Orange County Genealogical Society
1841 Historic Courthouse, 101 Main Street, Goshen, NY
Saturday, November 10, 2001, 10:30 A.M.
"GOING TO THE POORHOUSE"
presented by: Linda Crannell, The Poorhouse Lady
45-60 minute Lecture followed by a Q & A Session of approximately 30 minutes
The "Poorhouse Lady" will be sharing what she has learned while doing
Who can we find in poorhouses?
What...exactly...was a poorhouse?
Where can we find poorhouse records?
When...and why...and how...were poorhouses (or almshouses) first created?
(And when were the first "modern" official government reports about
Why should genealogists/historians be concerned with poorhouse records?
How can we find information about poorhouses if their "official" records no
EXHIBIT: There will be samples of authentic historic poorhouse documents
purchased on eBay!
HANDOUT PACKET (Huge!): photographs, facsimile documents, bibliography and
resources, instructions for locating poorhouse information (in various
census reports, on the Internet, in state archives, etc.), survey of
and policies by state, and more! [The handouts will be provided for the use
of the people present at the lecture; but must be returned to the presenter
when leaving...unless individuals wish to purchase the packet for $3.00]
Copies of the book,
Portraits of Poverty: History & Abstracts of Inmate Registration
From the Washington County (NY) Poorhouse 1875-1900
available for purchasing or ordering.
THIS PROGRAM IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
See the note at the bottom of the information about the speaker
Reservations are not required but in order to have sufficient handouts
available we ask that you let us know your interest in attending this
program. You may do so by sending a postcard to OCGS, Poorhouse Program, 101
Main Street, Goshen, NY 10924 or by sending an e-mail to Marilyn Terry,
As with most programs if you are traveling any distance it is always wise to
call and make sure there aren't any changes in the program time or location,
call Marilyn Terry at 845-562-2749. For those living nearby please watch
your local newspapers or listen to area radio stations for additional
ABOUT OUR SPEAKER:
LINDA CRANNELL is an optometrist who currently lives and practices in
Austin, Texas. Born in 1942 in South Glens Falls, New York, her family moved
away when she was 11 years old.
A few years ago she began researching her family history. The origins of her
great great grandmother Emma remained a mystery until she was located in the
records of the Washington County poorhouse in New York. She was "taken from"
there at 7 years of age in 1856. But nothing further has been learned of her
life prior to her residence in that poorhouse.
Thus began a Quest!
Linda decided that if she could not know of Emma's earlier life, she would
try to learn and understand all she could about what life in a poorhouse
musthave been like. To most of us Linda's age or younger . "the poorhouse"
only a phrase in an expression our parents used to teach us frugality. The
search for information about what poorhouses really were became an extensive
and very fascinating research project. The search was not easy because only
afew of the people she consulted seemed aware of poorhouse history or the
existence of poorhouse records. To share what she had already learned .
and further her own knowledge .. she created a website called
The POORHOUSE STORY ( a clearinghouse for information
about 19th century American poorhouses at http://www.poorhousestory.com
and dedicated it to the memory of Emma.
Since it was begun in May of 2000, people have made almost 150,000 visits to
the website. It has won an award from the Genealogy Forum on AOL, received a
Family History Favorite award from Ancestry.com
, and was recently written up
as one of the 101 Best New Websites in Family Tree Magazine.
As The Poorhouse Lady - Linda spends 30 hours a week answering e-mail and
"snail" mail inquiries and submissions, editing and preparing material for
publication on The POORHOUSE STORY, and carrying out her own research. She
has recently published a book of abstracts of the Inmate Registration
Certificates of over 1600 people who were admitted to the Washington County,
NY Poorhouse between 1875 and 1900; the book is called Portraits of Poverty.
She also hosts the Poorhouse and Poor Relief topic for the American Local
History Network on the Internet.
Speaking engagements help raise consciousness about poorhouse history and
records, and donations made at these events help raise money for the
software, hardware, and services which help make the continuing work of the