Welcome, fellow genealogists! My blog will teach you about U.S. land records and United Kingdom research. My family has roots in Niagara County, New York; Norfolk, England; and northeast Germany.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: Other Names for Paupers

Did you know that paupers were also called collectioners and bearmen/bairmen? The first of these terms is used today, that is, in books written in the late 1990s and the early 2000s about poverty in Britain. However the term bearman or bairman sent me googling with interesting results.

Googling ‘bearman’ found a host of men’s clubs and references to hirsute men. Looking for “bairman” got one hit in a glossary of ‘peculiar words’ in a book called, Extracts from the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh: AD 1403 -1589. The Extracts includes an alphabetical list of names contained and a list of topics covered in the records of this period. The third and last section is the glossary which defines bairman as an insolvent debtor. This book is downloadable as a PDF from Google Books. There are options for ipads and ereaders as well.
If you are intrigued by the glossary of words from the 15th and 16th century but wish there were indexes to the records of other cities, you will be happy to find that the Extracts are a series which includes Glasgow, Leith, Stirling and others. Edinburgh is Volume 5, first published by Scottish Burgh Records Society in 1892.

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