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Tracing Your Pauper Ancestors (ePub)

A Guide for Family Historians

Family History

By Robert Burlison
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
File Size: 7.3 MB (.epub)
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781783830763
Published: 18th June 2009


£4.99 Print price £12.99

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Many family historians will come across direct links to ancestors who were affected by poverty. Yet despite the burgeoning interest in genealogy, the history of pauperism and of poor relief has rarely been written about, and no previous book has provided a guide to documents and records that family researchers can use to their trace their pauper ancestors. In this accessible and informative introduction, Robert Burlison gives a vivid account of poverty and the poor. He identifies relevant records, indicates where they can be found, and offers essential advice on how this information can be used to piece together the lives of distant and not so distant relatives.

Referenced in 'Resources' part of Rosemary Steer article Children in Care as featured by

WDYTYA? Magazine, April 2021

Often when researching our family history we find an ancestor has been on poor relief in a union or workhouse. This author explains the progress of the Poor Laws that have been passed over the centuries in an attempt to alleviate poverty.
Then, as now, the belied was that the certainty of obtaining relief encourages the labourer to rely on the poor rate instead of working. the charities and public institutions struggled to cope and tried to direct any monies to those who were unfit and most needy.
Included is a practical guide to what poverty records survive and where to find them. The book is well written and will help researchers trace their pauper ancestors.

Cornwall Family history Society, June 2011, Miriam Wakeham

I found this book in my local library when they put on a display for Family History researchers and it is a gem.
The historical detail is fascinating and I'm sorry that the title focuses it so much on family history because it should be required reading on any social history course.
The writing is clear and interesting. Despite being full of detail about various acts of Parliament and Poor Laws it is never dry or indigestible. There is plenty about the move from an agricultural to an industrial society and what this means of the poor. AND it manages to give real insight into the rise of the modern Welfare State.
ALL this alongside information for researchers about where and how to access information which can lead to a knowledge of our poorer ancestors.
BUY IT: its a very good read

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