Guysborough County Genealogy

Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Canada

Glossary of Old Terms

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-W-

Word/PhraseDefinitionUseage
W.S.Solictor who is a member of Society of the Writers to Her Majesty's SignetScot.Occup
Wadsetter(Scottish) Creditor to whom a 'wadset' is made. A wadset is a right by which lands, or other heritable subjects, are consigned to a creditor as a security for debtUK Occupation
Wafer MakerMade the wafers taken in Holy CommunionUK Occupation
WaggonerWagon or 4-wheeeled cart driverUK Occupation
WailerRemoved impurities and foreign bodies from coal in the minesUK Occupation
WainwrightMaker or repairer of wagons - 'wains'UK Occupation
WaisterSeaman stationed in the waist of the shipUK Occupation
Wait / WakemanNight-watchmanUK Occupation
Waiter / Tide WaiterCustoms officer who waited on the (high) tide (when vessels arrived) to collect duty on goods importedUK Occupation
Walker'Walked' over cloth after weaving, after wetting, to clean and thicken it - see FullerUK Occupation
Waller1) Brick or dry stone wall builder 2) In the Cheshire salt-works, makers of coarser grades of salt used in industrial processes, chemicals, fisheries and potteries.UK Occupation
Wanter / Want CatcherMole catcherUK Occupation
WardChiefly the division of a city for election purposes.General
WarderJailerUK Occupation
Wardrobe DealerDealer in second-hand clothingUK Occupation
WarehousemanMan who worked in a building storing finished products eg food or textiles.Scot.Occup
Warper1) Set up the 'warp' (thread) on looms 2) Moved boats by hauling on their 'warps' (ropes)UK Occupation
WarrenerA warrener maintains rabbit warrens, traps them and produces rabbit meat for the Laird. Warrens were the property of the lord of the manorUK Occupation
WashmanTin coater (tin plater)UK Occupation
Wasteman1) Waste remover 2) Checked and maintained that mine workings were free of gasUK Occupation
Watch finisherAssembled time pieces (did not make the parts)UK Occupation
Watch Making ....Various occupations in the Watch-Making Industry - SeeUK Occupation
WatcherEmployed as security in Customs bonded warehouses - to Watch the goods.UK Occupation
WatchmanTown night-watchmanUK Occupation
Water Bailiff1) Maintained fishing rights on (usually) rivers - still in use 2) River based customs officialUK Occupation
Water Gilder1) Gilded metal surfaces by applying liquid amalgam, the mercury being afterwards removed by evaporation. 2) Trapped water fowlUK Occupation
Water Leader / Leder / LoderTransported and sold fresh waterUK Occupation
Water on brainEnlarged headMedical
WatermanBoatman who plies for hire - usually on rivers More Info.UK Occupation
Wattle Hurdle MakerMade wattle hurdles - panels of wattle fencingUK Occupation
Waulker / WaulkmillerCloth worker - see WalkerUK Occupation
WaulkerThickened wool cloth and felted by soaking, beating, and shrinking (in a 'waulk mill'). Also waulkster.Scot.Occup
WaverWeaver - from regional pronunciationUK Occupation
Way MakerRoad builderUK Occupation
Way ManRoad surveyorUK Occupation
WaylandA smithUK Occupation
Weather SpyAstrologerUK Occupation
WeaverThe operative of a loom producing clothUK Occupation
Webster / WebberOperator of looms; weaver - originally a female weaverUK Occupation
WeddingThe celebration of the union of two people in marriage.Genealogy
Weigher / Weigh ClerkWeighed landed goods on the docksideUK Occupation
WeigherWeighed goods prior to sale or approval . See Iron Weigher and Police Weigher .Scot.Occup
Well SinkerWell diggerUK Occupation
WellmasterIn charge of the village well and responsible for clean drinking waterUK Occupation
WellwrightMade the winding gear for wellsUK Occupation
Wet GloverLeather glove makerUK Occupation
Wet NurseWoman who breast-fed babies for othersUK Occupation
Wetter1) Dampened paper for printing 2) Glass making workerUK Occupation
WhackerHorse or ox team driverUK Occupation
WharfingerOwner or manager of a wharfUK Occupation
Wheel TapperRailway worker - tapped wheels to detect cracks from the resultant ringUK Occupation
Wheeler1) Made wheels 2) Spinning wheel attendant 3) Led pit ponies underground in the pitsUK Occupation
WheelwrightMade or repaired wheels; wheeled carriages, etc.UK Occupation
WherrymanRan a 'wherry' - a large flat-bottomed sailing boat, used typically on riversUK Occupation
Whig(Scottish) Horse driverUK Occupation
Whim / WhimseymanEmployed driving mine winding gear carrying men and materials up and down mine shafts. More Info.UK Occupation
Whipcord MakerWhip MakerUK Occupation
Whipper-inManaged the hunting houndsUK Occupation
Whipping BoyHe was whipped in place of royal miscreants. Not a coveted position!UK Occupation
Whit CooperMade barrels and other items from tinUK Occupation
White LimerPlastered walls with limeUK Occupation
White Seam SewerSeamstress who sewed white material such as sheets, pillows cases, etcScot.Occup
White swellingTuberculosis of the boneMedical
WhitearHide cleanerUK Occupation
Whitening Roll MakerMade whitening (whitewash) for whitening wallsUK Occupation
WhitesmithA person who worked with 'white' or light-coloured metals such as tin and pewter. Whitesmiths fabricated items such as tin or pewter cups, water pitchers, forks, spoons, and candle holders, possibly also in the clothing industry, making or finishing buckles, buttons etc.UK Occupation
WhitewingStreet sweeperUK Occupation
Whitster / Whitester / WhitenerCloth bleacher More Info.UK Occupation
Whittawer1) Made saddles and harnesses 2) Prepared white leatherUK Occupation
widowA woman whose husband has died; particularly such a woman who has not yet remarriedColonial Diseases
widowerA man whose wife has died; particularly such a man who has not yet remarriedColonial Diseases
wifeA married woman; a woman in her relationship with her spouseColonial Diseases
willA legal statement of a person's wishes concerning the disposal of his or her property after deathColonial Diseases
WilleyerFed fibres into a 'willeying' machine to separate and comb them for carding, often blending fibres in the processUK Occupation
Willow FeederOperated a self-acting Willow - a waste cleaner in cotton or woollen mills - DrawingUK Occupation
Willow Plaiter / WeaverBasket makerUK Occupation
Wincey WeaverWeaver using string cotton threadScot.Occup
Winder1) Transferred yarn onto bobbins or perns, ready for weaving 2) Operated the winding gear at a mine pitheadUK Occupation
WindsterSilk weaverUK Occupation
Winter feverPneumoniaMedical
Wire DrawerMade wire by drawing the hot metal through diesUK Occupation
Wire WeaverOperated power loom to weave wire into industrial cloths, sieves, etc.Scot.Occup
WireworkerWorks with wire to produce mesh, cages, grilles etc.UK Occupation
witnessAn individual present at an event such as a marriage or the signing of a document who can vouch that the event took placeColonial Diseases
WOAD DyerProduced and dyed cloth using Woad. More Info.UK Occupation
WobsterA weaverScot.Occup
Womb feverInfection of the uterusMedical
Wood Ranger/Reeve/Ward/ManEmployed in maintenance & protection of woodlandsUK Occupation
WoodbreakerMade wooden casksUK Occupation
Wool Billy PiecerPieced together broken yarns in the millUK Occupation
Wool ComberWorked machinery combing - separating - fibres for spinningUK Occupation
Wool DriverCarried wool to marketUK Occupation
Wool FactorWool merchant's agentUK Occupation
Wool GrowerSheep farmerUK Occupation
Wool StaplerA dealer in wool. The wool-stapler buys wool from the producer, sorts and grades it, and sells it on to manufacturersUK Occupation
Wool WinderMade up balls of woollen yarn for saleUK Occupation
Woolsted / Worsted ManWoollen cloth seller - derived from worstedUK Occupation
Worm fitConvulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temperature or diarrheaMedical
Worsted weaverWeaver of fine cloth from long straightened fibres of wool.Scot.Occup
WreckerPlunderer of a shipwreck, sometimes luring ships to destruction.Scot.Occup
WrightSkilled workman, especially in constructing items. Used together with the trade i.e. wheelwright. Joiner or carpenterUK Occupation
WriterOld term for a solicitorScot.Occup
WyrthLabourerUK Occupation
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