Author Topic: "Boarding out" children from workhouses  (Read 1263 times)

Offline JammyGem

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"Boarding out" children from workhouses
« on: Tuesday 02 June 20 23:48 BST (UK) »
Hi all, I've only just joined so hope this is the right place to ask!

My great-grandmother was baptised in 1883, and the record describes her parents as her foster parents, who raised her for her whole childhood. Having done a little research on foster children at this time, I understand that she may have been "boarded out" from the local workhouse by the Northwich Poor Law Union. Her first name is the same as her foster-mother, so I'm not sure if this is a coincidence or if she was (re?)named after her when baptised.

Would anyone be able to point me in the direction of which records I would need to check to find out more about her birth, or the circumstances around her being fostered? If foster parents were given a weekly allowance, would it be likely that I'd find some record of this in the Union's accounts, if they survive?

Offline chempat

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Re: "Boarding out" children from workhouses
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 03 June 20 10:49 BST (UK) »
Welcome to rootschat, JammyGem.

Have you looked to see if the local workhouse has records online?

Have you found her birth record, as distinct from her baptism?

Offline Gibel

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Re: "Boarding out" children from workhouses
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 03 June 20 10:55 BST (UK) »
 www.workhouses.org.uk have the following which may help

Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, Cheshire Record Office, Duke Street, Chester, Cheshire CH1 1RL. Holdings include: Guardians' minutes (1883-6, 1920-5); Register of inmates (1919-46); Creed register (1872-1942); Births (1849-1913); Deaths (1855-1914); Alphabetical list of persons aged 65 or over (1923-42); etc.

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: "Boarding out" children from workhouses
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 03 June 20 11:45 BST (UK) »
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk


Offline stanmapstone

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Re: "Boarding out" children from workhouses
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 03 June 20 11:51 BST (UK) »
Cheshire Workhouse Records  are available on FindMyPast,

Stan
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Offline JammyGem

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Re: "Boarding out" children from workhouses
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 03 June 20 14:05 BST (UK) »
Thanks for all your help!

I've searched the births at Northwich workhouse but there's no record of a Martha Ann Harding, and as she was fostered I'm not sure if this was her birth name, or one given to her by her adoptive parents. Will have to check the account records to see if there's mention of her parents there.

I'm guessing it would be common for a couple to name an adoptive baby, as it looks like she was only about a year old when baptised - it's also complicated by having 2 different dates of birth. Her gravestone gives her birthday as 17th April 1881, but throughout her life she gave it as 9th October 1882. According to older family members she never mentioned being adopted, so I'm not sure if she even knew.

Online arthurk

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Re: "Boarding out" children from workhouses
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 03 June 20 14:17 BST (UK) »
Part of the Northwich workhouse building is now the Weaver Hall Museum, housing displays relating to the workhouse and local history and industry etc:

http://weaverhall.westcheshiremuseums.co.uk/about-us/history-of-the-museum/
Researching among others:
Bartle, Bilton, Bingley, Campbell, Craven, Emmott, Harcourt, Hirst, Kellet(t), Kennedy,
Meaburn, Mennile/Meynell, Metcalf(e), Palliser, Robinson, Rutter, Shipley, Stow, Wilkinson

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline chempat

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Re: "Boarding out" children from workhouses
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 03 June 20 16:19 BST (UK) »
There should still be an original birth record somewhere for her.
If they were just foster parents, and official adoption did not exist, why would they have the same surname?  Or is the vicar being officious in recording as such?

Offline PrawnCocktail

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Re: "Boarding out" children from workhouses
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 03 June 20 17:43 BST (UK) »
May be absolutely nothing, but there is a baby in the Northwich Admissions book (which IS on FindMyPast) recorded as being born in the Workhouse 29 Sep 1882. She was discharged on 3 Nov, same date as a Martha Foster who was admitted 27 Sep 1882. Her name was given as Florey Foster, and on GRO Online, she appears to be illegitimate.

And I can't find her on the 1891 Census, nor can I see a death. Or a baptism.

Now, that may not be her, but if your Martha was born in the Workhouse, she would have been recorded as an admission at birth. Entries in the Admissions book are recorded under the first letter of the surname, and then by date of admission. It could be a bit of a trawl, but could turn up possibles.
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