Stewart Bell Jr. Archives
Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Room
Handley Regional Library
Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society
P.O. Box 58, Winchester, VA 22604
(540) 662-9041 ext. 17
Inventory created by Archives Staff 09/1995. Last revised 03/2018.
ACCESS RESTRICTIONS: Collection is open to all researchers.
USE RESTRICTIONS: Restrictions may apply concerning the use, photoduplication, or publication of items in this collection. Consult a member of the archives staff for information concerning these restrictions. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright.
EXTENT: 0.21 linear feet
DATE: 1750s to 1955; bulk 1750-1928
SCOPE AND CONTENT: The Overseers of the Poor was a charitable institution created to provide financial and other forms of support for orphaned children, the poor, the disabled, the infirm, and the mentally ill in Winchester and Frederick County, Virginia. It was operated from 1793 to the twentieth century. The collection contains reports of overseers of the poor; finance records, covering 1750-1928, and a scholarly paper on the institution.
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL: The American Colonies adopted systems of relief for the poor and infirm, as well as orphaned children modeled on the Poor Laws of England. In earlier decades the work of administering these laws was done by members of the Church Vestry. After the Revolutionary War, and the disestablishment of the Church of England, individuals known as Overseers of the Poor took on the task of caring for the poor.
RELATED MATERIAL: The Virginia Historic Landmarks Collection, 1350 WFCHS, folder #34-99, has a sketch of poor house in Winchester, VA.
CITE AS: Overseers of the Poor Collection, 77 WFCHS/THL, Stewart Bell Jr. Archives , Handley Regional Library, Winchester, VA, USA.
Claim concerning John Van Nesson and John Nagle, 1847, 1 leaf, manuscript
"Confronting Rural Poverty: The Transformation of Welfare Policy in Frederick County, VA 1750‑1820," by Holly Brewer, North Carolina State University, 1995, 21 leaves, typescript (photocopy)
Finance County Home Expenses, 1928, ledger book, 1 item, manuscript
Finance Report, 1850, 4 pages, manuscript
Reports, Overseers of the Poor, 1910, 3 leaves, manuscript