Keynsham Poor Law Union, Somerset Genealogy

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History[edit | edit source]

The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 gave the Poor Law Commission the power to unite parishes in England and Wales into Poor Law Unions, each administered by a local Board of Guardians. Under the Act, relief was only to be given to able-bodied paupers through the workhouse.

The Keynsham Poor Law Union was formed on 29th March 1836, and covered the following parishes.

In Somerset: Brislington, Burnett, Compton Dando, Corston, Kelston, Keynsham, Marksbury, Newton St Loe, North Stoke, Priston, Queen Charlton, Saltford, Stanton Prior, Whitchurch.

In Gloucestershire: Bitton, Hanham, Mangotsfield, Oldland, Siston. (In 1894 Hanham Abbots and Kingswood were also added to the Union.)

Work soon commenced on the new Keynsham Union Workhouse which was built 1836-37. The building is currently Keynsham Hospital.

For more information on the history of the workhouse, see Peter Higginbotham's web site: and

Parishes in the Union[edit | edit source]

Bitton, Gloucestershire Genealogy Brislington St Luke, Somerset Genealogy Burnett, Somerset Genealogy Compton Dando, Somerset Genealogy Corston, Somerset Genealogy Downend, Gloucestershire Genealogy Hanham, Gloucestershire Genealogy Kelston, Somerset Genealogy Keynsham, Somerset Genealogy  Kingswood (near Bitton), Gloucestershire Mangotsfield, Gloucestershire Genealogy Marksbury, Somerset Genealogy Newton St Loe, Somerset Genealogy North Stoke, Somerset Genealogy  Oldland, Gloucestershire Genealogy Priston, Somerset Genealogy Queen Charlton, Somerset Genealogy Saltford, Somerset Genealogy Stanton Prior, Somerset Genealogy Syston, Gloucestershire Genealogy Warmley, Gloucestershire Genealogy Whitchurch, Somerset Genealogy

Records[edit | edit source]

Somerset Archive and Record Office holds records relating to Keynsham Union Workhouse, including:

Admissions and discharges (1836-1930, with gaps) Births (1836-90) Baptisms (1890-1915) Creed register (1869-1933) Offences and punishment book (1838-95) Guardians' minute books (1837-1930) and also some Expenditure Accounts and Vaccination Returns.