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mlagusis
05-08-2006, 1:20 AM
I have been searching for information on my gg-grandfather, William Clark. He was listed as a carpenter on his son Robert's birth certificate in 1839, living in Newington, Surrey.
In the various directories from that area and time (Pigot's Surrey 1840 Trade Directory and Pigot's Middlesex 1839 Trade Directory) carpenters are generally listed as Carpenters and Undertakers. Can anyone elaborate on this association?

Peter Goodey
05-08-2006, 7:02 AM
"...Carpenters and Undertakers. Can anyone elaborate on this association?"

Well, it was just a common combination.

Funerals...coffins...wood...carpentry. What more can one say?

Copper
05-08-2006, 10:03 AM
A small branch of my Goughs in Calne in Wiltshire were carpenters for generations. In the early 1900s they added undertaker to their job description. It made sense to me as they would be able to make the coffins. I did wonder if business was getting a bit slow and therefore it would make sense to diversify, especially as there is always a need for a coffin.

Harfink
05-08-2006, 1:31 PM
Out in my part of Shropshire the local undertaker also makes nesting boxes for our feathered friends.

Geoffers
05-08-2006, 2:12 PM
About 1980 I moved for a short period to Sussex, on arrival I saw an Undertaker's premises, and two doors away a shop run by people with the same surname which was a 'family butcher' - I often wondered........

Geoffers, who about 1980 was a vegetarian for a while.

kiwipom
17-09-2007, 8:25 PM
Not too unusual in a small town or village. Even in 1960 I worked for a small town builder, who was also undertaker.
They had the carpenter to make the coffin, the labourers to prepare the grave and, if necessary act as Pallbearers. In the day they would have a stout cart or dray and horses for the Hearse.
So just a convenience of skills really

Tony

suedent
17-09-2007, 8:33 PM
In Cornwall the combination still occurs. Growing up in the 1970's my schoolfriend's father was a builder & undertaker.
In Liskeard probably the best known company of undertakers Ugalde's is also a building firm & has been for well over 100 years.

MarkJ
17-09-2007, 10:05 PM
There are lots of builder/undertakers in Cornwall still - it is a very common combo for some odd reason. I can understand the carpenter/undertaker one - as Peter says, the two go hand in hand with the wood link. But builders? It has always puzzled me how those two fit together.
Around Truro, most of the builders are also undertakers.

Mark

suedent
17-09-2007, 10:12 PM
There are lots of builder/undertakers in Cornwall still - it is a very common combo for some odd reason. I can understand the carpenter/undertaker one - as Peter says, the two go hand in hand with the wood link. But builders? It has always puzzled me how those two fit together.
Around Truro, most of the builders are also undertakers.

Mark

Perhaps because the smaller building firms, especially the family ones multi-task and can turn their hand to carpentry, bricklaying etc. I know our village builders used to be able to tackle just about anything before the laws tightened up regarding electrics & plumbing.

Davran
18-09-2007, 2:29 PM
Our local undertakers are also builders.