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Shropshire Archives is open in a phased way from 21 April 2021.

Poor Law Project

Wellington settlement examinations

November 10, 202010:34 amLeave a Comment

During the first lock down, while working from home, I started cataloguing a volume of settlement examinations for Wellington, ref P291/L/3/1. I’ve just completed this and the index is now online complete with digital images. The examinations begin from September 1821 and extend to 1830, with some later notes added. They provide a fascinating glimpse […]

Institutionalising the Poor

November 6, 20181:59 pmNovember 6, 2018 2:02 pmLeave a Comment

 Almshouses, Infirmaries, the House of Correction and the Asylum Workhouses were not the only institutions that housed the poor, particularly before 1834 when paupers were dealt with by the community. Other institutions where you might find them include: Almshouses/Parish Poorhouses Almshouses relied on charitable donations and were usually run by religious houses or organisations. You […]

Finding Old Poor Law records

August 10, 20188:08 amOctober 2, 2018 7:41 amLeave a Comment

Parish collections Most of our Old Poor Law documents can be found in the parish collections under ‘L’. For example, ‘P68/L’ is the reference for Poor Law administration for Claverley. Records found within the parish collections may include: Overseers’ accounts (if you can’t find these under ‘L’ it is worth looking to see if they […]

Poor Relief Under the Old and New Laws

July 7, 201810:32 amJuly 7, 2018 1:38 pmLeave a Comment

Many people don’t realise they have a pauper ancestor until they find them in a workhouse on the census or baptism or burial record. This week I’m going to be looking at how workhouses operated in relation to out-relief in the cross-over years with the Old and New Poor Laws. The Evolution of the Workhouse […]

Do you have a bastard ancestor?

May 3, 20183:17 pmLeave a Comment

If you know or suspect that one of your ancestors was a bastard, the bastardy records within the Old Poor Law collections are an incredibly useful source of information. If you are trying to identify whether or not your ancestor was a bastard, it is often directly stated in the baptism registers. Where this is […]

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Indexing the Overseers’ Accounts

April 5, 20188:50 amLeave a Comment

Overseers’ accounts list the parishioners paying the poor rate and the paupers who then received it through poor relief. They are one of the most detailed sources of information for the Old Poor Law, detailing exactly how this money was spent. The accounts can often help fill in the gaps when researching a pauper ancestor. […]

Tracing Your Ancestor Through The Sources

March 15, 20183:52 pmMarch 16, 2018 9:17 amLeave a Comment

Project Update Since setting the scene in my last blog post, I’ve had the opportunity to get stuck into some of the original Old Poor Law documents and have a go at tracing people in them. On the whole, this has been fairly successful so far, but not without its setbacks. Unless your ancestor is […]

Old Poor Law Records

February 28, 201812:42 pmMarch 16, 2018 9:53 amLeave a Comment

A Family Historian’s Gold Mine? Poor Law records aren’t necessarily the most obvious place to start when researching family history and often end up under-used. However, they can provide a wealth of information on people’s pauper relatives. As parishes were forced to accept responsibility for their own poor, in-depth examinations and disputes as to which […]