Tracing Your Poor Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 204 pages
Author: S. Raymond
Year: 2020
ISBN: 9781526742933
Other: b&w photos, indexes
Publisher: Pen & Sword

Many people in the past were poor. So there are many people wondering how to go about researching their poor ancestors. The ones who didn't own land, didn't leave a will, and sometimes didn't even have a headstone.

There are many records available to find about the sad life that these people lived, and Stuart Raymond guides you through them with this book.

He examines the history of the poor and how they survived. Some were supported by charity. A few were lucky enough to live in an almshouse. Many had to depend on whatever the poor law overseers gave them. Others were forced into the Union workhouse. Some turned to a life of crime. Vagrants were whipped and poor children were apprenticed by the overseers or by a charity. Paupers living in the wrong place were forcibly ‘removed’ to their parish of settlement. Many parishes and charities offered them the chance to emigrate to North America or Australia.

As a result there are many places where information can be found about the poor. Stuart Raymond describes them all: the records of charities, of the poor law overseers, of poor law unions, of Quarter Sessions, of bankruptcy, and of friendly societies. He suggests many other potential sources of information in record offices, libraries, and on the internet.

1. Preliminaries to research the poor
2. The history of the poor
3. Charities
4. Paupers before 1834: Documenting the Old Poor Law
5. Paupers after 1834: Documenting the New Poor Law
6. Vagrants
7. Criminals: The process of conviction
8. Criminals: Sentencing and after
9. Debtors and bankrupts
10. Miscellaneous sources
Personal Name Index
Place Name Index
Subject Index

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Tracing Your Poor Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians


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