Monday 15 September 2014

FindMyPast to deliver that Friday Feeling every week
After the success of its '100in100' campaign earlier in the year, FindMyPast has launched Findmypast Fridays.

This will see all new record releases unveiled on Fridays, just in time for a weekend of research.

The first such Friday saw the following record sets released:
  • Northamptonshire Hearth Tax 1674
  • Archbishop Of York Marriage Licences Index, 1613-1839
  • Dorset Marriages 1538 – 1902
  • London Poor Law Records, 1581-1899
From an Irish perspective, the London Poor Law records probably holds the most potential. It is, however, a small collection, with just 22,344 records dating from 1581–1899 with details of those who fell on hard times and received help from parish officers. There are certainly a good number of Irish names to be found within, but most of the individual statements provide no detail of a connection to Ireland.

Of the 50-odd records I randomly selected to view, only one had any mention of Ireland, so it's probably fair to say that this collection isn't going to knock down too many brickwalls. Nonetheless, for the researchers who are lucky enough to make a certain link, the information returned could be pretty useful.

The records were compiled by genealogist Cliff Webb, who summarised the genealogically useful information from the Poor Law records of 66 London parishes. They can reveal name and age, the date the person received Poor Law relief, details of apprenticeships or other action taken, details of why they needed Poor Law relief (there are quite a lot of women left holding the baby, for example), and/or the names of dependents and other family members.