Part 509s – Smith Robertson Genealogy – What Was GGG-Grandfather James Smith’s Occupation?

17 May 2011


How many times have I mentioned that I am obsessed with the search for the origins and ancestry of my ggg-grandfather James Smith? Once or twice? Not! I am sure that one of these days, I will… or at least one of us, his descendants, will stumble upon the answer to where ggg-grandfather James came from.

At times my mind continues in some directions that may seem to be off the beaten path. I’m not sure that there is a correct or an incorrect beaten path in this pursuit, but hell I keep foraging ahead. And today is no different. While I was working and transcribing the latest Indentures, and writing my recent Posts; Parts 507s and 508s, the next one, I got to thinking about ggg-grandfather James’ occupations. All of these most recent Posts all appear to relate to ggg-grandfather James, the Carpenter of Grenada.

I then decided to veer off my Transcription path and try to create a summary of all the titles, albeit occupations, that have been attributed to ggg-grandfather James. All-things-being-equal, I have been able to assess that there have been at least four titled occupations: Carpenter; Mill Carpenter; Mill Wright; and Shipwright. A fifth, Architect, recorded in 1830 may have been ggg-grandfather James, even though some family tales credit his son, gg-grandfather James, Junior. My contention is that in 1830 gg-grandfather James, Jr. was only 15 years old and may not have reached the levels of his architectural education.

Here are is my table, GGG-Grandfather James Smith’s Occupation Titles.

The period of time, Year Mentioned, follows from the year 1802 through to 1841, the year just prior to ggg-grandfather James’ passing. I have cross-referenced each one of my Postings that includes Indentures that may mention ggg-grandfather James’ occupation. If you would like to see any particular Posting enter the associated Part and number, (for example, “Part 400s”), into the “Search This Blog” blank box in the left-hand column and click on the “Search” button.

From William Fairbairn’s 1861 Treatise On Mills And Millwork Part I…

I discovered the following –
“The millwright of former days was to a great extent the sole representative of mechanical art, and was looked upon as the authority in all the applications of wind and water… He was the engineer of the district in which he lived, a kind of jack-of-all-trades… was an itinerant engineer and mechanic of high reputation…”

From Wikipedia
“A millwright originally was a specialized carpenter who had working knowledge of driveshafts, bearings, gearing and mechanical belts…”

And I keep transcribing, and searching.




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