Monday, 9 April 2012

A-Z Challenge: H is for Hiring Fairs

Hiring Fairs were usually held annually in market towns.  They were set up to enable employers to find employees (and vice versa, of course) - usually domestics and farm labourers.  If your ancestors were in one place for a long time, then suddenly moved, it may well have been because they had been attracted to a nearby Hiring Fair, the husband (usually) got hired some way away, and so the whole family moved.  Maybe your ancestor was a single man when he went to a Hiring Fair, then he was hired, found a wife locally, and settled down - and thus, your ancestors moved.

One of the most well-known Hiring Fairs appear in the novels of Thomas Hardy, such as Far From the Madding Crowd, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and the most well-known of all: Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

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