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  My ancestor was a pauper

Poor relief in Scotland
When looking for records relating to an individual pauper in Scotland, the important date is 1845. Before 1845 the parish authorities responsible for the poor were kirk sessions and heritors. In many burghs there were town hospitals and poorhouses. From 1845 until 1930 the poor relief authority was the civil parish (parochial boards until 1894 and parish councils between 1894 and 1930). The key sources of information for genealogists searching for a pauper ancestor are: kirk session and heritors' records (for the period prior to 1845), poor relief registers, parochial board/parish council minute books and poorhouse records (for the period 1845 to 1930). Records later than 1930 will almost certainly be inaccessible under 75 year closure rules. Some archives close poor relief records for 100 years. Kirk session and heritors' records have been used for decades by genealogists, but the use of poor relief registers is a relatively recent phenomenon, linked to database indexing by record offices and family history societies.

What to do now
The text above is a summary of several entries on poor relief in the SCAN Knowledge Base. You can read this by clicking here.

The Knowledge Base also contains answers to Frequently Asked Questions, compiled by Scotland's archivists. To enter the Knowledge Base click here.