the Poorhouse Story

The following is an excerpt from a U.S. Government REPORT 
summarizing various state poor laws in 1904. .
Click on the link above for more information.

the Poorhouse Story



Look what they have done!

Delaware Public Archives

Digital Archives


A register of the infirm and poor inmates of the county almshouse. Deaths and births are also included.

These are actual images (and readable!) of the pages of these books for the following years: 1815, 1826, 1842, 1852. Take a look!!!   




[The following letter was sent in response to our sending an e-mail request to the Delaware State Archives. Many thanks to them! PHL ]

"The Delaware Public Archives has many poorhouse records for each of Delaware's three counties, especially for Kent County. The poorhouse was usually referred to as the almshouse in Delaware. The following are some of the more important records that we have:

New Castle County:
Minute Books, 1791-1933.
Admittance and Discharge Record Books, 1822-1868.

Kent County:
Accounts, 1797-1933.
Apprentice Indentures, 1793-1914.
Burial Records, 1809-1933.
Register of Births and Deaths in the Almshouse, 1851-1901.
Paupers Books, 1800-1933.
Bastardy Bonds, 1803-1924.
Proceedings of the Trustees of the Poor, 1791-1934.

Sussex County:
Proceedings of the Trustees of the Poor, 1850-1925.
Paupers Lists, 1847-1923.
Bastardy Bonds, 1845-1919.
Account Books, 1791-1933.
Accounts, 1786-1933.

We are hoping to have descriptions of all the records in our collections put on our web site within the next year. Also, currently we have volunteers abstracting birth and death information from our almshouse records. At some point that database will also be put on the web. Stay tuned!"

Randy Goss
Coordinator of Accessioning and Processing

the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

" I've found (I believe) my g-g-grandmother on the Wilmington, DE 1880 census in the "drunk house". Does anyone know anything about a "drunk house" - was it affiliated with poorhouses? And  would they be buried where the poor house people were buried? Any help would be appreciated."
   Elizabeth Forsyth    
the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

We are hoping to build this base of information about poorhouses in DELAWARE through the helpful participation of  readers. All are requested to submit items of interest by sending e-mail to The Poorhouse Lady.

HOME               OTHER STATES

Poorhouse HISTORY CEMETERIES by State RECORDS by State