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

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.