England Cheshire Workhouse Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: England, Cheshire Workhouse Records, 1848-1967 .
This collection will include records from 1848 to 1967.
The majority of the documents are handwritten on printed forms consisting of columns and lines.
The workhouses started out housing the various types of poor separately. The records generated by the workhouses were kept according to the 1834 poor law act. Legislation in 1930 abolished the boards of guardians and passed the responsibilities to local authorities. Additional legislation in 1948 established the National Health Service. These pieces of legislation brought about the development of infirmaries, which eventually led to the national institution of hospitals and asylums, eventually abolishing the workhouses. Workhouses were there for the able-bodied unemployed (and their families), the impotent poor, the elderly, the chronic sick, orphaned children, unwed-mothers, and those mentally ill. Some people were in and out as work was available, while others spent their whole lives in the workhouse. These records cover about 1.7 million names.
The records for the Cheshire workhouses are from 1837 to the closure of each Poor Law Union. Cheshire Poor Law Unions contains further information about each Union.
The records were used by local authorities keep track of the poor and account for monies spent for their living expenses.
Reliability of records is high regarding dates of birth, death, admissions, and discharges. Reliability of names may vary in illegitimate births.
Birth records contain the following information:
- Date of birth
- Father’s name
- Mother’s name
Death records may contain the following information:
- Date at death
- From what parish admitted
- Cause of death
- Where buried
Workhouse records may contain the following information:
- Day of the month
- Day of the week
- Class for diet
- Number affixed to the pauper’s clothes
- Parish to which charged
- By whose order admitted
- Date of the order of admission
- If born in the house, name of parent
- Why seeking relief
- How discharged; and if by order, by whose order
- Death notations
Workhouse creed records contain the following information:
- Date of entry
- Date of admission
- Full name
- Birth date
- Name of informant
- Number of clothing
- Admitting authority
- Where from or residence
- Why admitted
- Date of discharge
- Address of friends
How to Use the Record
To begin your search, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:
- Name of ancestor
- Approximate year and place of birth
Search the Collection
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. 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.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
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.
|FHL Place England, Cheshire items or FHL Keyword England, Cheshire 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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- British Library - search for Poor Law Union
- Workhouses - Extensive info about conditions in workhouses, with separate pages for each workhouse.
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
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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.
- "England, Cheshire Workhouse Records, 1848-1967" Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Record Office, Chester.
Record citation (or citation for the index entry):
|The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for England, Cheshire Workhouse Records, 1848-1967.|
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