Author Topic: Workhouses  (Read 294 times)

Offline Triboy

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Workhouses
« on: Tuesday 04 June 19 16:52 BST (UK) »
Can anyone help here please. I have come across something rather strange. All refer to The Bolton Union which I understand to be the workhouse.
I have found 3 children all born at The Bolton Union in 1850, 1852, 1854 all shown on GRO record as having the mother maiden name the same.
Another family of 4 children also shown as being born in the same workhouse in 1842, 1847, 1851 1854 again having the same mothers' maiden name different to the previous one.
It looks like the mother went into the workhouse to give birth on a regular basis.
In one case listed as inmates in 1851 on The Bolton Union records is what appears to be the whole family including father, daughter,and her children. I haven't found them on the normal census records.
Could this have been a normal procedure at the time?  In at least one of the above cases, possibly all I think they could be part of my family.
Any insights gratefully received.

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Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Workhouses
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 04 June 19 17:05 BST (UK) »
If mother's maiden surname was same as children's surname then obvious inference is that the children were illegitimate. Another possibility is that their mother married a man with the same surname as hers.
Union workhouses had infirmaries. They were the main source of free healthcare.
A single woman may not have been able to earn a living in late pregnancy; if she had no family to rely on she may not have been able to afford accommodation, food &c.

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Offline philipsearching

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Re: Workhouses
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 04 June 19 17:14 BST (UK) »
http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Bolton/ is a useful website for the history of Bolton workhouse and has some good links.

The workhouse records are with the Bolton Library and Museum Service http://www.boltonlams.co.uk/archives/archives-indexes/workhouse-registers

Bolton Poor Law Unions was formed under legislation (Poor Law Act 1834) in 1837 and took over older workhouses

It is very difficult to comment on what may have been "normal practice" - some people committed suicide rather than go into a workhouse, others went in and out regularly according to their financial situation.  As Maiden Stone wrote - the workhouse infirmary was the main source of medical care (apart from poorly trained or untrained midwives) for poor people.

If you post the names you are looking at, Rootschatters could do some digging.

Philip
Please help me to help you by citing sources for information.

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Online AntonyMMM

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Re: Workhouses
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 04 June 19 17:17 BST (UK) »
Have you actually got copies of the certificates showing that the births were all in the workhouse - AND that the mother was an inmate there at the time ?

If you are going by the wording on the GRO index, the term "Bolton Union" refers to the whole Registration District of Bolton, not just the workhouse. The early districts being named after the existing poor law union areas.




Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Workhouses
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 04 June 19 17:27 BST (UK) »
http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Bolton/ is a useful website for the history of Bolton workhouse and has some good links.

Bolton Poor Law Unions was formed under legislation (Poor Law Act 1834) in 1837 and took over older workhouses
Philip beat me to that while I was reading it. I now know that Bolton Union didn't open a central workhouse until 1861 but instead continued to use establishments at Fletcher St. and Turton.
A fever hospital was built 1872 and a new infirmary 1894. Many workhouses became hospitals in 20thC.
Peter Higginbottom has done masses of research on workhouse history. An internet search for workhouse and his name finds lots of info.

Online KGarrad

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Re: Workhouses
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 04 June 19 20:31 BST (UK) »
Can anyone help here please. I have come across something rather strange. All refer to The Bolton Union which I understand to be the workhouse.
I have found 3 children all born at The Bolton Union in 1850, 1852, 1854 all shown on GRO record as having the mother maiden name the same.

Did you find these births on the GRO Index Search website?
If so, I would say that it simply means that the mother's maiden name was the same as her husbands.

GRO indicate that no father is mentioned by placing a dash "-" in the Mother's Maiden Name box.
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline Triboy

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Re: Workhouses
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 11 June 19 19:58 BST (UK) »
Thanks for all the information. I was actually trying to find the mother of Margaret Alice Tonge, born 1852, and married to George Schofield. I had thought that her father was Robert Tonge who I had understood to be married to Sarah Dearden.
According to the GRO index the maiden name of the mother was Crook.
I then looked at the Bolton union record and found the other families with a mother's name Robinson.
I had thought that the parents of George Schofield were Benjamin and Hannah Hesford but it now looks as though it could be Hannah Crook.