Gravestones & Memorials Honouring The Lifetime Occupation of the Deceased.


Today, placing the former occupation of a relative on a gravestone or memorial might seem a little unusual.  However, in the past, some people had so strong an association with their occupation that it was felt appropriate to mention their occupation on their gravestone or memorial.  This article contains some fine examples of the former occupation of the deceased being mentioned on their gravestone  or  memorial. 


James Barlow Iron Master from Gwersyllt 20th November 1856 St John the Baptist Chester

James Barlow - Iron Master


Location of the gravestone - St. John the Baptist Church, Chester, Cheshire, England.

The gravestone reads,

"In memory of James Barlow, Iron Master, late of
Gwersyllt Iron Works near Wrexham who died 20th November 1856 aged 56"

James Barlow was born in Chirk, Wrexham in about 1800. He resided at the Forge House, Mold Road, Gwersyllt, Wrexham. He inhabited Forge House with his brother, Thomas Barlow, who was also an iron worker



James Burgess Ostrich Feather Manufacturer from Liverpool 29th February 1858 St John the Baptist Chester

James Burgess -

Ostrich Feather Manufacturer.


Location of the gravestone - St. John the Baptist Church,
Chester, Cheshire, England.


The gravestone reads,


" In memory of James Burgess late of Liverpool. Ostrich Feather Manufacturer who died February 29th 1858 aged 69 years"


James Burgess was born in about 1789 in Chelmsford, Essex. James had a wife called Elizabeth. They both resided in Sir Thomas' Building, Liverpool. In the 1851 Census James
proudly boasted of employing 20 females.


Thomas Marsh Searcher Customs Officer 15th July 1866 St John the Baptist Chester

Thomas Marsh - Customs Officer


Location of the gravestone - St. John the Baptist Church, Chester, Cheshire, England.

The gravestone reads, "In memory of Thomas Marsh late
of H.M.Customs Liverpool and formally of Faversham, Kent who died in Chester July 15th 1866 aged 79"

Thomas Marsh was born in 1787 in Herne, Kent. Thomas spent some years of his life residing in Faversham, Kent. Thomas was employed as a "searcher" by H.M.Customs and Excise. At least part of his service was conducted in Liverpool, where he lived in Washington Street with his
family. After completing his service it would appear that he retired, with a pension, to Vicar's Cottage, Vicars Lane, Chester. He died at Vicar's Cottage on the 15th July 1866. He left behind a widow called Mary Elizabeth Marsh.


Thomas Griffies Timber Merchant 24th October 1784 Chester Cathedral Chester

Thomas Griffies - Timber Merchant


Location of the memorial - Chester Cathedral, Chester,
Cheshire, England.


The memorial reads,


"Near this place lie the remains of Ann Parsons who died 24th October 1784, aged 84 years. Also of Thomas Griffies, Timber Merchant who died 22nd September 1798, aged 77 years. And of Martha, his wife, the daughter of Ann Parsons, who died July 1792 aged 65 Years.


Local trade directories indicate that Thomas Griffies was a timber merchant operating from St. Johns Street, Chester.



John Lowe Tobacconist 25th September 1804 Chester Cathedral Chester

John Lowe - Tobacconist


Location of the memorial - Chester Cathedral, Chester, Cheshire, England.

The memorial reads,


"Underneath lie the remains of John Lowe late of this City: tobacconist who died 25th Sept 1804 aged 65. He was an affectionate husband. A kind and indulgent parent, and a truly honest man. Also the remains of Katharine relict of the above John Lowe who died 6th of July 1807 aged 59".


John Lowe was a tobacco merchant operating from, and
residing in, Watergate Street, Chester. After his death his trade was continued by his son, also called John. Both of them were registered as Freemen of the City of Chester.


Lloyd Family Judges & law clerks Chester Cathedral Chester

The Lloyd Family - A Family of Judges and Legal Clerks


Location of the memorial - Chester Cathedral, Chester,
Cheshire, England.


The memorial reads,


"John Lloyd Prothonotary of the Counties of Chester and Flint born 16 Dec 1770, died 14 Nov 1844 was buried in
the Cathedral Church near this spot.


Edward Watson Lloyd, his son, Clerk of the Crown for the
North Wales and Chester Circuit, born 2 April 1802, died 16 May 1850.


This memorial tablet substituted for one on the floor of this aisle was placed here October 1885 by Horatio Lloyd, Recorder of Chester and Judge of County Courts of North Wales and Chester, in loving and respectful remembrance of his father and grandfather."



Edward Crewe Gardener 14th February 1869 All Saints Gresford Wrexham Wales Edward Crewe - Gardener

Location of the gravestone - All Saints Church, Gresford, Wrexham, Wales

The gravestone reads,

"Sacred to the memory of Edward Crewe of Marford in this Parish and for nearly 22 years gardener at Trevalyn Hall. Died February 14th 186(?) Aged 68 years"

Depending on the historical records viewed, Edward Crewe was born in either 1800, or 1801, in Burton, Denbighshire, Wales.

At the time of the 1851 Census, Edward Crewe gave his occupation as a gardener. He was living in Rossett, as a widower.  He had four of his children living with him,

Margaret Crewe, born 1823, Burton, Denbighshire, Wales

Elizabeth Crewe, born 1826, Burton, Denbighshire, Wales

Jane Crewe, born 1829, Rossett, Denbighshire, Wales

William Crewe, born 1831, Rossett, Denbighshire, Wales

Also resident in the household is Jane Crewe, a widow,born 1754 in Rossett.  This may be an exaggerated age as this would make her 97 years old! Although it can not be proved at this time, it is possible that this could be Edward's mother.

In 1854 Edward Crewe re-married.  He married Margaret Robert who was born in 1821, in Gresford.  Margaret was 20 years younger than Edward, and she was only 2 years younger than his eldest daughter who was also called Margaret.

In the 1861 census, Edward Crewe again gave his occupation as a gardener.  By this time Edward and his wife Margaret had set-up home in Marford. 

Edward Crewe died on the 14th February 1869 and was buried in the churchyard at All Saints, Gresford.

On the 18th March 1869 Edward Crewe's will was proved by means of his wife Margaret, who was acting as an executor, taking an oath.  Edward Crewe's effects were valued at under £100.

In 1871, Edward's widow, Margaret, was still residing in Marford. Like many widows she still needed an income so she worked as a washer woman.

If you are interested in gravestones in the North Wales & Cheshire area it is worth visiting the owners sister website