Dundee Crest

The Poorhouses of Dundee

Index of The Poor Registers.

This file contains explanations of the data that is held in the East Poorhouse Registerand in the Liff & Benvie General Register of the Poor.



This is the Reference Number used in the Primary Register when the person entered the Poor House.


When searching for someone remember that occasionally a surname may be spelt phonetically. Scottish practice, as in burial records, was to give a married woman her 'own' or 'maiden' name.


As above e.g. Betsy could also be spelt Betsey

Admission (date)

As entered in the Register


When a child is under 5 their ages have been entered in months. Over 5s have been either rounded up or down. For example 5¼ would be entered as 5 whereas 5½ or over would be entered as 6.


On repeat entries sometimes the birth place could be different, as could the age


On repeat entries the Religious Denomination could "see saw".


On repeat entries the occupation could differ. Applicants may have felt that it helped their case to claim a 'lowly' initial application. For example, one inmate described himself first as a 'labourer' but later as a 'weaver'.

Removal (date)


Cause (removal)

Reliable. Normally the person would have been discharged or has died in the Poor House.


This information is not always available. It represents the Parish of birth or settlement which is responsible for the payment of the expenses for the individual who has been living in the Poor House.


this is where any further information about the person is made available. For example their relationships with other persons residing in the Poor House etc.


This column is entered when shown in the Register.


Liff and Benvie General Register of Poor


This is the Reference Number used in the Primary Register when the person applied for Poor Relief


Married women have maiden or their 'own' name given in most cases. This was general practice in Scotland until WWI, and is now returning.




On repeat entries the birth date could differ. Civil registration of births only started in Scotland in 1855, so there was no need before that time to have a precise knowledge of age.




Not always given.


Occasionally not given. Many applicants were born in Ireland, but their birthplace is given by pre 1922 county rather than parish.



Marital Status



Age of children sometimes given. Also if they work their earnings are sometimes shown.

Admit Reason

Not always given.

Admit Date

Very occasionally this is not given.

Admit No


Discharge Date

Not always given.

Dischcarge Reason

Reason for removal from the Poor Roll is given in many cases, such as a child being old enough to work


The amount or type of assistance given to the applicants is not included on the database file, although this information is shown in the original register in Dundee City Archives.


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