Poor Law

The Poor Law and Union Workhouse

Merriott came under the jurisdiction of the Chard Union Workhouse after the duties of Parish Overseers passed to the Boards of Guardians in 1834.  A new workhouse, finished in 1838, was built to accommodate up to 300 inmates from a number of areas in Somerset and Dorset.   The workhouse became the Sunnylands elderly persons’ home in 1948 and was demolished in 1974.

I am not familiar with Poor Law records to any great extent, but I am aware of two points:

1.    Merriott Parish Chest material which has been filmed by the LDS from original records housed at the Somerset County Record Office in Taunton, includes tithing accounts and Churchwarden’s minutes.      The Record Office reference is D/P/MER 3/2/1-9; 4/1/1; 9/1/1-2;    the LDS reference is FHL BRITISH Film [1565098 Items 8-19]

2.    If someone has disappeared from Merriott censuses, it may be worth trying Chard Union Workhouse censuses.   The Somerset County Record Office also holds records of Chard Union Workhouse Births from 1848 to 1914 and Deaths for the same period.