England, Kent, Workhouse Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. The England, Kent, Workhouse Records collection is available to the Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers, and to members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The images can be viewed at a FamilySearch Center near you.

For those in the United Kingdom, images may also be viewed by visiting the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone, England.

Record Description

The collection consists of workhouse records for the County of Kent. Availability of the records varies by year and locality.

Poor Law Records are records created by the process of caring for the poor. This includes records of rates (taxes) collected, as well as disbursements of, application for, and administration of poor relief or welfare. In England, the term poor law records usually applies to records created between the beginning of the English Poor Law Acts around 1600 until the abolishment of the Poor Law system in 1948.

Providing for the poor has long been challenge in England. This responsibility was placed on the parish officials in 1531. In the early years, each parish handled matters as they saw fit, since laws regulating the administration of matter dealing with the poor were not enacted until 1597, 1598, and 1601. The 1601 system was modified over the years, with Settlement Laws added in 1662. Providing relief for a person in need took time. Monies were collected by an appointed person from those who had land or property in the parish. An amount was assessed according to the value of their land or property.

The Poor Law Unions and their workhouses took over this responsibility from the Church of England parishes. Prior to 1834 a few parishes or collections of parishes had established a few workhouses to help relieve the poor and provide indoor relief in the form of food, clothes and shelter (Bristol 1696). Both outdoor relief, in which recipients lived in their home while receiving some form of relief, and indoor relief (workhouse living) were offered, as needed, prior to 1834. From 1834 onward all relief was supposed to be given in the workhouse only.

The articles England Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc. and England and Wales Poor Law Records 1834-1948 contains more background information for Poor Law records.

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse Link from the collection landing page.

Record Content

Admission records may contain the following information:
  • Day of the month, and week registered
  • Next meal after Admission (Day if the week)
  • Name of admitted
  • Calling (occupation)
  • Religion
  • When born
  • Class for diet
  • Parish from which admitted
  • By whose Order Admitted
  • Date of the Order of Admission
Discharge records may contain the following information:
  • If born in the house, name of parent
  • Observations on condition at the time of admission and any other general remarks
  • Date discharged
  • Day of the week
  • Last meal before discharge (Day of the week)
  • Name
  • Class for diet
  • How discharged; and if by order, by whose order
  • In case of death, say 'dead'

How to Use the Record

To begin your search, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:

  • Name of your ancestor
  • Approximate birth year
  • Place of residence

Search the Collection

To search the collection image by image select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒ Select the appropriate "Poor Law Union"
⇒ Select the appropriate "Event Type and Year Range" which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.

Use these records to identify relatives that may not be found in parish registers. The infirmaries attached to the workhouses were opened to the whole community in the later 19th century. The infirmaries generated birth and death records.

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Don't overlook FHL Place England, Kent items or FHL Keyword England, Kent items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see England Archives and Libraries.

Known Issues with This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information (often called citing your sources). This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection citation:

"England, Kent, Workhouse Records, 1777-1911" Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2014. Citing Kent Archives Office, Maidstone, England.


Image citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Kent, Workhouse Records, 1777-1911.



 

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  • This page was last modified on 15 August 2014, at 17:08.
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