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Peter Higginbotham (workhouses)

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Re: Peter Higginbotham

Postby loftym1 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:29 pm

Hi Peter

My ancestor Jane Bristow(e) died in the Union Workhouse, South Shields, on 28th December 1874 of bronchitis and exhaustion; I'm told there are no surviving records from the workhouse, the old workhouse for South Shields used to be in German Street but the new one was built in 1874 and became the Harton Workhouse (made famous by Catherine Cookson), I know she will have been buried in an unmarked grave but is there any way of finding out any further information about why she was in the workhouse or where she is buried. Strangley she was on the census in 1871 with her son Thomas Batten Bristow so I'm at a loss to know how she ended up in the workhouse just three years later. I don't know if this was also a hospital, is there any way of finding anything out.

Kind Regards
Michelle
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A workhouse policeman

Postby Wendus » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:53 pm

My gt-gt-grandfather was a police constable (V229) who, starting in 1843, lived (with his family) in the old Fulham Workhouse. He was there, presumably, to guard the premises amongst his other duties. In the census of 1851, after the old workhouse had closed, he and his family were still there, and he is described as 'minding the premises'. My gt-grandmother was born at the workhouse in 1855. In November 1858, gt-gt-grandfather was promoted to Sergeant. He was transferred to 'T' Division in January 1859, the year before the old workhouse was demolished.

I have never heard of a policeman living in a workhouse before, is it so unusual?
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Re: Peter Higginbotham

Postby Jon Bauckham » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:03 pm

Thank you to everyone who has posted a query in advance and a very special thank you to Peter, who has kindly agreed to offer his expert advice.

It's now 2pm, so let the web chat begin!

Jon
I've now left Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. Please contact wdytyaeditorial@immediate.co.uk regarding any forum queries.
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Re: Peter Higginbotham

Postby Peter H » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:11 pm

mcyoho77 wrote:I have family members in the West Derby workhouse in the 1800s. Is there a way to locate the day books in which it recorded the comings and goings, and events of the individual? Family names include Gough/Gaughan, Caligan/Callagan, Connor, Craig, Dawson, Rowlands, Daniels, Edwards, Hanley, Cullen, Buckley, and Kinsella. The line starts with Michael Gaughan b. ca 1811 Ireland, possibly Co. Waterford or Co.Wexford. Any help or ideas, please, that you can give me would be appreciated, Thank you!


Dear mcyoho77,
It's not clear from the information you give whether you're looking at the West Derby parish workhouse at Low Hill which was in use until around 1841, or the much larger West Derby Union workhouse on Mill Road which then replaced it. Any surviving records for either establishment will be at the Liverpool Record Office but unfortunately it doesn't amount to much. They hold the Creed Registers for Mill Road from 1870 onwards – these will include admission and discharge information and possibly other details, but may be too late for the people you're tracing. They also have an illustration of the Low Hill workhouse.
All best wishes,
Peter Higginbotham
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Re: Peter Higginbotham

Postby Peter H » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:12 pm

detectivec wrote:My GG Grandmother Harriet Turner was sent from the Greenwich Union on 2nd Oct 1878 to the Herne Bay Establishment separating her from her siblings who were sent into service and to the Sutton School. Can you tell me what the Herne Bay Establishment was; was it just for the use of the Greenwich Union and where might records for it be?


Dear detectivec,
Greenwich was part of the South Metropolitan School District which operated several children's institutions whose use was shared by its member poor law unions which also included Bermondsey, Camberwell, St Olave's, and Woolwich. The Herne Bay establishment was a seaside convalescent home, indicating that Harriet was having health problems at the time. Surviving records for the School District will be at the London Metropolitan Archives (lma.gov.uk). You can also find a map of the location and a picture of the Herne Bay home in its later role as the St Anne's TB Sanatorium at www.workhouses.org.uk/SouthMetSD

It's quite possible that Harriet was subsequently transferred to the South Met. school at Sutton so check the Greenwich Guardians: Register of children at South Metropolitan School District Schools (1855-1902) also held at the LMA.
All best wishes,
Peter Higginbotham
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Re: Peter Higginbotham

Postby Peter H » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:15 pm

laura simpson wrote:My great,grandfather was born in Manchester in 1853. The address given on his birth certificate is Bowkers Court, Brighton Street, Manchester. Do you know if this building was some sort of Workhouse at that time please? I cannot find any reference to this address on the 1851 census records that I have searched.

ljcs


Dear Laura,
Brighton Street was off Rogers (now Roger) Street at the north side of central Manchester. No workhouse connection as far as I can see. The 1850 large scale town plan of the area shows it as just a typical 'court' street – dense housing built around small yards. The 1851 census contains some entries for Bowker's Yard (Class: HO107; Piece: 2229; Folio: 118; Page: 36) which sounds like the place you're looking for. Brighton Street is still shown on some maps but the housing no longer exists.

All best wishes,
Peter Higginbotham
All best wishes,
Peter Higginbotham
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Re: Peter Higginbotham

Postby Peter H » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:16 pm

pollymac wrote:According to his birth certificate, my gg grandfather, Charles James Timms, was born in Paddington Workhouse on 8 June 1865. No father's name given, mother was Alice Timms, informant A Timms, mother, Workhouse Paddington. If possible, I would like to find admission/discharge records for Alice. Can you suggest where I could search?
Many thanks
pollymac


Dear Pollymac,
The surviving records for Paddington workhouse are at the London Metropolitan Archives (lma.gov.uk) with many also available online at Ancestry. They do have some admission records but unfortunately, nothing for the period you mention.

All best wishes,
Peter Higginbotham
All best wishes,
Peter Higginbotham
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Re: Peter Higginbotham

Postby Peter H » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:18 pm

NinjaHippoUK wrote:My Great Grandfather John Sneddon was born in Hamilton Combination Poorhouse in 1896. Birth cert says illegitimate. His mother was called Elizabeth Sneddon.

He suddenly appears with a family 8 miles in Airdrie away in the 1901 census and has taken on the family surname Cowan. There is no reason given as to why he appeared with this family. I have been told it was very commonplace to ship kids out to families, and often there was no paperwork.

I can't find any information from the local registrar office in Motherwell. They have said there was lots of missing documents at this time.

How do I find out more about Elizabeth Sneddon? There is no info other than her name on the birth certificate :cry:


Dear NinjaHippoUK,
John may have been boarded out (what we now call fostered) or, perhaps more likely in this case, adopted (at that time arranged on a private basis) by the Cowans. Either of these would have been recorded at the time in the Combination or parish records but survival of poor law records is generally patchy. I believe that there are one or two records for the Hamilton Combination at the Glasgow City Archives but I wouldn't be too hopeful.

All best wishes,
Peter Higginbotham
All best wishes,
Peter Higginbotham
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Re: Peter Higginbotham

Postby Peter H » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:20 pm

grandma wrote:My GG grandmother, Mary Powell, is listed an an 'inmate', 'married' 'domestic servant' of Pontypool Union Workhouse in the 1871 census. She had 3 sons, William (b.1861, Trefethin, Monmouthshire), Isaac (b. 1864, Pontypool Workhouse) & Robert (b. 1870, Pontypool Workhouse). Robert is my G Grandfather. Mary married George Robinson between 1871 & 1881 & they had a daughter, Mary Priscilla.
I have 2 questions: 1. How could she be listed as married & go on to marry? 2. Are there records which indicate how/why Mary was admitted to the workhouse?

Sent from my iPad using WDYTYA Forum


Dear grandma,
Gwent Archives has Pontypool admission/discharge records 1858 onwards, though with some gaps.

I suppose the most obvious possibility for Mary remarrying (if that actually did happen) is that her first husband died in the early 1870s – something which hopefully should be traceable, assuming you know his basic details. Married couples would normally be expected to be in the workhouse together so if he wasn't listed there in the 1871 census he may have been absent, e.g. in prison, enlisted in the forces, or have deserted her. The Poor Law Unions Gazette (available in the British Newspaper Archive online collection) features 'wanted' ads for disappearing husbands so it would be interesting to give that a trawl.

It sounds though as if your information about the remarriage may be just based on the census records. If that's the case then it's quite possible that Mary wasn't actually married to George Robinson but just lied on the 1881 census return. If they were indeed married then it would be interesting to see what Mary gave as her marital 'condition' on the marriage certificate.

All best wishes,
Peter Higginbotham
All best wishes,
Peter Higginbotham
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Re: Childrens Homes

Postby Peter H » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:23 pm

malverntrail wrote:Firstly, thank you very much Peter, for creating and maintaining your very useful and interesting Workhouses website - such an important topic in many family histories.

This 'live chat' has prompted me to look again at your more recent Children's Homes website, thanks for this resource too. I've spotted the page for Muller Orphan House, in Stapleton (Bristol), as the 1891 census for a 2x great aunt has it. Any general advice on making enquiries to charitable trusts which hold archive records for such places? I have yet to trace the aunt (Louisa Scott) beyond 1891.


Dear malverntrail,
I'm glad you've found the workhouse website useful and I hope the children's homes one (childrenshomes.org.uk) will prove equally so as it develops. If the charity or other body that ran the children's home still exists (e.g. Muller's) they may still be holding the records themselves. Alternatively, if the body no longer exists, or to save themselves the burden of preserving them and dealing with enquiries, the records may have been handed over to a local record office. If which of these is the case is not obvious from the charity's (or my own) site, you could do a quick trawl in the National Archives' "A2A" (Access to Archives) facility – currently being integrated into an update version of their "Discovery" search facility http://beta.discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk
Charities which retain their own archives vary in how geared up they are to dealing with queries. Some have a clearly defined procedure, charging rates etc. In other cases, the records may not be indexed and require a time-consuming manual trawl through paper files by a part-time volunteer. So:
- be patient
- give as much relevant information as you can e.g. child's date of birth, approximate age at admission if known, approximate date of admission, names/ages of siblings and parent(s) etc. (but not pages and pages detailing your researches!)
- if no charges are specified, the charity will much appreciate a donation to its current work.
All best wishes,
Peter Higginbotham
All best wishes,
Peter Higginbotham
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