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knightroots
27-03-2005, 11:17 PM
Just thought you may like to know of records at Birmingham Archives.
The Canal Acts of 1877 and 1878 required all boats used as living accommodation to be registered for a maximum number of residents. On a recent visit, I found my gt gt gt grandfather KNIGHT owning 3 boats - the "Jimmy", "Emily" and "Harry" licenced to carry, amongst other cargos,......manure.
So.....my ancestor was a s**t shoveller

ann.pitts
12-01-2008, 3:59 PM
i'm encouraged with your find i am seeking that kind of info on my grandfather who also worked and lived on a long boat in kidderminster.did you do this online .could you give me details of birmingham archives
ann

Geoffers
12-01-2008, 4:33 PM
Birmingham City Archives link here (http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/archives.bcc)

daleaway
12-01-2008, 10:22 PM
My Birmingham ancestor was recorded in 1844 as being a "sailor".

Would this necessarily have meant he worked on ships going overseas, or could he have been on canal water transport?

Or did "inland" sailors all have specific names for their jobs?

Geoffers
12-01-2008, 10:38 PM
My Birmingham ancestor was recorded in 1844 as being a "sailor".
Would this necessarily have meant he worked on ships going overseas, or could he have been on canal water transport?

He would not necessarily have worked on ships going overseas. A sailor could also work on the coastal trade or in a harbour.

I would expect to see someone working on inland waterways to be described in a more specific manner - e.g. waterman, lighterman, bargeman, keelman, wherryman, etc.

Alan Welsford
05-02-2008, 10:02 PM
I would expect to see someone working on inland waterways to be described in a more specific manner - e.g. waterman, lighterman, bargeman, keelman, wherryman, etc.

Several of the FINCHERs from Tring, Herts, (or Marsworth, Bucks), who I am researching were canal boatmen, and are captured spasmodically in various censuses in the southern part of what would now be called the Grand Union Canal.

They would almost certainly have been crewing traditional canal narrow boats, rather than wide beam barges.

The occupations given for people working narrow boats vary enormously.

'Canal boatman' is probably how they should be known, and that is sometimes used.

I've seen...
Boatman
Boatman Captain
Boatman Master
Crew
Master
Captain of Boat
Mate
Boat Hand
(not an exhaustive list).

Many of these are certainly not typical canal usage, so I think are largely what the enumerator decided to go for on the day.

Often the name, and sometimes the tonnage of the boat is recorded, but by no means always. It would be great if they said who the boats belonged to, but they never do.

What has surprised me is significant numbers of people described as 'canal boatman', but who are at land based addresses. I'd not have expected this to happen very much in the latter half of the 19th century, but it does quite often.

Alan