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Records Relating to the Poor Law

Any surviving Overseers accounts and poor rate books for Witheridge Parish are in the lists of parish records held in the North Devon Record Office search room, or on the Access to Archives website at www.a2a.org.uk.

For Witheridge we have records covering the period 1816 to 1936, Catalogue Reference: 1629 A-3 Lists of Overseers of the Poor and lists of people in receipt of Dole Charities.

The accounts record money paid out, mostly to named individuals, whereas the rate books list those from whom the poor rate was levied. Apprenticeship indentures give details of pauper children apprenticed out by the parish officers, those to whom apprenticed, and their occupations or residence. Apprenticeship under the Poor Law meant being separated from one's parents and living with another family, often as unpaid help. To date no records of any indentures for Witheridge Parish have been found, though some individual records have.

From 1691, registers of parishioners receiving poor relief should have been kept, but in practice, very few records have survived.

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Last Edited 03/07/2006    Copyright © 2000-2006 Witheridge

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