Thursday, 17 March 2011

Irish poor sent back home

As it's Saint Paddy's day, here's a wee gem that might be of interest for those with Irish ancestors who settled in Scotland and England.

It's often suggested that it is worth checking poor relief records for members of the Irish community who settled in Britain in the decades following the famine of the 1840s. In some cases, many were actually sent back to the poor law unions from whence they originated, if the money needed for that relief could not be reclaimed by the relevant poor law union handling the claim.

The British Parliamentary Papers contain accounts of some of these returns. I've not had a chance to go through the original returns myself, but a very nice man from Wishaw who goes by the name of Raymond has created Raymond's County Down website at, and in this he has copied some of the records (perhaps all). The following collections can be browsed on his site:

* Return of all poor persons, removed from Scotland to Ireland Jan 1st 1867-Dec 31st 1869

* Return of poor from Scotland to Ireland, 1875/76/77/78

* Return of all poor persons removed from England & Wales to Ireland 1867/1869

* Return of poor persons, England & Wales since 1st Jan. 1875

The records are extremely detailed, often stating how long a person was resident in Britain, how many were in the household, their ages, and the parish to which they were returned in Ireland. They are laid out in county order, and then by parish and alphabetically by name.

Perhaps a member of your family was kicked out of Britain? If so, you may find them here. Free to access.

Hope it helps!


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