England, Cheshire Workhouse Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England, Cheshire, Workhouse Records, 1848-1967 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Cheshire,  England
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Location of Cheshire, England
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Record Description
Record Type Workhouse
Collection years 1848-1967
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Cheshire Archives and Local Studies

What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of poor law records from the county of Cheshire for the years 1848-1967.

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 to help local authorities keep track of the poor and account for monies spent for their living expenses. In the later nineteenth century, the infirmaries attached to the workhouses were opened to the public, and therefore generated birth and death records for the wider community. The records for the Cheshire workhouses are from 1837 to the closure of each Poor Law Union; the Cheshire Poor Law Unions page contains information specific to each Union.

One of the 39 historic counties of England, Cheshire is a coastal county in northwestern England which shares its western border with Wales. For a list of the parishes which historically made up this county with links to more information about each of them, see the Cheshire Parishes page.

Collection Content

The collection contains various records associated with workhouses. Birth registers make up the largest portion of the collection, followed by death registers, then creed registers, with admission registers composing the smallest portion.

What Can This Collection Tell Me?

Birth Registers may contain:

  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Name
  • Gender
  • Father’s name
  • Mother’s name
  • Occupation

Death Registers may contain:

  • Date at death
  • Name
  • Age
  • From what parish admitted
  • Cause of death
  • Where buried
  • Gender

Admission Registers may contain:

  • Day of the month
  • Day of the week
  • Name
  • 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

Creed Registers may contain:

  • Date of entry
  • Date of admission
  • Full name
  • Birth date
  • Religion
  • Name of informant
  • Number of clothing
  • Occupation
  • Admitting authority
  • Where from or residence
  • Why admitted
  • Date of discharge
  • Address of friends

How Do I Search the Collection?

Before beginning a search in these records, it is best to know the full name of the individual in question, as well as an approximate time range for the desired record. When entered into the search engine on the Collection Page, this information provides the quickest, most reliable path to finding the correct person. Of course, other information can be substituted as necessary.

Search by Name by Visiting the Collection Page

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page to return a list of possible matches. Compare the individuals on the list with what is already known to find the correct family or person. This step may require examining multiple individuals before a match is located.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images of digitized records available for all users. However, the rights to view images on this website are ultimately granted by the record custodians. Due to their restrictions, the images in this collection are not available for general viewing, but may be accessed by registered FamilySearch Patrons. Registration for a free FamilySearch account can be done here.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking for, What Now?

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference. See below for assistance in citing this collection. Save or print a copy of the image if possible.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use an estimated age to calculate an approximate year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find the individual in other records. Particularly useful for research in nineteenth-century Cheshire are the England Census, Civil Registration, and Cheshire Parish Records.
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which individual is correct. Use other information, such as place of birth or age to determine which candidate is the correct person. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records.
  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names. Transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record; also, it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name. See Abbreviations Found in Genealogy Records for examples of common abbreviations. Note that some women reverted to their maiden name when their husband died, and therefore could be buried under their maiden name.
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches. Alternatively, try expanding the date range.
  • Search the records of nearby localities. While it was uncommon for an individual in this period to move more than about 20 miles from their place of birth, smaller relocations were not uncommon. For this particular collection, this step may require finding records in the bordering English counties of Lancashire to the north, Derbyshire to the east, Staffordshire or Shropshire to the south, or in the Welsh counties of Denbighshire and Flintshire to the west.
  • Look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description, if possible.

For additional help searching online collections see FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

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, please read the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, feel free to report them at 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.

Citing this Collection

Citing sources correctly makes it easier to refer back to information that has already been discovered; proper citations are therefore indispensable to keeping track of genealogical research. Following established formulae in formatting citations also allows others to verify completed research by helping them find and examine records for themselves.

To be of use, citations must include information such as the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records, if available. The following examples demonstrate how to present this information for both this particular collection as well as individual records within the collection:

Collection Citation:

"England, Cheshire, Workhouse Records, 1848-1967." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. 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.

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.