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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Removal Orders

Information about removal orders in Durham County Record Office.

Removal order, 1740 (EP/Du.SO 112/2/10)
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After the introduction of the Settlement Act of 1662 it was mandatory for each person to have a parish of legal settlement.

This was the only parish in which they were entitled to receive poor relief.

The parish of settlement was usually a person's parish of birth, or where they had lived or worked for at least a year and it was the only parish in which they were entitled to receive poor relief.

A person had to undergo a settlement examination by the vestry or Justices of the Peace in order to obtain legal settlement in a different parish. If successful, they were granted a settlement certificate. See Settlement Certificates for an example.

If someone required relief when living in a parish where they did not have legal settlement, the overseers could issue a removal order to have them transferred back to their parish of settlement.

These records were usually kept in the Parish Chest and have been transferred to the Record Office. Search the Catalogue and type removal order in the Keywords box. Select the option to search for Word variations.

You will find further information about Settlement papers and removal orders on the GENUKI website.