Poorhouse records

This guide was last updated in 2012

For those who ended up in the poorhouse, each institution kept records of admissions and discharges and matters such as inmates’ deaths and punishments.

These include basic details such as name, age, birthplace, denomination, trade, cause of leaving (usually dead or discharged), parish of settlement, and comments.

As well as relief records, poorhouse inmates feature, of course, in civil records such as the census and birth/death registers, the major online source being www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.

In 1921, Scotland adopted the English practice of disguising the location of births and deaths taking place in a poorhouse by substituting an anonymous street address.


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