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Synopsis: The first Poor Law was enacted in 1601, and this system of social security, which was supposed to ensure that those who could not work had food, drink, and a roof over their heads, but which is inextricably linked in the public imagination with the cruelty of the workhouse, was not finally abolished until the creation of the NHS in 1948. Being part of the government bureaucracy, detailed records were kept of everything: rate-payers, collectors of rates, workhouse overseers and staff, and the inmates of workhouses, as well poor people who were helped to move to the North of England to work in industry, those given assisted passage to Australia, and children sent to Canada. David T. Hawkings, one of Britain's leading genealogists, explains here for the first time how to use these records to trace your family history, providing an important, must-have resource for genealogists and family historians who want to make use of this comprehensive repository of information.

About the Author: David T. Hawkings has spent more than 40 years researching his own family history. He created the television series Find Your Family, worked on the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are?, is a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists, and was founder chairman of the West Middlesex Family History Society. He is the author of Railway Ancestors and Criminal Ancestors.

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Hawkings, David T.
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