Source Information Glamorgan, Wales, Workhouse Registers, 1850-1920 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2021.
Original data: Records of Poor Relief. Cardiff, Wales: Glamorgan Archives: Archifau Morgannwg.

About Glamorgan, Wales, Workhouse Registers, 1850-1920

General Collection Information

This collection contains workhouse registers for Glamorgan, Wales from 1850 to 1920.

Workhouses were established to provide those in need with food, medical care, and shelter in exchange for labour. Children in workhouses received a small education. However, workhouses were known to be overcrowded, unsanitary, underfunded, and rampant with disease. Residents were typically malnourished and overworked.

This collection includes registers of births and deaths, maternity registers, registers of lunatics, registers of children who were hired out as servants, and creed registers. Creed registers often have the same information as admission records with the added notation of a person’s religion.

Using this Collection

This collection may include the following details:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Possible aliases, including maiden names
  • Date of admission
  • Date of discharge
  • Birthdate
  • Birth place
  • Baptism date
  • Occupation
  • Religious affiliation
  • Names of relatives
  • Name of workhouse

Workhouse records can be an excellent tool for genealogical research. Creed registers will often include the names and addresses of next of kin, sometimes labelled in the registry as “informant.” The more specific details available about other family members will allow you to further build your tree while also ensuring accuracy.

Can’t find a record? Poor Law Unions were divided by parish, and creed registers contain information on your ancestor’s religious affiliation. If you know your ancestor’s Poor Law Union location and religion, you can search nearby parish records for more information.

Collection in Context

Although the earliest documented workhouse was built in 1652, The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 (also known as The New Poor Law) is considered to be the origin of the Victorian workhouse model. The New Poor Law organized parishes into Poor Law Unions, with each union having its own workhouse. The Cardiff Poor Law Union was established in 1836.

Although workhouses were abolished in 1930, the era of the Poor Law Unions fully came to end in 1948 with the advent of the National Assistance Act.

This collection is housed at the Glamorgan Archives.

Bibliography “New Records Cast Light on Life in Victorian Workhouses.” Last Modified August 19, 2010.

Brain, Jessica. “The Victorian Workhouse.” Last Modified 2020.,themselves%20through%20this%20rigorous%20system.

Cable, Alison. “Workhouse Records Can Lead to Other Avenues of Research.” Last Modified August 26, 2016.

Higginbotham, Peter. “Cardiff, Glamorgan.”  Last Modified 2021.