Dictionary of Old Occupations

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Definitions of jobs Sacristan - Schumacker

Sacristan: in charge of a sacristy, which is a church room for storing Parish records, vestments, church furnishing etc. Note – other religious buildings may also have had a sacristy, e.g. a monastery.

Sad Iron Grinder: worked in the manufacture of sad irons. Also known as solid irons, sad irons were handheld irons used by households until the mid 20th century to iron clothing. Made from cast iron, they were first heated and then used to press clothing over a flat surface. The sad irons I have encountered are significantly heavier than modern electric irons, which replaced them decades ago.

Saddle Tree Maker: produces the wooden frame for a horse saddle. The tree is customised to fit the size of horse and rider, and eventually covered with stretched leather.

Saddler: a tradesman who made horse saddles for sale, or repaired and maintained saddles.

Safernman: possibly an archaic spelling of 'Saffron Man', a seller of saffron. Saffron is an expensive spice derived from the Saffron Crocus, and is used to flavour food.

Saggar Maker: producer or seller of saggars. A saggar is a box-like fire clay container used to enclose pots which need protection whilst themselves being fired in the kiln, shielding them from heat variations.

Salinator: person who salted food. Salt was often added to food as a preservative.

Saloonist: ran a saloon, which in Britain was part of a pub (public house).

Salt Boiler: boiled sea water to produce salt. As the water boils away to steam, salt is left behind.

Salter: supplier of salt.

Saltpetre Man: produced or sold saltpetre. Saltpetre was produces by mixing soil, mortar or wood ashes and manure with organic materials such as straw. The mound was kept moist with urine for a year. A smelly job!

Sandesman: a messenger, envoy or ambassador.

Sandwasher: I found this occupational title in the 1901 census, it refers to a person employed at a water works. Water was filtered through sand as part of the purification process.

Sarcenet Weaver: worked in the textile industry weaving silk. The word is sometimes spelt 'sarcennett' or 'sarcinet'.

Savant: a Scholar. Comes from the French word ‘savoir’, meaning ‘knowing. You might come across this word as a misspelling of ‘servant’ when researching your family tree.

Sawbones: a slang term for a surgeon. Ever wondered how the character 'Bones' Star Trek got his name?

Sawer: spelling variation of Sawyer (see below), meaning a person who sawed wood.

Sawyer: used a saw to cut wood. May have been employed in the timber industry, or in other areas of manufacturing.

Say Weaver: a textile industry worker who wove material for tablecloths.

Scabbler: shaped stone into squares using a hammer or axe.

Scagiola Maker: made scagiola out of selenite (gypsum) and glue. Scagiola is used to decorate buildings, columns, statues etc.

Scaleraker: an alternate name for a scavenger - a street cleaner, dustman or a child working in the textile industry.

Copyright: Jane Hewitt. This dictionary is authorised for use on www.familyresearcher.co.uk only.

Scavelman: maintainer of ditches, canals and rivers.

Scavenger: sometimes called a scaffie, a scavenger was a dustman or street cleaner. Also, in the textile industry, the term scavenger referred to children employed in the highly dangerous job of darting under moving industrial machinery to snatch up waste material. A mistake could result in serious injury or death for the child.

Scholar: a child attending school. This term commonly shows up in census records. The child may only be attending school on a part-time basis.

Schoolmarm: alternate term for a Schoolmistress, a woman teaching in or running a school.

Schoolmaster: a man who taught schoolchildren or who ran a school.

Schoolmistress: more commonly refers to a woman teaching in a school, occasionally the title crops up meaning a headmistress running a school.

Schrimpschonger: a craftsman who made scrimshaw items. He carved the bones and teeth of marine animals into art.

Schumacker: a Cobbler or Shoemaker.

This dictionary is my own work, and copyright Jane Hewitt. I sometimes find unauthorised (i.e. stolen) copies of my website content appearing on other people's websites. If you should read a group of identical glossary definitions elsewhere on the web, consider whether such sites are reputable or not.

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