Destitute Asylum

Destitution in South Australia

The first Ordinance relating to the maintenance of the destitute was passed in 1843. The Destitute Board was appointed in 1849 and was responsible for overseeing and relieving those who had no means, or relatives, to support themselves.  Two forms of relief were available:

  • “Outdoor” – consisting of rations of food and firewood to those with a roof over their head; and

  • “Indoor” – available to the sick, homeless, widowed and elderly residing in the Destitute Asylum.

The Destitute Asylum also operated the Lying-In Home for destitute expectant mothers.

Most records relating to this subject were created by the Destitute Board (GRG28).

Records relating to destitution

Series IDSeries title and date rangeAccess
GRG 27/19Reports by inspectress of licensed foster mothers and wet-nurses, 1881 - 1909


See Special List

GRG 28/4Register of cases of destitution, 1849 - 1857


See Special List

GRG 28/5Register of admissions to the Destitute Asylum,  1870 – 1873, 1881 - 1924

Open after 100 years

See Special List for 1870-1909

GRG 28/13Register of admissions to the Lying-In home, 1886 - 1896Open
GRG 28/14Reports on applicants for admission to the Lying-In home, 1900 - 1922Open after 100 years
GRG 28/32Quarterly record of recipients of relief in the Wallaroo, Moonta and Kadina districts, 1910 – 1922Open after 100 years
GRG 28/33List of children forwarded from the Destitute Asylum to the Roman Catholic Orphanage, 1867 - 1869Open
GRG 28/34Register of admissions to Destitute Lying-In Home, Flinders Street, 1865 - 1868


See Special List

GRG 29/15Register of infants born in the Destitute Asylum, 1880 – 1932Open after 100 years
GRG 29/16Ledgers of maintenance payments by relatives of destitute persons, 1893 –1928Open after 100 years
GRS 14431/1Register of relief applications - Burra (Redruth)
district, 1906 – 1917, 1935 - 1953
Open after 100 years



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