Occupations Part 1: Conrads

It being Labor Day, I thought I would write a post about the occupations of my direct ancestors. I quickly realized it would become very long, and so have broken it down into my four main lines which I will post during this week. First, the Conrads.

Here is the line, starting with my grandfather and working back.

  • Edward Charles Conrad (1905-1981): hosiery worker, merchant
  • Nicholas Conrad (1867-1942): warper
  • Nicholas Conrad (c1824-1874): box maker, barrel dealer, cooper
Hosiery Mill workers at their machines. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Hosiery Mill Workers, Philadelphia, c.1937-1938. Wikimedia Commons.

My grandfather, Edward Conrad, like many of his neighbors in Kensington, worked in the hosiery mills after leaving school. In the 1930 census, he was listed as a knitter and in his 1940 World War II draft card he indicated his employer was International Hosiery at 1200 E. Venango Street in Philadelphia. He later owned his own business at theĀ  corner of H & Ontario Streets. He closed the business before I can remember, but I know he sold ice cream among other things.



Illustrative photo of a warper at his machine.
Warper at his machine, Newton, NC, 1908. Wikimedia Commons.

My great-grandfather, Nicholas Conrad (1867-1942) was a warper at the hosiery mills. This is the only occupation I ever saw listed for him.

He worked in the mills at least from age thirteen in 1880 to his death in 1942 at the age of 75.

My father told me he was very thrifty, and would walk to work rather than pay a nickel to ride the streetcar.



Illustrative photo of a barrel maker.
Barrel Maker in the 1850’s-1860’s. Wikimedia Commons.

My great-great grandfather, Nicholas Conrad (c1824-1874), likely immigrated in the early 1850’s. I have not found him in the 1850 census, and he was married in Philadelphia in 1853. This means I only have 2 census records for him. In 1860 he was listed as a box maker and in 1870 as a barrel dealer. His 1874 death certificate records his occupation as cooper, which is someone who makes barrels and similar containers.

On this day Nicholas Conrad naturalized

On this day in 1858 my 2nd great-grandfather Nicholas Conrad became a naturalized citizen of the United States. At least I think it was my Nicholas Conrad. The naturalization records of the mid-nineteenth century were not very detailed, so the best I can say is that a Nicholas Conrad from Bavaria was naturalized in Philadelphia within a logical time period and place for my 2nd great-grandfather having done so.

Nicholas swore his oath at the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and renounced his allegiance to the King of Bavaria, officially becoming a United States citizen.

See also my transcription of his declaration of intent and naturalization papers.

Signature of Nicholas Conrad from his Naturalization Petition 1858
Signature of Nicholas Conrad from his Naturalization Petition 1858

Nicholas Conrad Sr. Death 1874

Return of a Death
In the City of Philadelphia.
Physician’s Certificate.

Nicholas Conrad death certificate. Click to see full size.

1. Name of the Deceased, Nicholas Conrad
2. Color, White
3. Sex, Male
4. Age, 50 Years
5. Married or Single, Married
6. Date of Death, Dec 4th 1874
7. Cause of Death, Pneumonia

[signed] L.[K?]. Stine, M.D.
Residence, 1502 N. 4th St.


Undertaker’s Certificate in Relation to Deceased.

8. Occupation, Cooper
9. Place of Birth, Germany
10. When a Minor, [parents names not listed because not a minor]
11. Ward, 19
12. Street and Number, 1729 N. 4th St.
13. Date of Burial, Dec 7 / 74
14. Place of Burial, Glenwood Cemetery

[signed] Henry Schneider, Undertaker
Residence, 1737 Germantown Ave.


Original Source Citation: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1320976 : accessed 13 May 2017), Nicholas Conrad, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6B5-38M.