She Shucks Shellfish

A shucker is a person who shucks things (that is, removes the husk or shell from something). The something in question is generally an oyster or clam, although corn must also be shucked prior to consumption. Now, you might not think that the shellfish industry would need all that many full-time shuckers, but in 1940 nearly 9,000 persons were making their livings that way.

What’s more, it’s relatively simple to search for shuckers in the 1940 federal population census. In the bottom right corner of the Ancestry LE (Ancestry Library Edition) landing page (or midway on the HeritageQuest Online landing page), select 1940 from the U.S. Census box. Now try the following search:

SEARCH—OCCUPATION: oyster shucker (Exact)

This search returns 5,069 results.

You can also try this search, if you prefer:

SEARCH—OCCUPATION: clam shucker (Exact)

This search returns 3,857 results.

Don’t forget this search:

SEARCH—OCCUPATION: corn shucker (Exact)

This search returns 4,151 results.

You can use HeritageQuest Online at home (with a valid SLPL library card), or at Central Library or any of our branches.

You can use Ancestry LE at Central Library or any of our branches.

Here’s a list of SLPL reference databases.

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