The application and report books were a record of those applying for poor relief, kept by the relieving officer. They hold a wealth of detail relating to the applicants, which may include their immediate family, their occupations, addresses, ages and the reasons why they applied for poor relief. Sadly, very few survive for Surrey (with the exception of Godstone Union which has a set of these books from 1869 to 1915) but those for Richmond Union are a particularly rich source.
Applications for poor relief were made either to the Relieving Officer or to the Board of Guardians directly, and the details entered into the book. The books were ‘signed off’ by the Board of Guardians every quarter, and a note of the decision or direction by the Board inserted at the quarterly meeting.
The books are laid out over two pages, and generally give the following information:
In all there are 91 registers held at Surrey History Centre and a team of volunteers have painstakingly indexed them all. The indexes include the date of application and the age of applicant. The reference number for the volume is given (i.e. BG10/55/2) and, if appropriate, the page number.
In the course of their work, our volunteers have noted several points which may help researchers using these indexes:
While every effort has been made to ensure that these transcriptions are correct, if any errors are found please contact Surrey History Centre and we will make any appropriate corrections.
If your ancestors appear in the application and report books, why not visit the History Centre and see if you can find anything more about them? We hold the census for Surrey (which includes the parishes in the Richmond Union), parish registers, rate books and numerous other sources for the family and local historian.