Lending a Hand part 1

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100th Anniversary
The individuals listed in this 1852 Kent County Paupers Book were occupants of the alms house at the time.

Lending A Hand

The poor house, later called the almshouse, was directed to be erected by each county in 1791. Two of the Trustees of the Poor decided which persons in the county met the criteria of admittance. If a resident of the almshouse was disorderly, he or she would be corrected or dismissed. After 1815, if a person in jail was found to be insane, Levy Court of the Court of General Sessions would order to have the person removed to the almshouse. In 1861, legislation was enacted which allowed authorities to place vagabonds and beggars in the workhouse leaving the almshouse with the care of the aged, infirm, insane and chronically ill. The almshouses in all three counties closed down when the Welfare Home in Smyrna opened in 1933.

The Pauper Books are a register of the poor and sick inmates of the county almshouse. These books are part of the Kent County Trustees of the Poor collection.

A law was passed in 1775 providing for an overseer of the poor and in 1791 the Trustees of the Poor was created under Levy Court. Other records in this collection include account books, births and deaths, court orders, expenses, accounts, apprentice indentures and admittance records.