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Care of the poor
  Escape to a better life  

Today we would consider the help given to the poor by the Rhayader Union as much too little. Even so, local people were helped by the Union and there is no doubt that many of the men in charge of the Rhayader Union really did want to help the poor.

In some cases we know that the Union offered help when it was most needed. With work being hard to find many moved away from the area. Some left Wales altogether and started a new life abroad.
The Union sometimes helped with this, as this entry from the records of the early Victorian period reveals.

  Entry from Union records

The entry reads:-
"Emigration - Resolved that the several poor persons being settled in the parish of Rhayader in the County of Radnor comprised in the Rhayader Union, whose names are hereunder written being desirous of emigrating to Lower Canada, the necessary steps be immediately taken to effect the emigration and that a sum not exceeding 2.17.2 [about £2.86] be expended for each person..."
The emigrants were "Elizabeth Jones, Rhayader, widow aged 37, and her six children: viz. Elizabeth (16), John (14), Thomas (10), Jane (9), Mary (7), and William (5)."

It must have been something of an adventure for this mother and her children to leave everything they knew, and go to a strange and far off land. Their descendants may still be in Canada today.

Emigrant sailing ship

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