Just a quick post to let you know that issue 143 (June 2014) of Your Family Tree magazine is now available. I wrote the article on Workhouses and Institutions, which is a great introduction to tracing your pauper and institutionalised ancestors. Also, check out my professional tip in the 5 minute fixes cover feature.
While workhouses were not always as harsh as Oliver Twist depicts, there is no doubt that it was a hard life for the inmates. Workhouses were deliberately intended to be undesirable, in order to ensure that only the completely desperate entered them. Surprisingly, they remained in use for some years of the twentieth century. The records can be a valuable resource for tracing your ancestors and learning more about their lives.