Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Apprenticeship Records Help to Find a Birthplace

Richard Purnell was a cordwainer in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. He married Ann Powell in Monmouthshire in 1744, but his birthplace was a mystery. There were very few Purnells living in or near Abergavenny and none appeared to be related to Richard. There were a couple of potential candidates for his baptism but I had not been able to confirm which was the Richard of Abergavenny - until I checked the UK Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures, 1710-1811 on Images of the original Apprentice Books from The National Archives, UK series IR1 are now available online.

I found that Richard son of Elianor Purnell had been apprenticed to John Everett of Dursley, Gloucestershire, cordwainer, on 28 April 1730. This tied in nicely with the baptism of Richard Purnell, son of Thomas and Elinor, in the neighbouring parish of North Nibley on 20 January 1716/17. Together with other information gathered since, I have now confirmed that this is the Richard who later moved to Abergavenny.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

English and Welsh Poor Law Union and Workhouse Records Online

The National Archives UK website has recently added a searchable index of records of 23 Poor Law Unions in England and Wales. Images of the original records can be downloaded free. The records start in 1834 and extend to 1871 in some cases.

The records don't just include the names of the poor, for example, the Truro Poor Law Union has a "Statement of Medical Officers' and Schoolmaster's and Schoolmistresses's Salaries" for the Quarter ended Christmas 1848.

I've already found a petition from several residents of St Agnes in Cornwall (including one of my Boundy family members) requesting that the parish should not be moved to the Camborne Union.

I'm sure there is lots more to be found.