Yesterday's Journey's by Michael Spencer

Yesterdays Journey is a compilation of available sources concerning Settlement Examinations, Settlement Certificates, Removal Orders, Bastardy and Apprenticeship Indentures, documents that reveal our ancestors brush with Officialdom. It will be added to over the months.

These documents can add flesh to bones, but more importantly give clues to where ancestors were "hiding" between known details. Some are more informative than others, but all will add substance to your family tree.

The details listed are the bare bones in many cases, with Settlement Examinations and Certificates usually giving additional material such as ages of children and occupation.
It would be almost impossible to record every detail.

To give you an example below is an extract from the SETTLEMENT EXAMINATIONof Hannah WHIPPEY.

Hannah WHIPPEY now of Ashford, single, says she is 30 years of age. Born at Wardlow, Father, John, had a legal Settlement there she believes, when 12 she went to live with Robert HALL at Ashford. farmer, then George WILD at Ashford, then Anthony GOODWIN of Wormhill, then Robert THORNHILL at Great Longstone, then William COCKAYNE of Ashford, then to Cotton Mill at Bakewell under Richard ARKWRIGHT, then to Manchester for two years at Richard ARKWRIGHTS Cotton Mill. Now big with child, came to Ashford eight days ago. 1 Aug 1788.

This is listed as Hannah WHIPPEY, aged 30 born Wardlow. 1788. (The year being the date of the Examination.)
So much more can be found on these documents.

SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATES give the name of the person moving into a parish, his/her age, occupation if any and the names and ages usually, of their children. It also gives the name of the Parish from where they came, enabling you to trace back into the area where they previously lived.

REMOVAL ORDERS indicate which Parish a person who had become chargeable to was removed to. So a person in Ashford falling on hard times, may disappear from records, however a REMOVAL ORDER if it survives should indicate where that person was sent to.

BASTARDY PAPERS record the efforts the Overseers made in ensuring fathers of illegitimate children paid for the upkeep of the child. It will record name of mother, the child, usually described as male or female, and not necessarily by name and the putative father. Occupation sometimes given of the father and place of abode. Also may name those who stood surety.

APPRENTICESHIP Indentures record the name of the Apprentice, age, parish, parents in some cases, Master and Trade.
ROGUES AND VAGABONDS These folks were usually found wandering and begging. Many are single but sometimes families were involved. The majority it would seem came from without the County although obviously there are some totally Derbyshire. When you consider how far some came from you realise why they were called "sturdy beggars". It may be they had reason to visit Derbyshire but never made their goal.
Alongside the Removal order for the Rogue you may find also an Examination regarding their last place of Legal Settlement. This was to their last Legal Settlement, which was not always the place they were born.

Note, some Parishes will have records of all the above classes of documents, most will have some, others may have none. Some documents will not be found among Parish Records but among private papers, Solicitors collections or Estate records.

A document presumably prepared for the printers (it says 500 copies wanted ) gives an insight into the cost of removals in the eighteenth century. The document is undated but found among papers c1758-59. It relates to charges and cost for the removal of vagrants and possibly similar if not same charges would be applicable to those who had become chargeable to parishes and were removed under Removal orders. it would seem that travel by horse was the preferred method as nothing is mentioned about carts being used. The crunch came when riding the horse.


Every vagrant by the head, for every mile  2d 
For maintenance at night if above 14 years  6d 
For maintenance at night if under 14 years  4d 
-- For ever horse charges at night  6d 
For every night the Constable is out  1s-0d 
For every originall Pass and Examination  2s-0d 
For signing a continuation of a Pass  0-0-0d 
For every receipt  6d 

Every Constable is to carry Two Vagrants upon one Horse. Nothing to be allowed for any Night expences unless the Constable do carry them upwards of twelve miles.

So now if you have anyone being a vagrant and moved from one parish to another in the late 1750's you can picture them huddled up to and holding one another two on one horse.

WILLS and ADMINISTRATIONS, Just a note on 'Administrations', when it says "mentions", it means the actual document mentions either next of kin or relatives, remember these are Administrations of people who have died, mostly without leaving a Will, the person who estate is being administered cannot "mention" them as they are dead, or should be....
Clear as mud. OK. now you can take a look
MISCELLANY, these are records that do not fit into any category.
LAW AND ORDER, documentation concerning the running of the Parish, be it the issuing of various Licences, performance of Statute Duty in repairing roads, down to and including misdemeanours from stealing geese, handkerchiefs, corn, or whatever was handy, to wandering as a vagrant (before the Poor Law) and missing from Church for several Sabbaths plus a multitude of other sins. With the accumulation of other evidence (from Settlement Documents, Removals, Bastardy, Apprenticeships, Wills etc) within a selected parish it should show just what was going on within your ancestors parish, and how they may have been involved on a personal level.

If you would like copies of any of the documents please
email Mike
When asking about documents please ensure the Place/Parish under which the name is found, type of Document, (Settlement Certificate, Settlement Examination, Removal, Bastardy etc), plus the reference, name and year if shown are quoted. This will help to ensure you will get your records faster.
Ockbrook, Settlement Examination;
SE8 John ARCHER 1750.