Ancestry Collection: New York, Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1830-1920

One of the collections that the New York State Archives has partnered with Ancestry to digitize the collection is called: New York, Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1830-1920. My 3rd great-grandfather, Clarence C. Webb, was listed in this collection.

Image from Ancestry

A transcription of the record is:

Record of Inmates, Chemung County Almshouse, Pursuant to the Provisions of Chapter 57, Laws of 1909.

Record Number, 1546

Date Admitted, Nov – 28 1910



Name, Clarence Webb. Sex, Male Age, 58 Color, White Civil State, Widower Last Residence, South Port NY

Birthplace, N.Y How long in this State? 26 yrs Chemung Co 14 yrs

Occupation, Bottler Education, Read & Write Religion, Protestant Habits, Intemperate Physical Condition, Very Poor Cause of Dependence, Destitute

Birthplace of Father, Mass. Occupation, Blacksmith Birthplace of Mother, R.I. Condition of Parents, whether Dependent or Self-Supporting, Self

Is the person able to perform any Labor? No

Has the person ever received Public Relief? No

Has the person been an Inmate of an Almshouse or other Institution? No

Names and Addresses of Relatives or Friends, Frank Webb Dewitt Ave Elmira, N.Y.


Some interesting things stick out to me. First, is that he said that he was a widower. That is not true unless he was married a 2nd time that I am not aware of and was widowed from that marriage.

Secondly, that there is a reference to his religion. I have not yet looked for any church records in Elmira for the Webb family and this is a good reminder to do so.

Thirdly, that they listed his habits as intemperate. I looked up the definition and it says that it is given to or characterized by excessive indulgence, especially in alcohol. That would seem to fit the family lore about his behavior.

Lastly, I would like to check if the birth places and occupation of his father match up with the information that I am trying to put together on them. These are good clues.

I would really like to make a timeline of his life. This document said that he lived in NY for 26 years and in Chemung County for 14 of those years. This record was made in 1910, so he would have moved to Chemung County around 1896 and to New York State in 1884. I think the 14 years in Chemung County would be true, but I’m not sure about the NYS in 1884 as he was still married to Ida and they had Hazel in Tioga County in 1889.

Actually, looking at the years of their children:

  • Ella b. 1875
  • Fred b. 1878
  • Louis b. 1880
  • Hazel b. 1889

That is quite a long gap between Louis and Hazel. Maybe the family moved to NYS and then back in between. Maybe he left the family more than once and Ida stayed in Tioga. A timeline will help me sort this out. So much genealogy to do and so little time to accomplish it!

Here is my attempt at a source citation for this record:

“New York, Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1830-1920,” database with images, Ancestry ( : accessed 12 Oct 2019) > Chemung County > image 142, Clarence Webb, record number 1546; citing New York State Archives; Albany, New York; Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1875-1921; Series: A1978; Reel: A1978:17; Record Number: 1546.

I know that isn’t right… I think there are too many semi-colons and I’m not sure of the waypoints. I’ll have to check my notes from GRIP and read through some NGSQ or The Record articles to hopefully find some examples. But hey, at least I’m trying!

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