Workhouse Connections

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1 in 10 people have an ancestor who was in a workhouse. Are you one of them?

Whether you already know you have a workhouse connection or are just starting on your family history journey then this event can help you explore your relative's experience. 

Over two days (Friday 27th and Saturday 28th February 2015) you will hear from experts in both family research and workhouse history, explore one of the best preserved workhouse sites in the country, and have the opportunity to get advice on your own research. Find out what to do next when you discover a relative in a workhouse; what sources are available and how do you access them? Discuss the variation within the workhouse system and the emotional impact on families of discovering a workhouse connection. There will also be plenty of time to talk with other interested researchers over buffet lunches both days and dinner on Friday.

Dr Andy Gritt
Dr Gritt is the former Director of Local and Family History at the University of Central Lancaster and current Academic Courses Manager for Nottingham Trent University. His specialisms include Victorian poverty and public history.
Peter Park
Peter Park has been actively involved in his own and other people’s family history research for over forty years. He is a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists, Vice President of Cumbria Family History Society, regularly has articles published in Family History magazines, and speaks at Who Do You Think You Are? Live. He has a particular specialism in the nineteenth century Poor Law Commission.
Peter Higginbotham
A well-known workhouse expert who is the author of numerous books and a dedicated workhouse website. He is also a familiar figure on TV documentaries about family history research, including Heir Hunters and Who Do You Think You Are?
Piers Dudgeon
As the biographer of author Barbara Taylor-Bradford, Piers Dudgeon made the shocking discovery that her grandmother had spent time in Ripon Workhouse.
Professor Steven King
Professor King is the Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Science for the University of Leicester. He is currently researching a large collection of letters written by paupers to explore their experiences in their own words.

Other Activities
One-to-one sessions will be available on both days to discuss your research questions and concerns. Sessions are available with Dr Andy Gritt, Peter Park, Piers Dudgeon and Susan Dennison, please book early to ensure a space with your preferred expert. Sessions will last 10 minutes each and are limited to one per delegate. (Susan specialises in Ripon Workhouse but has experience supporting family history researchers working on other workhouses. She is involved with the ongoing digitalisation of  workhouse records). Any spare sessions will be available for sign up on the day.
Advice on using archives will be provided by Northallerton County Record Office who will also be bringing some original workhouse records for you to see.
Delegates will get a Guided Tour of Ripon Workhouse Museum and the Workhouse Site, one of the best preserved such sites in the country, led by our experienced and award winning guides. There will also be an opportunity to look around the museum when it is shut to the public, speak to the curator, and handle some Victorian objects from the collection.
Guided Tours of Ripon Cathedral will also be available.
Evening Public Lecture: ‘Please Sir, Can I Have Some More?’ – Modern ideas of the workhouse have been shaped in large part by their representation in Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist’ and its many film adaptations. Using clips from film and TV we will explore how popular perceptions have changed with the times.

Cost: £180 per person for two full days of activities, lunch and refreshment both days, and a 3 course dinner on Friday night. You can book for one day only and special offers are available, enquire for more details.
Booking forms are available for download below.
Information on local accommodation providers and other nearby attractions is available to download below.

There are limited spaces for exhibitors.

Contact [email protected] for more information including a schedule.

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