Find your ancestors in Cheshire Workhouse Records (Burials)

Discover whether your ancestor was buried in the Chester Union Cemetery between 1880 and 1900. Search 3000 records to find their name, age and where they were living at the time of their death.

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.

If an inmate died in the workhouse their family was notified and would be given the option to organize a funeral themselves. Many were unable to do so because of the expense.

These records show those who were buried in the Chester Union Cemetery between 1880 and 1900.