Ancestry UK

Help and Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you help me track down a relative who may have been in a workhouse?
Sorry, I'm afraid I just don't have the time to be able to help with individual family history detective work. See my archives/records page for some guidance on this topic, and also read the rest of this FAQ.
2. Where can I find your information on the X workhouse?
  • Try typing in the place name (e.g. Longbarrow) in the Search box at the top of the screen, then click Search.
  • Beware spellings that change or get contracted over the years e.g. Longbarrow might have originally been Long Barrow, Newcastle-on-Tyne may be listed as Newcastle-upon-Tyne etc.
  • If you can't find somewhere, enter the first few letters with a "*" on the end, e.g. Shil* will match Shilton, Shilliton, Shillerton, Shilloton etc.
  • If "X" is a Poor Law Union workhouse, and you know what country and county it's in, use the "Workhouse Locations" menu option.
3. Where can I find the records for workhouse X?
Please note that I don't have a personal archive of workhouse records! All the information I have available on the surviving records (and their location) for any establishment is included at the end of the individual web page for that place. If you need more details, please contact the record office concerned. Do also check with the record office that they do have the records you want before travelling great distances to consult them, and that the record office address hasn't changed recently. Records frequently contain gaps (not always indicated in the summary information on these web pages), and there are often access restrictions on volumes containing records less than 100 years old. Also see my general introduction to workhouse records.
4. In your lists of available workhouse records, what does "etc." mean?
It means that any other surviving records are usually of relatively little interest to family historians — typically things like committee minutes, workhouse accounts, or other administrative minutiae.
5. Do you have any information about topic X?
  • Try typing in some relevant and distinctive words in the Search box at the top of the screen, then click Search.
  • Searching for a word such as "diet" will automatically match variations such as: diets, dieting, dietary etc.
  • Enclosing a phrase in quotation marks (e.g. "Forest Gate") can sometimes improve results.
  • Don't be too rigid in your searching. For example, if you want to know about workhouse gardens, you could enter words such as garden, cultivate, flower, vegetable, carrot, potato, plant, manure, dig, etc. Searching for the precise phrase "workhouse gardens" may match relatively little.  
6. Can I create a link to your site?
Yes, there is no need to ask permission. The text accompanying your link should explicitly include the name of the my site (, e.g.
For more information on the history of the workhouse, see Peter Higginbotham's web site:

For advice on how to reference material on this website in an essay, thesis etc., see the separate citations page.

7. Can I re-use / reproduce material from your website, e.g. on my own web pages, in my thesis, article, talk, book etc.
For information on this topic, please see the separate page on copyright.

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Ancestry UK

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