Archive for May 2010

Guest post: Boards of Guardians records & other bits and bobs

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Guest contributor: Marie Hickey

When looking at some documents among the Newgate Gate Gaol Delivery Books (1785-1834) on microfilm at the Auckland Research Centre recently we found some records relating to Boards of Guardians that we had not realised we had. This is particulalry exciting given the recent apology of former British prime minister Gordon Brown to children who were sent overseas under the child migration scheme.

The records are for the areas covered by the Boards of Guardians for Brentford, Hampstead and Lambeth as well as minutes of the Central Unemployed Body for London (1905-11), all relating to emigration of children and families.

Some of the records of the Boards of Guardians relate to children who had been placed in schools having come from the workhouse eg Chase Farm School (run by the Edmonton Board Guardians). There are lists of children proposed for emigration to Canada and New Zealand (1891-1926), emigration consents and refusals (1925), and contracts and agreements to send children or families to Australia (c.1852-c.1855). Most of the material is unindexed but is quite legible and apart from names can include information such as: address sent to in the new country, school sent from, cost of emigration, date of emigration, and port of arrival.

Amongst the records is a booklet relating to the settlement of boys to Australia and a Handbook on the Dominion of New Zealand: containing information regarding openings for settlers, wages and hours of labour, cost of living, assisted passages, fares, etc (1925).

On another note, those who enjoy reading the Ancestors magazinepublished by TNA (the National Archives, UK) will be disappointed to learn that this has now ceased publication. It is envisaged that a different magazine will be produced, possibly later in the year.

Who do you think we are?  series 2 (Australia) UKTV Mondays 7.30pm. 
UKTV on Sky is currently repeating this series, if you missed it the first time around you may want to catch it this time. Auckland City Libraries has series 1 & 2 for the Australian Who do you think you are? and series1-4 for the UK version.

The Australian series is similar to the UK one but includes much more social history and perhaps slightly more insight into different records available in Australia. I really enjoyed this series and found it interesting as well as informative as the format follows the lines of how a family historian would work. Nick Barratt makes an appearance towards the end of the Ben Mendolssohn episode explaining how the ancestor probably came to be in the workhouse.

Also, we are now subscribing to the Who do you think you are? magazine and currently have the March and April 2010 editions available in the Auckland Research Centre.