Saturday, 31 March 2018

Week 12 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks


Many of the events, I mentioned in the life of my grandmother, may be considered to be a misfortune. All of them involved a premature death in some way due to illness, accident or war.

However, there may also be instances when something happens which causes pain, disfigurement or otherwise upsets our everyday lives. The loss of a job in times of high unemployment or something which means we are less able to work can have a huge impact.

We are fortunate that in today's society the state can provide relief but this was not always the case.
Family and friends were often the first port of call when hard times struck and many were reluctant to go to the parish unless they were desperate. The Workhouse was avoided wherever possible.

My 3xgt grandparents lived in the village of Britford, Wiltshire. This was in the  Alderbury poor law union and they both died in the Alderbury workhouse which was also known as Salisbury workhouse. The local archives hold records and I shall be checking how long they were resident in the workhouse before their deaths. This appears to be one of the better institutions of this type, as this was the only place where the poor could obtain help when they became unwell, it may have been that their stay was short and spent in the infirmary.  

However, despite dying in the workhouse both of them were buried in Britford.

Many poor persons died in The Workhouse and would have had a paupers grave. I have not checked for any headstones, but I doubt that the family could afford this luxury, by this time surviving children, had moved away.

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