Old Timey Name That I Lost
March 22, 2015 3:53 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for the old time name of a job that I know one of my ancestors did for several generations. It's a weird sounding name for a person that makes sheep gates out of hazel or willow hurdles. I knew it a couple of years ago and have since lost it from my memory and bookmarks. The name was obscure enough that I had no inkling that it was a 'sheepgate maker'(portable sheep fencing) until I googled it and found a reference in a piece or blog about Victorian era occupations. I remember laughing at what it was.

A couple of years ago I was doing some work on my family trees on Ancestry. I had found some recordings from English census with my ancestors of the weird sounding job. I recall that I found out that several generations did it and thinking about how it was a job that died out in industrialization and you can see the change through the censuses. So I know that I didn't dream this.
I appear to have lost any links I found in researching the word. I've spent some time googling. I spent some times searching through some English census to see if I can track down what entries I saw it and haven't been successful.

Not being able to remember this occupation dream and having my google skills found wanting is bugging so I am turning to the hivemind.

I'm hoping that someone out there happens to know an older way of describing a person who makes sheep gates and other portable fences out weaving willow or hazel.
posted by Jalliah to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: WATTLE HURDLE MAKER "Made a type of fence / enclosures from wattle to keep sheep in"?
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:01 PM on March 22, 2015

posted by LobsterMitten at 4:01 PM on March 22, 2015

Hayard maybe?
posted by aubilenon at 4:02 PM on March 22, 2015

Best answer: Is it Wattlehurdle maker?
posted by kaybdc at 4:02 PM on March 22, 2015

You can see a hurdler at work in this video. You could also look at coppicing for other professions/uses?
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:03 PM on March 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

And wattle hurdling aten't dead yet.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:03 PM on March 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Forgot to post link. FWIW I just googled sheep fence maker willow. While I am a font of useless information, this was not something I'd heard of before. Great word; hope I get to use it again!
posted by kaybdc at 4:06 PM on March 22, 2015

Response by poster: Yes! I think is was Wattlehurdle maker.
Thank you. That was quick.

I now recall thinking when I found out what it was the name made sense.

Monkeytoes, I know that it still exists which is cool. I will have track down that line of the family again because it was interesting how many members of the family did it, in at least two or three generations, then you could see where they start to just become general laborers and then where the guy from my line hops over to Canada and ends up in what must have been a primo job in comparison to what the others in his family were doing. (Horse and buggy milk-man)
posted by Jalliah at 4:18 PM on March 22, 2015

Just yesterday I was revisiting the book Lost Crafts and was reading about wattle hurdles, if only this had come up at a dinner party!
posted by InkaLomax at 4:38 AM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

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