How to look for records of... Workhouse inmates and staff
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
This is a brief guide to help you find records of a workhouse inmate or member of staff.
Local archives are the best source of information on workhouses. Few workhouse records are available online. Workhouse records at The National Archives usually relate to the general business of the workhouses rather than individual inmates or members of staff. Not all records survive.
What do I need to know before I start?
What records can I see online?
What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?
What records can I find in other archives and organisations?
What other resources will help me find information?
Did you know?
Under the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 parishes were grouped into unions and each union had to build a workhouse if they did not already have one. To find out in which union a particular parish belonged, see Poor Law Union Records: 4. Gazetteer of England and Wales (2nd edition), by J Gibson and FA Youngs.
Where records survive you may find admission and discharge books or registers; creed registers and registers of births; baptisms and deaths; details of staff appointments; and general correspondence.