Find your ancestors in Hampshire, Portsmouth Workhouse Registers

What can these records tell me?

Each result will provide you with an image and transcript. Transcripts will generally provide the following details:

  • First name(s)
  • Last name
  • Birth year
  • Address
  • Admission year
  • Discharge
  • County
  • Country
  • Institution name
  • Register type
  • Archive reference
  • Archive

Images may be able to offer you additional details such as religious denomination, informant’s name, and written notes. For example, from the image for William Allen, born in 1890, his admission and discharge dates are identical, but above the discharge date there is a written note explaining, ‘Refused to stay’.

Discover more about these records

The admission and discharge (Creed) registers held by the Portsmouth History Centre cover the years 1879 to 1953. However, there is a 100-year closure period for these records.

History of Portsmouth Workhouse

As its name suggests, Portsmouth is a port city. It’s located in Hampshire, largely on Portsea Island, making it the United Kingdom’s only island city. In 1725, a parish workhouse was built there. The location of this original workhouse would later become part of the Colewort Barracks. The workhouse, in 1777, could house up to 200 individuals.

An infirmary was built alongside a new workhouse in 1846. With an expanding population in Portsmouth, the Portsmouth Parish was formed in 1900. This parish was designated the administrative body for poor relief in both Portsmouth and Portsea. The site of this infirmary later became St Mary’s Hospital.

A children’s home that could accommodate up to 400 children was created by 1865. It was located to the west of the main workhouse.