As part of a paper that I’m writing on Deaf spaces in the early church, I’ve been tracing Samuel Smith’s life in the official record. And I’d hit rather a large problem. Despite his importance to the story of St Saviour’s, I’ve been really struggling to find him in the census data.
I have a clue why now…
Basically, the census tools that we use to search census actually search the transcriptions made of the censuses. They have to; they can’t search the original images. So, when you’re searching records, you rely on the transcriber of the records having done their job as well as possible.
That’s not always the case.
Ignore the top line… what does that say?
Well, I know that it says
Chaplain of the Royal Ass. in aid of Deaf & Dumb and minister of St saviour’s Church for the Deaf + Dumb Oxford St West.
No wonder I couldn’t find him.