Part 155p – Smith Robertson Genealogy – Trying To Prove GG-Grandmother Elizabeth (née Parker) Crossley’s Parents

19 December 2009


But… there is just one thing that sort-of prompts me to be not 100% certain. 99% maybe, but not 100%... In Part 154p, the entries of “Occupation of father – Labourer” and “Signature, description and residence of informant – The mark of X John Parker, Father, Twiston”, on the Elizabeth Parker Birth Entry when cross-referenced and compared to the 1841 England Census, (see Part 153p) give me pause. The 1841 Census indicates that the enumerated ggg-grandfather John Parker, father of 4-month old Elizabeth has a profession of “Printer”.

Tracing his recorded occupations over the years I noted the following:

1841 – Labourer (Worker)
1841 – Printer (One who prints books, pictures, posters, etc., Sets up and operates machine to print designs on materials, such as cloth…)
1851 – Farm Labourer (Worker on a farm)
1861 – Husbandman (A farmer who cultivated the land, tenant farmer, tenant of a dwelling and land on an estate)
1863 – Colour Maker (Mixed the dyes in the textile trade and also assistant to a house painter, one who makes and/or sells paints)
1871 – Ag. Lab. (Agricultural labourer, an unskilled worker on a farm)

My first gut reaction, “What is meant by the occupation of a “Printer” in the 1841 Census?

Immediately I think that a Printer is one who would have the innate ability of being “literate”. But ggg-grandfather John had signed his mark “X” only four months earlier on the 3rd of March when he registered, albeit informed of, the birth of gg-grandmother Elizabeth. The “X” implies that he was “illiterate”, and therefore my limited grey-matter does not comprehend that a “Printer”, notwithstanding one defined in such a position in the year 2009, almost 2010, could be “illiterate”.

I then discovered the following created job description compilation at the Dictionary of Occupational Tiles website
TITLE(s): CLOTH PRINTER (any industry) alternate titles: printer; printing-machine operator

Sets up and operates machine to print designs on materials, such as cloth, fiberglass, plastic sheeting, coated felt, or oilcloth: Turns handwheel to set pressure on printing rollers, according to specifications. Turns screws to align register marks on printing rollers with register marks on machine, using allen wrench. Sharpens doctor blade, using file and oilstone, and verifies evenness of blade, using straightedge. Aligns doctor blade against printing roller, using handtools. Dips color from tubs into color boxes to supply printing rollers. Scans cloth leaving machine for printing defects, such as smudges, variations in color shades, and designs that are out of register (alignment). Realigns printing rollers and adjusts position of blanket or back gray cloth to absorb excess color from printing rollers. Records yardage of cloth printed. Coordinates printing activities with activities of workers who feed and doff machine and aid in setting up and cleaning machine. May notify COLORIST (profess. & kin.) 022.161-014 when color shade varies from specifications. May mix own colors. May mount printing rollers on machine for change of pattern [PRINTING-ROLLER HANDLER (textile) 652.385-010]. May position knives specified distance from edge of plastic material to trim excess material from edges. When printing samples of new patterns and novelty designs, is designated Novelty-Printing-Machine Operator (textile) or Proofing-Machine Operator (print. & pub.). May set up and operate cloth printing machine utilizing caustic soda paste instead of color paste to print designs on cloth which shrink to form plisse and be designated Plisse-Machine Operator (textile).

It now may make sense when I note that on the 1863 Marriage Entry for gg-grandparents William and Elizabeth (née Parker) Crossley, gg-grandmother Elizabeth’s father, ggg-grandfather John Parker’s “Rank or Profession of Father” is entered as “Colour Maker”. These details now give me a greater assurance that the John and Elizabeth (née Kendal) Parker may most assuredly be the parents of gg-grandmother Elizabeth (née Parker) Crossley.




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