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Settlement Examination Books 34-35 (1741-1743)

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Year: 2004
Publisher: 0

Just what is a "Settlement Eamination"? Under the laws of settlement which were introduced by the Poor Law Act of 1601, people were only entitled to claim poor relief in their legal place of settlement, that is, the parish where they had been living for at least one month. After the Settlement Act of 1662, people could obtain a settlement in any parish through marriage, apprenticeship, domestic service for over a year or by occupying property worth more than £10 per annum. Anyone not fulfilling these criteria was liable to be removed to their original parish. After 1697, poorer people had to carry a settlement certificate with them to show that their parish of legal settlement would take them back if necessary. If they requested poor relief, the parish they had moved to would examine them to see where their legal right of settlement lay. The resulting settlement examination books are a rich source for researchers.

The examination entries might include details of a person's birthplace and working career as well as the names and ages of dependent children. The entries can also include details of their recent whereabouts and other incidental detail of a person's life story.

Example: "Gott Charity BRANKLYN put on the pencon [pension] at 6s a month : Mrs BRANKLYN was a Widow when she marryd. Mr BRANKLYN & has a Child Nathaniel SMITH about 12 year old by a former husband Nathaniel SMITH. Thomas BRANKLYN aged about 33 past from St. Giles Highgate Mid. Says he was bound Apprentice to VAUGHAN in White Hart Yard a Charcol seller, about 19 year ago & served him there about 5 year. His widow is now alive, his master gave him up his Indentures, he says he never was in any service. He says he was marryd to Elizabeth his wife at Fleet about 3 year ago by whom he has one child Charity about a year & a quarter old. He marryd to Susan his first wife at Lambs Chapple in London about 13 year ago by whom he had two children Sarah 14 year old & Eliz. 11 year old. He says he never was a housekeeper. 6 November 1710 "T" the mark of Thomas Brancklyn"

There are tens of thousands of these cases in these settlement books. People being moved to different parishes all over the county, people being accepted, and children being placed in orphanages, etc. This gives a superb insight into life in the 1700s which will be of interest to all historians and genealogists. There are 74 books of original documents in total from the St Martin in The Fields, Middlesex church - each book contains approximately 700 pages, but this CD contains books 34-35.

Please note, these are handwritten, and therefore the CD is not 'searchable'. There is however, an index CD which covers books 41-62, and gives surname, first name/s, age, date, volume and page (see item GB1275-IX1).

Any computer using Adobe (Acrobat) Reader 4 or later
Adobe Reader 6 or later is recommended for CDs with searchable text

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