After you've found out the when and where of a family member's birth and death, one of the easier facts to fill in in between (not always, but a lot of times, yes) is occupation (for men anyway, although it's always interesting to see women's occupations throughout history. But it can tell you a lot - it can give you an idea of whether a place was urban or rural; it can give you an idea of what a person's father might have done for a living, as some children followed in their father's footsteps; it can give you an idea of what was driving the local economy; it can give you an idea if or why your family moved, if they were working in an industry that eventually collapsed or became obsolete.
So I always get excited when I find out a new ancestor occupation, and I recently did, about my Meinberg family in Heppenheim. Eva Meinberg Haase, my third-great grandmother, was born in New York City in 1861; her father, John Meinberg, was an immigrant from Heppenheim in Hesse. I know nothing about him personally - he's one of my ghost ancestors I'm still chasing - but I know about his family, and they both apparently came from a long line of millers in Heppenheim. They were *the* millers apparently, and the title of the article I found is "Once one of the richest families in the city."
There were at least 14 millers in the family over 8 generations and they were, obviously, very successful at it. It appears that at some point, the milling business passed to another branch of the Meinbergs, not my Meinbergs, which is perhaps why my branch ended up in America, if they hadn't inherited the lucrative family business. I have no idea what John ended up doing in America instead. But it was interesting to see this article, not written as a genealogy article, but written by someone interested in history, specifically German history and the history of mills, focusing on my family - my 9th great-grandparents, Johann Meinberg and Eva Farrenkopf, are mentioned in the article. In fact, that's how I found the story. Lesson number two today - never underestimate the power of a well-phrased Google search, as well as the power of Google translate!!