INFORMATION ABOUT THESE RECORDS
How often have we seen : "My ancestors are not in any records because they were poor people and with humble occupations .... so I have no chance at all finding out anything about them". Folks.... just about everyone leaves a trail! It is our task as historical detectives to look for the clues, turn over every stone.... and follow the trail. We tend to be too narrow minded and look only records of births/baptisms, marriages, death/burials and censuses.... whereas there is *so* much more out there. First *find* the stone.... and then turn it over.
WHAT IS A SETTLEMENT EXAMINATION?
Under the laws of settlement which were introduced by the Poor Law Act of 1601, people were only entitled to claim poor relief in their legal place of settlement, that is, the parish where they had been living for at least one month. After the Settlement Act of 1662, people could obtain a settlement in any parish through marriage, apprenticeship, domestic service for over a year or by occupying property worth more than £10 per annum. Anyone not fulfilling these criteria was liable to be removed to their original parish. After 1697, poorer people had to carry a settlement certificate with them to show that their parish of legal settlement would take them back if necessary. If they requested poor relief, the parish they had moved to would examine them to see where their legal right of settlement lay. The resulting settlement examination books are a rich source for researchers.
WHAT INFORMATION CAN I FIND IN SETTLEMENT EXAMINATIONS?
The examination entries might include details of a person's birthplace and working career as well as the names and ages of dependent children. The entries can also include details of their recent whereabouts and other incidental detail of a person's life story.
Where else could you find *this* sort of family history information? PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY ARE IN THESE RECORDS
"Gott Charity BRANKLYN put on the pencon [pension] at 6s a month : Mrs BRANKLYN was a Widow when she marryd. Mr BRANKLYN & has a Child Nathaniel SMITH about 12 year old by a former husband Nathaniel SMITH. Thomas BRANKLYN aged about 33 past from St. Giles Highgate Mid. Says he was bound Apprentice to VAUGHAN in White Hart Yard a Charcol seller, about 19 year ago & served him there about 5 year. His widow is now alive, his master gave him up his Indentures, he says he never was in any service. He says he was marryd to Elizabeth his wife at Fleet about 3 year ago by whom he has one child Charity about a year & a quarter old. He marryd to Susan his first wife at Lambs Chapple in London about 13 year ago by whom he had two children Sarah 14 year old & Eliz. 11 year old. He says he never was a housekeeper. 6 November 1710 "T" the mark of Thomas Brancklyn"
"Thomas SHEPHEARD lived formerly in the mews & was since a housekeeper in Bedfordbury in 1705 & 1706 & a Scavenger .... to have a certificate to Warsop in Com. Nottingham."
and the tragic story of a young woman whose husband was away at sea:
"Sarah SANDERS wife of Charles SANDERS was marryd in the Fleet a year ago the 17 February. He then bought & sold fish about the streets. He is now at sea in the Prince George. She says he never was an apprentice or servant to her knowledge and she says he never was a housekeeper. She says he was born in Cullumton in Exeter and his father was a housekeeper then. She says she has a cancer in her breast. The mark of X Sarah Sanders".
There are tens of thousands of these cases in these settlement books.
People being moved to different parishes all over the county, people being accepted, and children being placed in orphanages, etc.
A superb insight into life in the 1700s which will be of interests to all historians and genealogists.
74 Books of original documents - each book contains approximately 700 pages.
Available as single CDs containing books for a period, or as a complete set of 17 CDs at a special compendium price.