The value of the records of the overseers of the poor cannot be overestimated. Oftentimes, those individuals who fall upon diffiult circumstances or, through no fault of their own happen to be bastards [i.e., base-born] are lost in the official records. They appear here along with a panoply of names of citizens of the county who vote in elections for the officials who will administers the county's largesse.
From the author's introduction:
Childhood poverty.......Out of wedlock births and the need for child support.......Elderly people needing maintenance.......People dependent on public charity.......Single parent households.......Teenage boys roaming the streets.......Vocational training. The social service needs of the early nineteenth century were not much different from those of today. Prior to 1780 those needs were met by the established church, with its system of parishes and church wardens. In 1780 the Virginia General Assembly instituted the Overseers of the Poor, an elective body in each county who were responsible for the needs of their countrymen. This volume collects acts of the Overseers of the Poor in Scott County, Virginia, for the period 1815 to 1850.
The loose documents have been arranged in chronological order, based on the latest date in the document.
Karen Wagner Treacy