• Big Book - S

    • Sachrist / Sachristan Person retained in a cathedral to copy out music for the choir, and take care of the books. One who is in charge of a sacristy. A sexton.
    • Saddle Tree Maker Made the wooden frames around which the saddle was formed with leather
    • Saddler One who makes, repairs or sells saddles or other furnishings for horses
    • Safernman Grower of Saffron.
    • Saggar Maker / Saggar Maker's Bottom Knocker Made saggars (fired clay containers used to hold ceramic items in the kiln whilst firing.) The Saggar Maker's Bottom Knocker was the saggar maker's assistant, usually a young boy, who was responsible for knocking clay into a large metal hoop using a huge flat mallet called a mawl, to form the bottom of the saggar.
    • Saloonist Saloon keeper
    • Salt Boiler Obtained salt from boiling salt water
    • Salter / Saucer Made or dealt in salt
    • Saltpetre Man Collected urine and dung, used in the manufacture of saltpetre.
    • Sarcinet Weaver Silk weaver
    • Sandesman Ambassador or messenger
    • Sasine (scottish)- see seisin
    • Sawbones Physician
    • Sawyer Timber mill/pit worker, sawing timber
    • Say Weaver Made "say" - used in making table cloths bedding etc.
    • Scagiola Maker Made imitation marble
    • Scappler Rough-shaped stone before final dressing by a stonemason
    • Scavelman Cleaned and maintained waterways and ditches
    • Scavenger / Scaleraker 1) Street cleaner 2) Scavenger - also a child employed in a spinning mill to collect loose cotton lying about the floor under machinery
    • Schools see education
    • Schrimpschonger Artisan carving bone, ivory, wood etc.(Scrimgeour, scrimshaw)
    • Schumacker Shoemaker
    • Scotch Draper / Scotchman Sold goods door to door on instalment payments
    • Scribe Clerk - writer
    • Scriber Marked bales of cotton on the docks with weight prior to being sold by brokers
    • Scribler A person who tends a wool/cotton-combing machine called a Scribler - the first process in carding the yarn
    • Scribbler Minor or worthless author
    • Scrimer Fencing master
    • Scrivenor/er 1) Professional or public copyist or writer 2) notary public
    • Scrutineer Election judge
    • Scutcher Beat flax to soften the straw
    • Scullery Maid Female servant who was given the menial tasks
    • Scullerman Sculled a boat, (rather than rowing it) in ports/rivers as a ferry
    • Scullion Male servant who was given the menial tasks
    • Sea Fencibles The Sea Fencibles were established by Order in Council in May 1798 to defend the coast from invasion; they comprised "all such of the inhabitants of the towns and villages of Great Britain as shall voluntarily offer themselves for the defence of the coast". They were taught to use musket, pike and cannon. They were to assist in the manning of defensive positions (Martello towers), plus coastal signal stations and eventually given small boats to patrol harbours. They were to be paid one shilling per day served. It was attractive to fishermen and the like as you were given immunity from being pressed into the Navy. They were organised into districts, commanded by Naval Officers. They grew to their maximum strength in 1810, when there were over 23,000 of them and were disbanded at the end of the wars in 1814.
    • Seal Presser Glassmaking - sealed the bath to prevent air spoiling the glass surface
    • Searcher Customs man (today called a rummager - self descriptive) who searched for contraband
    • Secondary evidence evidence that is inferior to primary evidence or the best evidence.
    • Secondary source a secondary source is a record that was created a significant amount of time after an event occurred. For example, a marriage certificate would be a secondary source for a birth date, because the birth took place several years before the time of the marriage. However, that same marriage certificate would be a primary source for a marriage date, because it was created at the time of the marriage.
    • Secret Springer Watch spring maker
    • Seedsman Sower or dealer in seeds
    • Seeker of the Dead During the Plague, old women woere employed to diagnose the Plague from the buboes and count the dead to enable the compilation of Bills of Mortality, for which they were paid from 3 to 4 pence per corpse.
    • Self-acting Minder Self Actor Minder Watched and minded the 'Self Acting Mule' - the name of a multi thread spinning machine. The original Mule was hand operated and was invented by Samuel Crompton of Bolton in 1779. It was made self-acting by Richard Roberts in 1830.
    • Self-addressed stamped envelope (sase) when you request records or other information from people and institutions, you should include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) in your letter. If you are expecting return mail from overseas, you should include an International Reply Coupon with your self-addressed envelope. This coupon serves as payment for any international postage you may need to pay. They can be purchased at your local post office.
    • Seisin possession of land by freehold
    • Seized To be in legal possession of, from the feudal concept of "seisin"
    • Semi Lorer Made leather thongs
    • Sempster / Sempstress / Sewster Seamstress
    • Seneschal steward or major domo of a great mediaeval house;cathedral official; judge in Sark
    • Sephardi Jew of spanish or Portuguese descent.
    • Serv. (abbreviation) servant
    • Settlement acts (link needed)
    • Sewer Hunter Scavenged in the sewers
    • Sewer Rat Bricklayer who made and repaired sewers and tunnels
    • Sewing Clerk Oversaw and collected clothing piecework
    • Sexton Church caretaker - sometimes dug graves or rang the bells
    • Shallooner See Chaloner
    • Shantyman Woodman, lumberman
    • Sharecropper Tenant farmer whose pay was a fixed part of the crop
    • Shearer As today, sheared the fleece from sheep
    • Shearman / Sherman 1) Skilled worker who sheared the nap from cloth - also Cropper 2) Cutter of metal.
    • Sheath Maker Made sword and dagger scabbards
    • Sheepman Shepherd
    • Shepster 1) Dressmaker 2) Sheep Shearer
    • Sheriff Representative of Royal office in a Shire.
    • Ship's Husband Supplied stores for and maintained ships in dock
    • Ship Master Ship's Captain - still used today - often also the vessel's owner
    • Shipwright Builder and repairer of ships
    • Shoe Finder Sold cobbler's tools
    • Shoesmith 1) Cobbler 2) Shoed horses
    • Shoe Wiper Polished shoes - a boot-boy
    • Shot Firer Employed blasting in quarries
    • Shrager Trimmed and pruned trees
    • Shrieve / Shriever Sheriff
    • Shuffler Farm yardman
    • Shunter Moved - shunted - rolling stock around in railway yards to make up, and break down, goods trains
    • Shuttle Maker Made the wooden shuttles for the looms
    • Shuttle Tip Maker Made the pointed steel shuttle tips and made in many different designs. A very skilled job as the tips had to withstand being hammered to make the shuttles fly through the yarns from one side of the loom to the other and had to have aerodynamic properties. Forged by hammering red-hot steel
    • Sibling a brother or sister, persons who share the same parents in common.
    • Sic latin term signifying a copy reads exactly as the original; indicates a possible mistake in the original.
    • Sick Visitor Employed by Friendly Societies, who paid benefits to sick people, to ensure they were entitled to receive/continue to receive benefits.
    • Sickleman Reaper
    • Sidesman Churchwarden's assistant - esp. in church services
    • Silkman Person engaged in the manufacture and or sale of silk
    • Silk Drawer Drew silk from silk waste for spinning
    • Silk Dresser Prepared the silk for weaving
    • Silk Engine Turner Worked on automatic silk weaving looms
    • Silk Mercer Silk merchant
    • Silk Piecer Joined the broken threads in the silk spinning mills
    • Silk Staff Man Probably a worker more on a permanant rather than itinerary position.
    • Silk Steward Manager of a silk weaving/spinning/winding and cleaning room
    • Silk Thrower/Throwster Employed in the silk weaving industry, twisting silk into yarn
    • Silk Twister Silk Spinner (from the raw)
    • Silk Winder Wound the silk from the silkworm cocoons onto bobbins
    • Silker Bound the ends of the silk fabric to prevent fraying
    • Simpler Agriculturalist (herbalist)
    • Sinker Sunk shafts for mining
    • Sinker Maker Made lead weights used with hosiery knitting machines, (Nottingham Area)
    • Sissor / Cissor Tailor
    • Sizer Applied size to cloth in manufacture
    • Skepper / Skelper Beehive maker/seller
    • Skinkster Alehouse tapster
    • Skinner 1) Dealer in hides 2) Mule driver
    • Skip Maker Made skips (large baskets), used in mining and quarrying, for transporting product or personnel
    • Slapper / Slaper Pottery worker who prepared the clay for the potter
    • Slasher Applied size (Slasher Sizing) to the warp thread in weaving, to strengthen it and facilitate the weaving process.
    • Slater Roofer
    • Slate River Was employed to cleave blocks of quarried slate in the making of slates for roofing etc. (River pronounced as in diver)
    • Slaymaker Made the reeds or slays used in weaving. Slays (wooden pegs) or reeds were used to separate the threads on the loom
    • Slinger Person who used slings for loading goods on ships, wagons etc.
    • Slopseller 1) Slopshop keeper - readymade clothes 2) Basket seller
    • Slubber Prepared cotton for spinning, removing the "slubs"
    • Slubber Doffer Removed the empty bobbins from the loom spindles
    • Slubbing Frame Fitter Installed and maintained a Slubbing Frame, used in the preparation of cotton ready for spinning
    • Smallpox contagious disease which was often fatal
    • Smallware Maker Made "smallware" - tapes, braids, ribbons etc.
    • Smelter 1) Smelt fisherman 2) Smelter in an iron foundry
    • Smiddy Smith sometimes still used as a nickname for Smith surname
    • Smith Metal worker see also Engine Smith, Blacksmith, Fender Smith
    • Smoke Doctor Specialist in the construction or repair of chimneys
    • Smugsmith Smuggler
    • Snobscat / Snob Shoe repairer
    • Snuffer Maker Made candle snuffers
    • S/o (abbrev) son of
    • Soaper / Soper / Soap Boiler Soap Maker
    • Soc.(abbrev) Society
    • Social security death index(USA) the Social Security Death Index is an index of Social Security Death records. Generally this includes names of deceased Social Security recipients whose relatives applied for Social Security Death Benefits after their passing. Also included in the millions of records are approximately 400,000 railroad retirement records from the early 1900s to 1950s
    • SoG Society of Genealogists
    • Sojourn Clothier Travelling clothes salesman
    • Sojourner (parish records) a stranger passing through, a traveller, one not expected to settle in the parish
    • Sortor Tailor
    • Soundex phoenetic indexing system.
    • Source the document, record, publication, manuscript, etc. used to prove a fact
    • Souter Shoe maker
    • Spallier Tin worker's assistant
    • Speenhamland A system of Poor Laws, widely adopted.
    • Sperviter Sparrow keeper
    • Spicer Spice dealer / grocer
    • Spindle & Fly Maker Made the metal Spindles and Fly used in spinning machines
    • Spinner Spun the yarn to make cloth
    • Spinster 1) A woman who spins 2) unmarried woman
    • Splitter Worked a machine splitting stone, timber etc. or did so by hand
    • Sponsor a sponsor is an individual other than the parents of a child that takes responsibility for the child's religious education. Sponsors are usually present at a child's baptism. Sponsors are often referred to as godparents
    • Spooner Spoon maker
    • Sprig Maker A weaver of fine lace sprigs applique. eg 'Honiton' Lace in Devon
    • Spurrer / Spurrier Made spurs
    • Squire / Esquire 1) Country landed gentleman 2) Magistrate or justice of the peace 3) Knight's attendant 4) Professional man
    • Stabler Ostler
    • Stab-rag Tailor (military slang) mid 19c - also Rag-stabber (slang)
    • Stallman Market stall holder
    • Stampman Worked an ore-crushing machine
    • Stationary Engine Driver Operated steam factory engine, used for all processes, usually linked by a system of shafts, pulleys and belts
    • Stationary Engineer Maintained the factory steam engine and machinery
    • Statist Politician
    • Statute a law.
    • Staymaker Corset maker
    • Steeplejack Worked on steeples, chimneys, flagpoles etc - still exists
    • Steersman Ship's helmsman
    • Stenterer Worked a cloth finishing machine
    • Step Boy Helped passengers on and off coaches Stepchild child of one of the spouses by a former marriage who has not been adopted by the step-parent.
    • Stepfather husband of a child's mother by a later marriage
    • Stepmother wife of a child's father by a later marriage.
    • Stews brothel (often used in plural form with singular meaning)
    • Stick Maker Made walking sticks
    • Still Room Maid Worked in the Victorian Still-Room in a large household where she would concoct the kitchen cleaners, soaps, candles and cosmetics for the lady of the house
    • Stockinger Kntter weaver or seller of stockings
    • Stoker Tended and fed coal to boilers in mills and aboard ship
    • Stoker Refuse Destructor Fed refuse to an incinerator
    • Stone Dresser Prepared quarried stone for building. This would include cutting it into regular sized blocks with a reasonably even surface
    • Stone Picker Removed stones from fields before planting
    • Stoneman / Stonewarden Highway surveyor
    • Stover / Stever/ Staver The senior member of a partnership of miners and in charge at the surface
    • Stowyer Stowed nets on fishing boats
    • Stravaiger Vagrant
    • Strawman (16/17c) Hired to give false evidence for the prosecution in Court
    • Straw Joiner Thatcher (of roofs)
    • Straw Plaiter Plaited straw for use in hat-making
    • Streaker Laid out bodies for burial
    • Street Orderly/Boy Street cleaner
    • Strickler Skimmed off the scum from molten iron in a mould
    • Stretcher / Tenter Stretched fabrics after weaving on a frame with hooks - origin of saying "on tenterhooks"
    • Striker / Stryker 1) Blacksmith's assistant 2) Harpoon man on a whaler
    • Stripper Cleaned the carding machines in mills
    • Stringer Made bowstrings
    • Stroller 1) A vagabond, vagrant; an itinerant beggar or pedlar. 2) An itinerant actor; a strolling player.
    • Stuff Gownsman Junior barrister
    • Stuff Weaver Wove "stuff" - a coarse cloth
    • Sucksmith Made Ploughshares
    • Suffrage see emancipation
    • Sugar Baker 1) Sugar Refiner 2) Made confectionery or cake decorations 3) Fancy baker.
    • Sumner Summoner or Apparitor
    • Sumpter Porter
    • Supercargo Officer on a chartered merchant ship who is in charge of cargo and the commercial concerns of the ship (on behalf of the charterers) - Still in use
    • Surname family name
    • Sutler Merchant or peddler in an army camp
    • Swailer 1) Miller 2) Grain dealer
    • Swain Herdsman
    • Swaith Maker A Swaith / Swathe was (usually) a cotton or silk shroud used for burial
    • Sweep Chimneysweep
    • Swell Maker Made shallow baskets
    • Swiller A basket weaver/maker - an old Cumberland name
    • Swineyard / Swineherd Pig Keeper
    • Swingler Beat flax to remove the coarse parts
    • Sword Cutler Made swords