Perhaps your ancestors in England were poor like mine. Did your ancestors live in a workhouse? What struck me a few years back was the notion that the "nurses" required at each workhouse were usually nothing more than one of the healthier inmates standing in for that position. Where did Ol' Myrt here pick up that tidbit? From the National Archives [UK] Podcast Series that can be heard to right on your computer (turn up those speakers!) You don't need an iPod to listen and learn.
- Workhouse records for family historians Prepare to be revolted as Simon Fowler considers conditions in 19th century workhouses and suggests ways you can research the poor unfortunates who lived there.
- 'Living the poor life': poverty and the workhouse in the 19th century Paul Carter's talk explores the poor life in 19th-century England and Wales. Using records from The National Archives, he presents allegations of cruelty to paupers, accounts of political and Chartist activities and much more.
- The problem of the poor: faith, science and poverty in 19th century Britain Dr. John Shaw discusses Victorian attitudes to the poor and how they developed over the 19th century. As the Church tried to decide whether charity was the solution or part of the problem, Victorian science afraid of 'degeneration' in Britain began to suggest some sinister solutions of its own.
These sites may also help you find some additional background info about workhouses in England:
- The Workhouse includes info about the Poor Law before and after 1834.
- The Workhouses of England posted at Footnote.com
Happy family tree climbing!
Your friend in genealogy.