27 July 2012

TNA podcast: Charities and their records for family historians

Simon Fowler gave this presentation at The (UK) National Archives last month, and unfortunately the first part of the talk is not included, so the podcast starts abruptly. Prior to the introduction of the welfare state in 1948 charities were a significant part of the social safety net in the UK, in particular for the so-called "deserving poor." Others were left to the much despised Poor Law system.

The presentation gives a good idea of the scope of their activities detailing the types of charities that existed, endowed and subscription, and the areas in which they worked. Barnardo's and the Waifs and Strays are mentioned as examples of organizations that emigrated children to Canada and Australia.

Unless the records are still with the organization, as is the case with Barnardo's, they will normally be found at local or county record offices. That's if they still exist, many have not survived. A good starting point to find these records is the National Register of Archives.

More recent records are likely to be embargoed for privacy. Expect to find many more meeting minutes, accounts, and annual reports than detailed information on an individual beneficiaries, although you may find their name on an intake list.

Connect to the podcast at: http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/charities-and-their-records-for-family-historians/

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