Union Records ~ Children

The Guardians of most Unions were keen to ensure that children had at a least a rudimentary education and a trade so that as adults, with families of their own, they would be able to support themselves. As a result there are a number of records specifically relating to children. Some Unions had arrangements for children to be sent to the large metropolitan schools whilst boys could be sent to the training ships or into the army.

Children’s Homes records

Children’s Homes in general could be of two types and usually a Union only operated one of these. Cottage Homes consisted of buildings specifically for children whilst Scattered Homes lodged a number of children in an ordinary house or houses within the local community. The Admission and Discharge Books for these establishments may have survived with other records such as Creed Registers and report books.

Boarding Out Records

Some children were placed with foster parents and there may be reference to them in such records as the Register of Children Boarded Out or the Boarding Out Committee Minutes. There may also be references made in the Minutes of the Board to clothing or out relief given to the foster parents for the child/children.

Apprenticeship Records

Various records may exist of those children who were apprenticed to tradesmen by the Union or sent into Service. As the apprenticeship of children usually involved some kind of agreement there are more of these records available (including Registers of Apprentice and Apprenticeship Indentures) than for those who went into Service. However, both types may be found in the records of the visits that the Union Officers made to the children to check on their welfare.