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BEDFORDSHIRE: Bedfordshire Poor Law Union Records

For a description and further reading for details see Poor Law Union Records - 1. South-East England and East Anglia by Jeremy Gibson, Colin Rogers and Cliff Webb published by the Federation of Family History Societies. ISBN 1 872094 60 0.

See J. Chambers, 'Bedfordshire Poor Law Union Records', Beds. F.H.S 3.8 (Winter 1982) and 4.1 (Spring 1983); and G. Chambers, 'Assisted emigration from Bedfordshire under the New Poor Law 1835-1860', Beds. F.H.S. 4.4 (Winter 1983).

The Poor Law Union in which each parish lay is shown in the Bedfordshire volume of the National Index of Parish Registers, 9,1 (Society of Genealogists, 1991).

Except when shown otherwise, records are at Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service, Bedford. Note that some of the following main series of records (e.g. minutes, letter books) have contemporary indexes of names and subjects which are not fully listed below.

Ampthill [4]

A. Vaccination registers (various) 1873-1921 (gaps); Medical Officer's report book 1901-04; Medical Officer's relief books: outdoor 1909-16, indoor 1687-90; indoor relief lists 1908-15: outdoor relief lists 1844-1930 (gaps); relief order books 1876-80, (Ampthill and Woburn districts 1909-1928130); applications and report books 1839-44, 1857-59, 1887-8, (1901-30 part); loans to paupers 1857-61; pauper description lists 1835-6, admission and discharge registers 1908-13. 1917-56; casuals' admission and discharge registers 1921-31 (except 1925): births register 1847-1936: deaths registers 1906-10, 1914-51; Three Counties Hospital deaths 1908-29: creed registers 1883-1941; punishment books 1853-1 929 (except 1913); registers of inmates (index) 1895-1914: appr. indentures and papers 1862-94 (calendared); settlement records 1830-94 (calendared).

B. Minutes and ledgers (incl. some parochial) 1835-1930 (gaps, only those with census year preserved from mid-century); Committee minutes: Assessment 1862-97, Boarding-out 1910-26, SAC 1895-1903: Special Visiting Committee report book 1904-14; Visiting Committee report book 1896-1 906; agreements (various) 1835-1903: correspondence 1837-1930 (gaps); deeds re. workhouse 1728-1901: treasurer's book 1924-27, accounts 1914-20: financial statements 1879-1 927 (gaps); relieving officer's receipt and exp. 1915-6, 1921-2; accounts: clothing materials 1912-17, provisions 1913-15, casuals' provisions 1923-4, 1928-9, extra provisions 1900-20, workhouse 1835-55; service register 1891-98; master's day book summary 1924-31, report and journal 1896-1948 (gaps); sup'an. book 1896-1913: officers' grant 1888-9; weekly returns 1848-1930 (gaps): visitors' books 1870-1, 1909-13; register of overseers of poor 1903-27; chaplain's report book 1904-18; wages books 1923-27; inventories 1902-47; workhouse alterations 1863-1911; dietaries 1917; Constabulary Force Commission returns 1836; various papers re. rating and valuation, civil registration and census 1899-1912.

Public Record Office. Kew:

Correspondence, etc. 1834-1900 [MH 12/1-20]; staff register 1837-1921 [MH 9/1]

Bedford (Gilbert Union).

A . Settlement records 1792-1839 (gaps).

B . Minutes 1817-27; financial records 1811-34 (gaps).

Bedford [2]

A . Medical Officer's reports 1873-1909; workhouse medical relief book 1889-1914 (gaps); persons entitled to receive medical relief 1869-75 (except 1873): register of persons receiving infants 1909; register of infirmary patients 1854-90; maternity registers 1925-47; weekly indoor relief lists 1836-47: outdoor relief lists, relief order books, and applications and report books 1875-1920 (gaps); school fees applications and report books 1883-89; admission and discharge registers 1835-55, 1676-1950 (gaps) (casuals 1881-1927 (gaps)); vaccination registers, various 1880-83; register of infant deaths 1883-85; pauper lunatics: claims for maintenance 1888-97, registers of, 1891-97, 1913, 1920-23, examination book 1870-98, Visiting Committee lists 1862-92; school attendance register (1892-96, mostly girls); registers of appr's 1838, 1845-1913: register of visits to young persons 1879-1905; punishment book 1896-1912; removal orders 1835-63; births registers 1836-57, 1915-31; index to births register 1871-2: deaths registers 1635-57, 1915-45; loans to paupers 1837-51.

B . Minutes 1835-1930; Committee minutes: General Purposes 1835-46, Boarding-out 1899-1904, House 1914-28. SAC 1877-1903, Visiting 1914-25, Assessment 1862-1927; leases, estate papers etc. 1906-28; correspondence 1835-1919 (gaps); financial statements 1887-1 928; bank pass books 1835-38, 1857-62. relieving officer's accounts 1873-76: loans 1837-51, 1890-1914; workhouse special accounts (tobacco etc.) between 1885 and 1922; provisions, clothing accounts 1887-1928 (gaps); quarterly abstract 1838-45; master's day book 1905-07, report and journal 1842-3, 1873-1928 (gaps); diets 1901-2; annual parish accounts 1848-57: tenders 1929-30; Infant Life inspector's reports 1898, 1913-4; Inspector of Nuisances report book 1853-4; ledgers 1835-1 930 (gaps, only those with census years from mid-century); parochial ledgers 1842-51, 1908-27; non-resident poor ledger 1845-47; weekly returns 1892-1 91 0: visitors' books 1836-1914 (gaps); workhouse extras accounts books 1890-1 900, 1904-07; chaplain's journal 1567-97; porter's books (samples) 1887-1 930; inventory books 1871-77, 191 2-24; inmates' properly book 1911-13; PLB orders 1851-79; notice re. feeding of hunger marchers 1924.

Public Record Office, Kew:

Correspondence etc. 1834-1900 [MH 12/21-52], staff register 1837-1921 [MH 9/2].

Biggleswade [5]

A. Outdoor relief lists 1902-20 (part); relief order books 1894-1930; applications and report books 1898-1917 (part); admission and discharge registers 1912-30 (also for Hillcote 1922-30 and Holmeside 1929-30); register of persons chargeable 191 6-30; register of non-settled and non-resident poor 1909-15; register of boarded-out children 1928-30; payments to foster parents 1928-1930.

B . Minutes 1837-1930 (gaps); Committee minutes: Boarding-out 1911-30, Finance 1888-1930, House 1914-5, SAC 1877-1903, Assessment 1862-1927; agreements 1910. 1926; out-letters 1842-1930 (gaps); PLC orders 1835; workhouse conveyances, mortgages etc. 1835-1915; treasurer's books 1904-09 and accounts 1914-17; financial statements 1881-1930; register of securities 1893-1928: relieving officer's receipt and expenditure 1899-1918 (part): sup'an book 1898-1930: ledgers: general 1837-1930 (large gaps), non-settled poor 1873-97, parochial 1853-57, 1911-23; Ladies Visiting Committee report book 1893-1920; weekly returns 1867-69, 1891-1930 (gaps): pauper classification book 1900-01; staff appointments register c 1887-1915.

Public Record Office, Kew:

Correspondence etc. 1834-1900 [MH 12/55-74]: staff register 1837-1921 [MH 9/2].

Hitchin [7] (Holwell only).

In Hertfordshire.

Leighton Buzzard [8] (partly in Bucks.)

A. District Medical Officer's relief books 1877-8, 1889-90, 1901-2; workhouse, medical relief book 1894-96; vaccination registers 1872-99, 1926-28 (various districts): relief order books 1887-1928 (gaps); indoor relief lists 1852-1929 (gaps): outdoor relief lists and abstracts 1883-1929 (gaps): applications and report books 1895, 1901-29 (gaps); (specific subject books 1908-24): admission and discharge registers 1891-98 (casuals 1914-21, 1926-30): register of boarded-out children 1895-1909: register of foster parents 1903-10; list of aged and infirm 1894-1921: pauper lunatics claims for maintenance 1887-97; births register 1858-1936: deaths register 1858-1940: apprentice indentures 1852-1900 (calendared).

B . Minutes 1835-1930; Committee minutes: Assessment 1863-1925, Boarding-out 1910-29, House 1914-30. Relief 1921-29. SAC 1877-1903: agreements and contracts, 1920's; out letters 1835-1908: in letters 1920-28; Medical Officer's report book (workhouse) 1868-1902: vaccination officers' report books 1907-30 (part): deeds, insurances etc. 1793-1 950: treasurer's books 1867-1902, 1914-26; treasurer's accounts 1914-30 and receipt and exp. books 1902-08, 1921-26: financial statements 1873-1925; relieving officer's receipt and expenditure 1901-28 (gaps); provision accounts 1917-30; sup'an. registers 1897-1923; parish poor rate returns 1891-96: general, parochial and non-settled poor ledgers 1835-54, then only books with census years preserved: stat. statements etc. 1873-87, 1697-99, 1913-24: master's report and journal 1912-19: pauper classification book 1887-94; visitors' books 1862-99: chaplain's report book 1865-1921; porter's book 1904-5; register of officers' appointments 1843-77; oakum accounts 1905-25; declarations by Guardians 1894-1928; annual reports 1901-11 (gaps); list of Guardians and officers 1889-1908; rating and valuation papers 1867-88.

Public Record Office, Kew:

Correspondence etc. 1834-1900 [MH 12/77-93]; staff register 1837-1921 [MH9/10]

Luton (partly in Herts.)

A. Register of vaccinations 1891; outdoor relief lists c.1835, 1912-30 (parts); weekly indoor relief lists 1916, 1922-33: relief order books 1910-12 (part); applications and report books 1912-29 (parts): admission and discharge registers 1916-34 (casuals' 1925-6, 1930-1): register of boarded-out children 1910-13. 1920; births register 1866-1949; deaths registrations 1866-1951: creed registers 1876-1949; punishment book 1909-52; register of all persons entering and leaving institution 1916-18; patients' admission and discharge registers 1924-32 (alphabetical); appr. indentures 1924.

B. Minutes 1835-1930 (gaps); Committee minutes: Boarding-out 1911-27, House 1914-27, SAC 1877-1900, Assessment 1862-96; agreements, mortgages etc. 1835-1929; correspondence 1835-96: estate papers 1900-80: treasurer's accounts 1914-26; financial statements 1885-99, 1913-18; clothing papers 1924-31; accounts provisions 1915-31; casuals' provisions 1929-31, farm 1927-31: master's day books 1922-31: register of securities 1876-1929: Medical Officer's reports 1921-29: ledgers 1837-52, later volumes with census years only; parochial ledger 1848-57: masters report and journal 1895-1929; visitors' book 1929-30: matron's report 1914-28; workhouse plans 1835, 1903-4: various workhouse extra accounts 1930-1; PLC, LGB orders etc. 1835-90.

Public Record Office, Kew:

Correspondence etc. 1834-1900 [MH 12/77-93]; staff register 1837-1921 [MH9/10]

St. Neots [3] (Little Barford, Dean, Eaton Socon, Pertenhall, Shelton, Little Staughton, Tilbrook).

B. Deeds. contracts etc. 1900-30.

Otherwise in Huntingdonshire.

Wellingborough [1] (Farndish, Podington, Wymington)

In Northamptonshire.

Woburn [6].

B. Minutes and ledgers (some including parochial and non-settled poor) 1835-1902 (gaps): SAC minutes 1877-99.

Public Record Office, Kew

Correspondence etc. 1834-1900 [MH 12/126-138]; staff register 1837-1921 [MH 9/19].

Note: Bedford Central Library has copies of the printed annual reports of the Poor Law Commissioners: 1835 (1st); 1839-44 (9th-10th).


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