ANNUAL REPORT showing EXPENSE of OFF-FARM Poor Reflief (from 1891)


During that period of time (maybe still?!) there was strong public and government sentiment that people would choose to be lazy and apply for welfare instead of working ... if it was too easy to get "outdoor relief". "Outdoor" meant given to people who were not required to go and live in a poorhouse as their only way to get financial help from the town or county.
Often a list of the names of people receiving "outdoor" relief -- or what is here called "off from town farm" -- was published in the community newspaper. The "official" reason for such listings was ... something like ... "The taxpayers are entitled to know where their money is going."

But as we see here ... this was available in such publications as the Annual Town Reports.
I suspect that the hidden agenda behind such public newspaper listings was to shame people and thus discourage them from applying for assistance.

   I have taken the position on The POORHOUSE STORY that I will NOT post such public lists of the recipients of "outdoor relief" ... because I do not want to appear to condone that practice of shaming the poor. The reason for posting here a copy of a document which contains the names of people living in communities outside a poorhouse  is -- to provide an example to assist people in learning how to find information about ancestors through  traditional records (such as Annual Town Reports).
   That leaves The POORHOUSE STORY website free to limit itself to providing only the names of those residing in poorhouses -- whose removal to a poorhouse may have obscured their subsequent whereabouts and information about their death and final resting place. (It's a fine line ... but it's mine! We strongly felt that we needed to take a stand somewhere.) PHL
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