Austin Genealogy Special Interest Group (SIG)

November 8, 2014 AustinGenSIG Presentation
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Yes, there really were Poorhouses!
(And some of our "brick walls" may end there.)

Presented by Linda Crannell
(Also known as The Poorhouse Lady)

Poorhouses were tax-supported residential institutions to which people were required to go if they could not support themselves. They were started as a method of providing a less expensive (to the taxpayers) alternative to what we would now days call "welfare" - what was called "outdoor relief" in those days.

[One misconception should be cleared up here; they were not technically "debtors' prisons." Someone could owe a great deal of money, but if they could still provide themselves with the necessities for remaining independent they might avoid the poorhouse.]

Quoted from

Information about our presenter, Linda Crannell, The Poorhouse LadyLinda Crannell

Linda Crannell (also known as The Poorhouse Lady) is by profession an optometrist and by serendipity an accidental poorhouse historian. Born in upstate New York (and having gotten to Texas as quickly as possible 20 years later), when she began to research her family history she discovered that her great great grandmother had been raised in a poorhouse. Surprised to learn that poorhouses were "real" and not just something made up by parents, like a boogeyman, to discourage children from making excessive, greedy demands on the family budget., she began to research their history. Four years later she created the POORHOUSE STORY website.

"When I was unable to learn anything about my grandma Emma's life before she was taken from the Washington County Poorhouse as a child, I turned my disappointment into a desire to celebrate her memory by learning & telling The Poorhouse Story.

This site is dedicated to her memory. I felt that if I could not learn of her life before she entered the poorhouse, I would at least learn as much as I could of what her life may have been like while she was there. Knowing that she had lived a very independent and productive life after her discharge, I felt it was appropriate to try to dispel the often undeserved negative image of poorhouse inmates."

Don't miss this interesting meeting.

This topic will create lots of discussion and suggestions beyond what I will offer.

And there is always lots of networking and socializing.
Come and bring a friend or two with you!

Remember sharing and working together is what membership in a
Special Interest Group (SIG) is all about.
We all learn from each other!

And It's all FREE! - We just want you to join us.

Bring your curiosity and your questions!

And your laptop - we have a WIFI connection, extension cords
and lots of tables so you can be comfortable.

So come to share, learn and experience all that
AustinGenSIG has to offer!

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