Casefile Clues

25 November 2006

Birth and Death at the Poor Farm

You might be surprised to find your relatives in the county poor farm---locating the records is the problem...

The Poor FarmThe county poor farm (or almshouse) was a fixture of many eighteenth-century counties in the United States. These tax-supported institutions were places where individuals who could not support themselves could go. Generally residents were required to work if they were able on the farm that was usually a part of the property (hence the name "poor farm".

Some individuals might find themselves in temporary dire circumstances and remain at the farm a short time, as did some of the individuals in the example that follows. Others may stay longer. Illness, injury, loss of job, death of parents, or a variety of other circumstances may have resulted in your ancestor knocking on the door of the county farm.

The rest of the article has been posted on our website.