Henry Fletcher, my 3rd Great Grandfather was born in 1806 in England. In 1826 his first born daughter Louisa was baptized in Yeovil, Somerset, England at Church of St John the Baptist. His occupation on the Baptismal record is recorded as Grinder. He lists his occupation as a Grinder for about 10 years. On the manifest of The Arlington, the ship that brought him to New Orleans he lists his occupation as Gun Smith.
What is a Grinder?
I had an idea, thought, inkling so I went exploring. A Grinder is a person or thing that grinds something, a person employed to grind cutlery, or tools. This means sharpen. They usually went from door to door and sharpened cutlery, scissors, knives and tools.
Photograph of a Russian Grinder by photographer William Carrick
The Grinder would cart around a portable grindstone and sharpen right there at your home, barn, shop or wherever you needed him.
In very rural areas of the world grinders still arrive at your doorstep. My mother tells me she recalls Grinders calling on them at her home and her grandparent’s home.
This week enjoy The Grinder.