Poorhouses were our ancestor’s solution to what to do with those who either did not work or could not work because of disability. The site for researching poorhouses is the Poorhouse Story at http://www.poorhousestory.com/. This is a great site for learning more about poorhouse history and for information on a state-by-state basis.
When researching your ancestor who either lived in the poorhouse or maybe was an overseer, first check out the U. S. Federal Census. Using Ancestry.com, search the census for your county of interest and select the term “inmate” in the relationship category. Often those who lived in the poorhouse were described as inmates.
If you are conducting research onsite, make sure to check out county commissioner meeting minutes or other county government meeting minutes. There should be information having to do with whom the county contracted with to run the poorhouse.