Thursday, 29 April 2021

Indexing Wigtownshire Poor Relief Records - Giving women their full name

The fundamental purpose of our indexes is to help people to find individuals in historical records more easily. When we began indexing the Wigtownshire Poor Relief records we were presented with a problem. 

For example, here we have ‘Widow Agnew’. Unfortunately, we are not given her forename. For anyone searching these records, a forename would be useful. We’re genealogists, though, so we simply did some research. 

The record tells us that the pauper is the widow of Alexander Agnew, we are also given an age and the names of her children. As this record is dated 1882 we have a lot of resources at our fingertips to work out exactly who Widow Agnew was. 

We discovered that ‘Widow Agnew’ was actually Ann Agnew and her maiden surname was Brown. The index entry on our website records now shows this information, making her easier to find. As always, our indexes are free to search and we provide the full reference for the original record at the National Records of Scotland. In this case, the reference is CO4/45/11 page 413 - Stranraer Parochial Board General Register of the Poor. If you are able to visit the National Records of Scotland you can look at these records in person or you can use our research service to find out more. You can find Ann and many others in our index:

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