How to interpret Warnings Out records from New England towns
These records document some of the individuals whom have moved into town from elsewhere, and list their prior (or original birth) community; I think with a focus on poor immigrants. The intent being to hold open the option to either bill their original community for assistance rendered to them at their current town expense, or to deport them back to whence they came instead.
I am viewing a typed/transcribed Warnings Out record for Gloucester, MA, and it has a Date (actually, a date RANGE) noted for the individual: 1780-1834. The source document does not explain this Date field's meaning, and I wonder if anyone here can enlighten me -- what might a date range (and sometimes it is a specific year and sometimes it is a specific day/mon/year) mean in this context. Many thanks in advance ...
The time period would appear to refer to the period of time covered by the Gloucester Selectmen's Record Books.1
I've since reached out to the Archives Dept. at Gloucester, MA. My suspicion is that a date RANGE, specifically in the transcribed/typed data, is a condensation of the original data, wherein (perhaps) the individual was Warned Out repeatedly, each year, starting (in my case) in 1780 and continuing uninterruptedly through 1834.
Will see if the City of Gloucester archivist can confirm this.0