Sunday, September 2, 2012

To Labor


By definition: labor is the human activity that provides the goods for wages.  This Labor Day I have compiled a list of “jobs” that our Adams, Cox, Dollen, Dooley and Meyer ancestors performed for wages.


Rag Sorter
Wheelwright
Farmers
Koethner “Cottager” or small farmer
Tailor
Carpenters
Plasterer
Telephone Operator
Secretary
Manufacturing: Research and Development
Painter/Auto Shop
Telephone Company Lineman
Fireman
Policeman
Gambler
Physicians
Dentist
Teachers


Elizabeth “Betsey” Strong, my third great grandmother, labored as a rag sorter in St. Decuman Parish, Somerset, England. Betsey, age 34, was a widow and supported three daughters: Sarah Caroline (age 11), Emma (age 9) and Fanny (age 7). Her husband, Henry Strong, passed away in 1840. She most likely labored as a rag sorter for eight more years until their 1849 passage to America aboard the ship, Shannon.

Rag Sorting reminds me that nothing stays the same. I doubt that there are rag sorters in today’s work force but wonder what jobs of today will stay and which will disappear as rag sorting did.

Happy Labor Day to those who labor. I extend my sincerest prayers for those who wish to labor but cannot find a job. Here’s to a better, brighter future.

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