Guysborough County Genealogy

Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Canada

Glossary of Old Terms

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

-R-

Word/PhraseDefinitionUseage
R.C.CRoman Catholic ClergymanScot.Occup
Rack MaidenGirl employed dressing ore in the Cornwall tin minesUK Occupation
rådhusrättcity courtSwedish
rådmancouncilmanSwedish
rådstu(gu)rättcity courtSwedish
Raff MerchantSold fibre used to make raffia bags etc.UK Occupation
RaffmanDealer in 'raff' - saleable rubbishUK Occupation
RafterAssembled floating logs into rafts for towing to timber millScot.Occup
Rag CutterCut rags into small pieces for papermakingUK Occupation
Rag GatherersCleared rags from mill machinery - usually childrenUK Occupation
Rag Man / Rag and Bone ManToured the streets in his cart collecting rags and any old useable discarded itemsUK Occupation
Rag PickerSorted useable items from rag collectionUK Occupation
Rag-stabberTailor (slang) mid 19c - also Stab-rag (military slang)UK Occupation
Railway WaggonerRailway worker responsible for coupling and decoupling railway wagonsScot.Occup
räkenskapslängdrecords of accountsSwedish
RakerStreet cleanerUK Occupation
RanselmanWas empowered by court to search houses for stolen propertyScot.Occup
RatonerRat CatcherUK Occupation
rättcourt, right, correctSwedish
rättarefarm foremanSwedish
RattlewatchTown watchmanUK Occupation
Reacher for DrawingSpecific occupation in the cotton/silk weaving mills. Each thread has to be Drawn through the Eye on a Heald, ready for the loom and then separately picked out from the Beam of warp threads by the ReacherUK Occupation
ReaderA student in law, medicine, or other classical subjectScot.Occup
record agentA person specializing in the knowledge of records and sources.Colonial Diseases
RectifierDistilled alcoholUK Occupation
RectorA clergyman; the ruler or governor of a country.General
Red LeaderPainted a red lead oxide paint onto metal surfaces to protect them from rust eg on ship metalScot.Occup
RedarInterpreted dreamsUK Occupation
ReddlemanSold the dye used by farmers to mark their sheepUK Occupation
redemptionerAn immigrant to the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries who obtained passage by becoming an indentured servantColonial Diseases
Redman / RedemanResponsible for maintaining the haulageways and passages in a coal mineUK Occupation
RedsmithGoldsmithUK Occupation
Reed & Heald MakerAlso Reed Maker (above). Made equipment for the separation of the weft thread on cloth-weaving looms. More Info.UK Occupation
ReederUsed reeds for thatching and hedgingUK Occupation
Reedmaker1) Made weaving reeds - a reed is a comb-like device for 'beating' the weft thread into place as it is passed by the shuttle, the warp threads passing between the teeth of the reed 2) Made reeds or pipes for musical instruments 3) Made reed cloth 4) MadeUK Occupation
Reeler1) Received yarn on bobbins or paper tubes and arranged them on a shelf above the machine; guided and attached the end of the yarns to swifts (skeleton reels), which revolved and wound the yarn upon themselves in skein form; controlled the power drive onUK Occupation
Reeve1) Churchwarden 2) Royal or Manorial elected or appointed officialUK Occupation
ReeverShriever; SherriffUK Occupation
RegarderSurveyed woodland, hedges and fencesUK Occupation
regementeregimentSwedish
registerregister, indexSwedish
RegistrarAs today - registered events; land purchases, births, deaths etc.UK Occupation
ReidareMinor clergyman in early Church, a readerScot.Occup
RelativeA person connected to a family by birth or marriageGenealogy
RelictWidow; surviving spouse when one has died, husband or wife.Generalogy
Relieving OfficerOfficial of the Poor Law Union to whom the poor or retarded persons in the parish could apply for poor reliefUK Occupation
Remitting feverMalariaMedical
Renal ...Associated with the kidneysScot.Dise 1855
RenovatorRepaired clothingUK Occupation
repslagarerope makerSwedish
RepublicGovernment in which supreme authority lies with the people or their elected representatives.General
requiescat in pace (R.I.P.)rest in peaceLatin
ResetterReceiver or concealer of stolen goodsScot.Occup
Resurrection ManApart from using the bodies of hanged criminals, dissection was illegal, so 17c. British doctors took to breaking the law. 'Resurrection men' would look for recent burials, dig up the corpse and sell it to a doctor. At £3 a body, you could make a decent living out of the practice. Resurrection men became so unpopular that they ran the risk of being torn to pieces if caught by a mob.UK Occupation
RetortmanIn gas works, operated large oven in which coal was baked to manufacture coal gas.Scot.Occup
Revenuer / Renenue ManTax collectorUK Occupation
Revolutionary warU.S. war for independence from Great Britain 1775 -1783.General
RheumatismAny disorder associated with pain in jointsMedical
Rice DressserRemoved the chaff, straw, small grains etc. to clean up rice grains for human consumption. Rice skins are polished off to give the white grain we normally useUK Occupation
RicketsDisease of skeletal systemMedical
RickmasterCaptain of HorseUK Occupation
Riddarhusethouse of nobilitySwedish
RiddlerWool stapler. Maker or user of coarse sieves (riddles) for grain, soil, etc.UK Occupation
Riding OfficerEmployed by the Revenue to patrol 4-10 miles of coastline to detect smugglers. Paid no more than a farmer's labourer and hated, so dangerous. 18th century.UK Occupation
RieverRobber, originally of cattleScot.Occup
RiftereReaperUK Occupation
RiggerHoist tackle worker - esp. running and dismantling rigging of shipsUK Occupation
rikestate, realmSwedish
riksarkivnational archives, state archivesSwedish
Ring SpinnerOperated a Ring Spinning Machine - Ring spinning was/is a method for the continuous spinning of cotton. More Info.UK Occupation
Ripper / RippierSeller of fishUK Occupation
RivermanWorked riverboatsUK Occupation
RivetterShipyard worker joining metal plates with hammered rivetsScot.Occup
Roadman1) Worked on building and or maintaining roads - often had a stretch of road which he was responsible for filling in potholes etc. - usually a mile 2) A tramp or vagrant was also often referred to as a RoadmanUK Occupation
RockgetterRock salt minerUK Occupation
RockmanWorked in the quarries, usually placing chargesUK Occupation
RodSee measurements.General
Rodman / PolemanSurveyor's assistant - held the rod for the surveyor's theodolite observationUK Occupation
rödsotdysenterySwedish
Roll TurnerCarded yarn into rolls prior to spinningUK Occupation
Roller CovererCovered the rollers in spinningUK Occupation
Rolley ManDelivery manUK Occupation
Rolleyway ManMaintained the mine's underground roadwaysUK Occupation
Roman Cementer / PlastererUsed 'Roman Cement' - used in stuccoingUK Occupation
RoodSee measurements.General
Rope RunnerAccompanied sets of drams or tubs on the rope haulage system in a Colliery for the purpose of changing over the rope or ropes at the end of the runUK Occupation
Rope SpinnerMaker of rope by braiding yarns of cotton or flaxScot.Occup
Roper1) Made rope or nets 2) Cotton spinning operativeUK Occupation
Rose coldHay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergyMedical
RoseolaScarlet colored rashMedical
rötagangreneSwedish
Rotanny feverChild's disease) ???Medical
rotedistrict within a parishSwedish
rotehjonperson supported by a parish districtSwedish
rotesoldatsoldier for a district in a parishSwedish
rötfebergangrene, typhus fever, putrid feverSwedish
Rove CarrierMoved fibres of heckled flax (rove) before spinning as linen thread.Scot.Occup
Rover1) Archer 2) Loaded cotton yarn onto bobbins, giving the yarn a twist, (Roving) after the Carding and Combing processes.UK Occupation
Rubbisher / RubblerSorted small stones in the quarriesUK Occupation
RubellaGerman measles - Rubeola the regular measlesMedical
RugmanDealer in rugsUK Occupation
Rule MakerMade and calibrated rulers (for measurement)UK Occupation
rullarecord, rollSwedish
Rully ManA Cart man - equivalent to today's lorry or truck driverUK Occupation
Runner1) Runner or messenger for the magistrates -Bow Street Runner 2) SmugglerUK Occupation
rusthållfarm equipping a (cavalry) soldierSwedish
rusthållareowner of a farm equipping a cavalry soldierSwedish
rymt, rymdrunawaySwedish
rysk, ryssRussianSwedish
RysslandRussiaSwedish
ryttarecavalrymanSwedish
Page top