Manchester City Council

Libraries Poor Law and Workhouse Records


Some of our workhouse records and industrial school records up to 1911 are now available on findmypast.

This is a guide to the poor law, workhouse and industrial school records we hold.

Poor Law Records can provide invaluable information about your ancestors and are important for the study of changes through time in the poor relief system and socio-economic history. The administration of the poor law can be divided into three periods:

  • The Old Poor Law: pre-1834 the poor were the responsibility of the parish or township.
  • The New Poor Law: between 1834-1930 the poor were the responsibility of the Poor Law Unions.
  • Public Assistance Committee: between 1930-1948 poor relief was administered by the Public Assistance Committee of Manchester City Council.

Please note that some records which contain personal information of individuals that is less than 100 years old are on restricted access.

New - Google map showing the location of workhouses and other poor law institutions in Manchester.

A lot of useful information on Manchester's industrial schools can be found at the Manchester Family History Research website run by Gerard Lodge (external website). 

Was this information helpful?

Was this page helpful?