Knowing that your ancestor was a farmer, a cooper, a blacksmith, etc. is good for an initial point of reference, but sometimes knowing more about the daily work of your ancestor can be to your advantage. If he was involved in a lawsuit that resulted from his job, a working knowledge of “how” he worked can be helpful in interpreting records and testimony. Just knowing something about his daily work can give you more insight into his life, social history, etc.
Those who did not have a paying job still worked, especially mothers who were at home with their children. Knowing what their typical day consisted of can also help provide insight into your family’s life one hundred years ago.
All of this can also help in the analysis of estate inventories which often contain work items and “around the house” items.
Want to get tips in print form? Check out the Genealogy of the Tip of the Day book.