpened needles or pins in manufactureUK Occupation
Pointmaker / PointmanMade the tips of lacesUK Occupation
PointsmanChanged the points to change the track direction of trainsUK Occupation
Poldave WorkerMade 'poldave' - a coarse fabricUK Occupation
PoleSee measurements.General
PolemanSurveyor's assistantUK Occupation
PolentariusMalt makerScot.Occup
Polenter / PolentierPoultererUK Occupation
Police WeigherAt the docks he weighed goods and cargo as it came ashoreScot.Occup
PoliomyelitisPolio, Potter's asthma - Fibroid pthisisMedical
PollList or record of persons, especially for taxing or voting.General
Pollard DealerDealer in pollard, bran sifted from flour. Also flour dealerUK Occupation
Poller / PowlerBarberUK Occupation
PonderatorWeights and measures inspectorUK Occupation
Pony DriverUsually a child, drove the pit ponies drawing the coal tubsUK Occupation
PortA city or town having a harbour where ships or boats take on or unload cargo or passengers.Genealogy
Portable Soup MakerMade dried soup for transportingUK Occupation
Porter1) Door or gate keeper 2) Carried baggage in railway stations and other public placesUK Occupation
PortionerOwner of land, previously divided amongst co-heirsScot.Occup
Portmanteau MakerMade suitcases / travelling bagsUK Occupation
Post Boy1) Carried mail 2) Guard who travelled on the mail coach 3) Outrider travelling with the coach or a PostillionUK Occupation
PostPrefix meaning after, as in post-war economy.General
PosterBroke rocks in the quarriesUK Occupation
PosterityDescendants; those who come after.General
posthumous1. Born after the death of the father 2. Published after the death of the author 3. Following or occurring after deathColonial Diseases
PostillionRode as a guide on one of the near pairs of horses drawing a coach or post chaiseUK Occupation
PostmanDelivers mail letters and parcels to residential and business addresses.Scot.Occup
Pot Boy/man1) Cleared away and washed the pots in a public house 2) A Potman was also a street-seller of porter and stout.UK Occupation
Pot BurnerPlaced completed pots into the ovens for firingUK Occupation
Potato BadgerPotato sellerUK Occupation
Potter's AsthmaFibroid pthisisMedical
Potter's CarrierChemist or PharmacistUK Occupation
Potter's JollierJollying is a way of forming a ceramic article by using a rotating mould formed to shape one side of the pot or liner while a metal profile blade mounted on a counterbalanced arm forms the other sideUK Occupation
Potter's PresserPottery maker, using mouldsUK Occupation
Potter's PrinterPrinted from an engraved plate that is loaded with oil based colours - printed the transfer pattern on to tissue paperUK Occupation
Potter's ThrowerPotter, using a wheel - 'threw' the clay onto the wheelUK Occupation
Pott's diseaseTuberculosis of spineMedical
Poulter / PoultererPoultry sellerUK Occupation
Powder MonkeyYoung boys - and sometimes women - employed to supply naval guns with their powder charges from the magazines below the waterline. Boys were usually employed because the gun (Orlop) decks were very low for stability reasons, and grown men would have found it difficult to move around at speed in those situations.UK Occupation
Power Loom TunerMaintained the weaving loomsUK Occupation
Power of attorneyWhen a person is unable to act for himself, he appoints another to act in his behalf.General
PowlerBarberUK Occupation
PoynterLace makerUK Occupation
PrePrefix meaning before, as in pre-war military build-up.General
PreceptressSchool Master / School MistressUK Occupation
Pre-emotion rightsRight given by the federal government to citizens, to buy a quarter section of land or less.General
PrentisApprenticeUK Occupation
PressmanOperated a printing pressUK Occupation
Preventive officerCustoms officer on boat in coastal watersScot.Occup
Prick LouiseTailorUK Occupation
Pricker1) Witch hunter 2) Pattern Maker 3) HorsemanUK Occupation
Prig NapperHorse ThiefUK Occupation
PrimaCousin (female)Spanish
primary recordA record created at the time of the event (birth, marriage, death, etc.) as opposed to records written years laterColonial Diseases
PrimoCousin (male)Spanish
primogenitorancestor, forefatherColonial Diseases
primogeniture1. The state of being the firstborn of the children of the same parents 2. An exclusive right of inheritance belonging to the eldest sonColonial Diseases
Print compositorPerson who sets up type for printingScot.Occup
Print cuttera) Person who made the blocks for printing b) Cutter of prepared cloth eg. calicoScot.Occup
Printfield workerFactory worker who dyed and printed calico cloth .Scot.Occup
probate1. e action or process of proving in a court of law that a document offered for official recognition and registration as the last will and testament of a deceased person is genuine. 2. The officially authenticated copy of a probated willColonial Diseases
ProctorUniversity officialUK Occupation
ProcuratorLawyer or advocateScot.Occup
Procurator-FiscalPrincipal public prosecutor in districtScot.Occup
profossflogmaster (military)Swedish
progenitorAn ancestor in the direct line, forefatherColonial Diseases
progenyDescendants, childrenColonial Diseases
Prop BobbyChecked the pit props in minesUK Occupation
ProthonaryLaw clerkUK Occupation
Proved willA will established as genuine by probate court.General
ProvostElected head of town burgh council. A person appointed to superintend, or preside over something.Scot.Occup
Prow SmithIn shipbuilding, was resposible for laying out the prows and the keel of a vessselUK Occupation
ProximoIn the following month, in the month after the present one.General
Public domainLand owned by the government.General
PublicanInnkeeper - still in useUK Occupation
PuddlerWrought iron or clay worker - see Iron Puddler & Clay PuddlerUK Occupation
Puerperal exhaustionDeath due to childbirthMedical
Puerperal feverElevated temperature after giving birth to an infantMedical
Puerpural septicaemiaInfection in birth canal following childbirth, often causing death within 3 weeksScot.Dise 1855
PuggardThiefUK Occupation
PuggerTrod clay to produce the mix for brick making. Often women & childrenUK Occupation
Puking feverMilk sicknessMedical
Pull factorsReasons people choose a new country or location in which to live.Genealogy
Pulmonary ...Associated with the lungsScot.Dise 1855
Pulmonary edemaFluid accumulation and swelling in the lungScot.Dise 1855
PunkyChimney SweepUK Occupation
Purefinder / Pure GathererOld women & young girls who collected dog droppings used in the tanning industryUK Occupation
Purl SellerSold purl by boat to other river craft users. Purl was a potent mixture of beer and gin.UK Occupation
Push factorsReasons people leave their country or home to move to another.Genealogy
Putrid feverDiphtheriaMedical
PutterHauled coal tubs in the mines.UK Occupation
Putter-inInput materials in mechanical processes - varied.UK Occupation
PykemongerDealer in pike and other freshwater fish.UK Occupation
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