The workhouse in Gorey was constructed on a seven acre site to the south-west of the town at a cost of £5,675 (with an additional £1,025 for fittings &c). Built to accommodate 500 persons, its first admissions took place on 22 January 1842. At the height of the famine in mid-1847, admissions had risen significantly to 715 inmates.
The minutes of the weekly meetings of the Gorey Board of Guardians include statistical data on the weekly number of admissions, discharges, births and deaths. They also record the dietary provision of the paupers and brief reports from the Master and from the Visiting Committee. The Earl Grey assisted female emigration scheme (1848-50) will be of particular interest to those researching their family history. In addition to each prospective female emigrant’s name, age and qualifications (i.e. their ability to read, write, spell, knit, sew, wash), the Gorey minutes include the length of time that each girl had been an inmate in the workhouse – this is particularly valuable given that the registers of admissions and registers of discharges for this union have not survived.
The minute books for Gorey poor law union (1840-1919) are being digitised on a phased basis over a three-year period. We are delighted to make available the first 30 volumes now which cover the period January 1840 to March 1862. Each volume is in Acrobat (PDF) format – please note that some of the files may take a while to download due to their size.