PDA

View Full Version : How sad - Grandmother born in the workhouse



lspittles
24-09-2006, 10:50 PM
I received my paternal grandmother's birth certificate from the GRO yesterday only to discover that she had been born in the workhouse at St. Giles in London in 1879. Luckily, according to the 1881 census, the parents were no longer there but living in lodgings. This was never mentioned in the family and I wonder if even my grandmother knew. The records of the St. Giles workhouse are at the London Metropolitan Archives so I'm going to pop down to London and have a look. Bit sad really but I guess it happened to a lot of people.

sandiep
25-09-2006, 9:32 PM
Yes my grandmother was born in Gloucester in the workhouse but her certificate didnt have the fathers name and I have been stuck at this point..........if your grandmother has both parents down sometimes people used the workhouse infirmary for births but were not living in the workhouse.

sandie

lspittles
26-09-2006, 10:01 AM
That's a good point, Sandie. I hope to find out more when I look at the records in London.

Lesley

SUSSEXDER
20-01-2008, 4:36 PM
Yes my grandmother was born in Gloucester in the workhouse but her certificate didnt have the fathers name and I have been stuck at this point..........if your grandmother has both parents down sometimes people used the workhouse infirmary for births but were not living in the workhouse.

sandie

(QUOTE)carter-adams,
My gt,gt,Grandfather was born in the WORKHOUSE BRIGHTON 1863.
I found that sad to learn from his Birth Cert. His mother I presume was there just for the birth. She had no name for the Father, on the Cert.

Peter Goodey
20-01-2008, 6:22 PM
How sad - Grandmother born in the workhouse

Not necessarily sad - workhouse infirmaries were the nearest thing at the time to the NHS (admittedly not very near ;)) and people used them as they needed to.

You've probably already done it, but don't forget to check the catalogue before setting off for LMA - the survival rate of poor law records is so patchy.

SBSFamilyhistory
21-01-2008, 9:18 AM
Yes my grandmother was born in Gloucester in the workhouse but her certificate didnt have the fathers name and I have been stuck at this point..........if your grandmother has both parents down sometimes people used the workhouse infirmary for births but were not living in the workhouse.

sandie

my grandmother's brother or as we now know half brother was born in Birmingham workhouse in 1870 we doubt he knew where he was born or that the person he knew as his father was not his father.


as People have said workhouses were often used for people to have babies as they had doctors and also to house ill children/adults to stop the spread of infection amongst the wider community.

Ladkyis
21-01-2008, 9:21 AM
Isn't LMA closed until end of February for alterations and refurbishment?

Colin Moretti
21-01-2008, 7:07 PM
They reopened this morning (allegedly):

Opening hours
LMA is currently closed for refurbishment. We will reopen on Monday 21 January 2008 at 9.30. Our normal opening hours will be:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9.30am - 4.45pm
Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am - 7.30pm
http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/leisure_heritage/libraries_archives_museums_galleries/lma/visitor_information/

Colin

Wilkes_ml
22-01-2008, 5:29 PM
Although I haven't had any workhouse births, I have many work house deaths. I think the workhouse also acted as a nursing home for the elderly. I found this hard to understand when a elderly person had several children - but I guess in some communities (especially farming), the whole family had to work to survive, and could not care for their elderly relatives.

suedent
22-01-2008, 6:13 PM
Michelle it all depends I suppose. My ggg-grandmother died in the Workhouse in 1894. In the 1891 census she is listed as being an imbecile. As there was no sign of any problems before I can only assume that she was suffering from some form of senile dementia. (Both my great-gran & great-aunt had Alzheimers). With a busy family all working on farms or in service I can imagine that she was better off in the Workhouse for her own safety, harsh as it may seem.

Wilkes_ml
22-01-2008, 6:52 PM
Yes, that is one option I had also considered as Alzheimers also runs in my family, and I know how difficult it can be these days. But I also had a more recent case (1925) of my ancestor dying in the work house hundreds of miles away from home, 5 weeks after setting from home in search of work at the age of 68. Again, we did wonder if it was Alzheimers or something similar . It was hard to imagine a 68 year old going off in search of work with 10 adult children who could have helped out! He left his wife behind!!!!

groovygranny75
18-02-2009, 4:29 PM
Michelle it all depends I suppose. My ggg-grandmother died in the Workhouse in 1894. In the 1891 census she is listed as being an imbecile. As there was no sign of any problems before I can only assume that she was suffering from some form of senile dementia. (Both my great-gran & great-aunt had Alzheimers). With a busy family all working on farms or in service I can imagine that she was better off in the Workhouse for her own safety, harsh as it may seem.
Hi - this is my first post - so be gentle with me! I too have just discovered that my g.grandmother died in Holborn workhouse in 1907. In 1901 census she was living with her eldest (of 10) daughter in Islington and it looks like she died in 1908, so I guess she was too ill to care for her mother. I can't find out how to search for the records for the workhouse. Can anybody help out here? Thanks in advance!

Peter Goodey
18-02-2009, 5:45 PM
There were several sites associated with Holborn Union at different times. I could probably work out which site you mean but it would be easier if you just told us.

Then one of us will help you to track down what records are available.

Is it this one by any chance?

Present name
Archway Hospital

Previous name(s)
Holborn Union Infirmary (1879 - 1921)
Holborn and Finsbury Hospital (1921 - 1930)

If it is, there's no specific mention in the Hospital Records Database of any surviving patient records. However it's possible that records were taken over by other parts of the group.

christanel
19-02-2009, 1:10 AM
My dad was born in the workhouse infirmary in Dec 1911 but what is even more disturbing is the 1911 census showing his mother, 2 year old sister and 2 month old brother in the workhouse whilst his father was living at home with his mother and employed! Imagine, a two year old, a two month old and a third child born early Dec the same year.
No wonder his poor mother gave him to another family. I consider this act of desperation on her part to be the best thing that could have happened for all of us. Dad never knew about his older brother who died mid 1911 and sister, died 1915 of malnutrition, but did know of his younger brother born 1920. I often wonder if knowing the circumstances of his mother's early struggles could have eased some of the sadness and anger.
His adoptive parents gave him, and us, a much better start in life.
Christina