10 December 2014

Workday Wednesday reveals a sawyer in the family

I have a sawyer in the family. That’s right – a sawyer. Not, as I previously and erroneously thought, a lawyer.

A week and a half ago I posted “Census Sunday: Census raises questions concerning George Van Horn.”  The responses I received via personal messages and Facebook made me realize the first letter is clearly a S and that makes so much more sense. George Van Horn was a sawyer in the 1850 Census in Philadelphia. Ten years later he appears in Chester County as a farmer. I never could understand how one went from a lawyer to a farmer. This makes sense.

So what is a sawyer?
A sawyer is defined as “one who sawed trees or wood by hand at a lumber mill or at a lumbering operation.”

McCutcheon, Marc. “Everyday Life in the 1800s” Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books, Page 135.

Merriam-Webster. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sawyer. Last accessed online 10 December 2014.

Workday Wednesday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.