7578RE: [RI_Ancestors] Certificates from Town to move out or in-
- Feb 9, 2014Having read extensively in the early records, my impression was that it was primarily an economic issue. The towns provided help to indigent residents. So when someone moved to town, the town council wanted to know from where they were moving and wanted the town council from their former town to agree to take them back if the new resident should be unable to support himself.
If a person moved to town without a letter from the former town, they were brought before the council and asked from what town they had moved. If they did not own property and were likely to become a financial burden on the town, they were told to leave. If they refused to leave, they would be escorted to the township line and warned not to come back.
I don't think there was a problem in moving out of a town. The problem was with the town to which you were moving. It was a welfare issue like some of our immigration problems today.
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