Locating Information on Our Poor Ancestors

Poor Law Union Immigrants To Canada by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

I’ve been following Lorine’s blog for several years. She has an extensive resource on all things genealogy. If you’ve never visited her Olive Tree Genealogy site before, you should.

Here’s what Lorine writes about poor law unions…

Poor law unions were collections or groups of parishes brought together to administer poor relief. Earlier ‘unions’ were referred to as ‘incorporations’ and some of these existed until the 1860s (which is why for some areas there are no correspondence until the old incorporation was dissolved and the new union organised). The Victorian poor law was predicated on the ‘workhouse test’. This is where poor relief would be offered via the ‘deterrent workhouse’, designed to be an institution of last resort.

Workhouses (to supply indoor relief) were set up under the New Poor Law of 1834. They were designed in as repulsive a way as possible, to try to put people off from applying for help.
The Poor Law Union (an amalgamation of parishes) was run by an elected board of guardians with representatives from each parish, together with ex officio members.

…to continue reading, visit Poor Law Union Immigrants To Canada.

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