Find your ancestors in Cheshire Workhouse Records (Baptisms)

Discover your ancestor in the baptism records of those born in the Cheshire workhouses between 1880 – 1910. Search 562 records giving details of the baptism date and the names of the mother and father.

The 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act established nine poor-law unions in Cheshire, each with its own workhouse. Workhouses were supposed to be a deterrent to the able-bodied pauper. Under the Act, poor relief would only be granted to those who passed the “workhouse test”, in other words you would have to be desperate to enter a workhouse.

The able bodied were given hard work, stone breaking or picking apart old ropes. Families were only allowed minimal access to one another and in the early days were not even allowed to speak to each other outside these access times. The workhouse came to be seen as the ultimate degradation.

Some people only stayed in the workhouses briefly, when there was no other option, others spent their entire lives in the same workhouse. As medical care in the home was expensive, the poorest women would sometimes come to the workhouse hospital to give birth.

These records cover babies born in the workhouses between 1880 until 1910 who were baptised in the Chester Union Chapel at Hoole.