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Settlement & Removal


Sovereign Ancestry Lincolnshire - Settlement & Removal image 1In 1662 The Law of Settlement & Removal was enacted. This was administered by Overseers. If a person needed assistance from the parish the Overseers had to satisfy themselves that the person or persons "belonged" to the parish. If, after examination, it was deemed that they did not they would be "removed" to their parish of origin.


There were several ways in which a person could gain settlement entitlement:


i) By Birth in that parish.
ii) Completion of an Indentured Apprenticeship.
iii) Being a covenanted servant to a member of the parish for a complete year.
iv) Renting a property or holding which was rated (taxed) at £10 per annum or more.
v) Payment of Rates & Taxes in the parish.
vi) Being a parish Officer or other Official.


Sovereign Ancestry Lincolnshire - Settlement & Removal image 1As can be imagined there were various complications, grey areas and various ways "around" the rules. Indeed, in some cases matters had to be settled in the Courts. However, this was expensive so fairly uncommon.


Anyone from the working classes who wished to move from one parish to another had to obtain a certificate stating that, should they require poor relief, the parish issuing the certificate would be responsible.


Should a pauper require poor relief and not have settlement rights or a certificate of settlement then they would be removed.


Removal entailed being escorted by a Constable to the parish boundary, and so on from parish to parish until they were returned to their last parish of legal settlement.


The above documents can be an invaluable source of information to the genealogist.