View Full Version : What is a 'Forman Tailor'

Christine White
17-03-2006, 4:59 AM
At least that's what it looks like on the census. Originally I thought it was 'Forman Sailor', but I'm open to suggestions.
In later census entries his occupation was shown as 'butler'.

Peter Goodey
17-03-2006, 8:10 AM
Unless you provide an image we can only guess.

Could it possibly have been Journeyman Tailor?

Christine White
17-03-2006, 8:24 AM
Thank you for responding.
I don't think the word is Journeyman, but I'll take your advice & scan it over the weekend.

17-03-2006, 8:49 AM
Other thoughts include
'Foreman' - just mis-spelt
'Form man' - someone who cuts out templates.

When you post such requests, if you cannot include a link to the scanned image, try including the full class/piece folio/page schedule reference; you might be lucky and someone may have the census CD at home and be willing to check for you.

The class/piece number are normally to be found to the bottom/right of the census image and consist of either

HO107/ followed by a number of up to four figures (for 1841 and 1851)

RG followed by the number 9 (for 1861), 10 (for 1871), 11 (1881), 12 (1891) or 13 (1901), then an oblique stroke and a number of up to four figures.

The folio/page numbers are at the top of the page - the folio number is usually in heavier type (it was added later when the census books were bound together).

The schedule number is down the left side of the page and identifies each household. The whole thing put together amounts to a sort of address to locate entries in any census.

Carrie Meerten
17-03-2006, 9:30 AM
Here are snippets of the image HO107/1480 folio 284 page 62 schedule 258 Middlesex County. I believe it to be Forman Sailor as the neighbour is Wife to Navy Officer with another neighbour having the same occ Forman Sailor. I have also compared the first letter 'S' with the rest of the image and it appears to be an 'S'

17-03-2006, 9:50 AM
I can't see any of those, each image is just hatched lines. there is a way to show us by putting the image onto a website - I use photobucket - and then providing a link to it in your message

here is my edit
There is same occupation on the same page but a few lines above AND then a few lines below there is a house Servant and the first letter of the word Servant is exactly the same as the first letter of the word Sailor in the one we are deciphering so I would go for Forman Sailor.
This kind of tells me that the enumerator couldn't understand any accent other than his own local one because the Forman sailor a few lines above comes from Glamorgan Wales!


Carrie Meerten
17-03-2006, 9:58 AM
thanks, i will try that. be back soon...........

Carrie Meerten
17-03-2006, 10:12 AM
..... ok lets try these. Hopefully they will work

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g189/groovy202/0fa3aa75.jpg comparing S

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g189/groovy202/9a90e851.jpg Name of 'S'

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g189/groovy202/ee67ef70.jpg occupations


Christine White
17-03-2006, 12:12 PM
Thanks for all the comments & help. I guess you can see my dilemma. My local family history group meets tomorrow & I'll ask for opinions on the translation.
Bye for now,

17-03-2006, 12:15 PM
Could it be "for "but as in fore deck? I am sure I have read that sailors had particular areas they were if Petty Officers/Officers that they were in charge of so locigally following this premise then the sailors under their charge would work on the areas of the ship thus the "Fore deck Sailor" or is that too simple?

17-03-2006, 2:32 PM
I think Joette may have a good suggestion.

You were back in the days of sail when the ship's company was divided into watches Port and Starboard and also masts Fore, Main and Mizzen. The cream of the men who worked the masts were the topmen who climbed the mast to furl the sails and tend the rigging. I would have suggested Topman as the word but there is no sign of a tail on the third letter. It may just be that the ennumerator was not familiar with the terms used by the sailing fraternity.


Anthony Dale
14-12-2008, 3:41 PM
At least that's what it looks like on the census. Originally I thought it was 'Forman Sailor', but I'm open to suggestions.
In later census entries his occupation was shown as 'butler'.

could it possibly be former tailer as some scribes on the cencus were bad and also whilst unemployment had been bad in some areas my grandad allways said that if men were taken unemployed, they would give their previous role as a mark to say that they were skilled men and not wasters.

08-04-2009, 11:32 PM
my greatgrandfather ran a tailoring shop that had separate divisions for, jackets, evening wear, woman's apparel. undergarments, waistcoats/vest, workware and he held the title of master or forman tailor. both he and 2 others. like a clothing manufacturing plant title.