Warning out

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A 'warning out' was a way for early communities to protect themselves from possible future economic liability when families moved to their town. It was customary for communities to support their residents who were not able to support themselves. When a new family moved to town, the town was in essence taking that legal responsibility for the newcomers. To protect themselves, the town could issue a warning to the new residents that they were not taking on that responsibility should the family become destitute in the future. A warning out was not the equivalent of the family being asked to leave the community, and did not indicate current economic hardship on the part of the family.

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