Poor Law Settlement Records

Settlement papers provide biographical details about working people, usually giving names of each member of the family and sometimes ages. They record the movement of individuals and families from parish to parish, so they can be useful in tracking down 'lost' ancestors. They mostly date from the 1690s-1830s.

Most settlement papers are found amongst parish church records, but those for Norwich and Yarmouth are among the city/borough records. Almost all of them are indexed on the NRO’s catalogue.

Select a document type:


  • Use double quotations marks, e.g., "Anne Smith" or "South Lynn".
  • Spellings of names may vary.
  • For personal names try "forename surname" first and then "surname, forename" - note the comma and space.
  • Try searching on surname only, narrowing your results if necessary (e.g. by date). Wives and children may be described in the catalogue under the father’s surname (e.g. "John Keymer, his wife Mary and child William"; in this case searches on "Mary Keymer" and "William Keymer" will not find this entry).