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British Home Children

From 1869 to 1939 various workhouses, sheltering homes, orphanages and child care organizations in Great Britain immigrated over 100,000 orphaned, abandoned, pauper children ages 1 to 18 to Canada. Known as the British Home Children (BHC), life for these children coming alone to Canada to work as domestics and farm labourers forging ahead in a new land was not always easy.

Of the over 50 sending agencies, some of the more well known names are Rye, Macpherson, Fegan, Quarriers, Barnardo, Middlemore, Catholic Emigration Society, Salvation Army, Church of England Waif & Strays.

It is estimated that 12%, over 4 million, of the Canadian population is a descendant of a Home Child. Home Children Descendants now live worldwide.

The British Home Child Special Interest Group (SIG) can also be consulted for more information.

2010 was the Year of the British Home Child, Canada. In October 2010 Canada Post issued a stamp to commemorate the British Home Children.

Mailing List - British Home Children
A mailing list for anyone who has a genealogical interest in British Home Children.

British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
is indexing "home children in the passenger lists of ships arriving in Canada from Britain between 1869 and 1948 (started in 1998), and the indexing of Middlemore home children arriving in Canada between 1873 and 1933 (started in 2001)."

Library and Archives Canada (Genealogy Centre)
"Members of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) are indexing the names of juvenile migrants found in our passenger lists. Please note that the database is not yet complete."

Lambton County Branch, OGS
"is attempting to make a Registry of all the British Home Children who were placed in Lambton County, Ontario between 1869 and the mid 1930's".
Manitoba - Index to Child Care Institutions
Manitoba - Immigration and Settlement: 1870-1919

Chatham - Kent Branch, OGS
"are endeavoring to creat a registry of those Home Children who were part of the British Child Emigration Movement (1869-1939) and were related to Kent County, Ontario".

Home Children Canada (Pacific)
main aim is "to help Home Children and their descendants to discover their past".

Archives of Ontario Anthony B. Hawke Papers
immigration records dating from 1831-1892.

British Home Children Links from the 1901 Census of Canada
provides "A listing of links from records in the index to the 1901 Census to the Home Children records at the Library and Archives Canada web site".

Marjorie P. Kohli's Site
is a Canadian based site by the author of "The Golden Bridge – Young Immigrants to Canada, 1833-1939"

Tweetybird's Genealogy Tree
site has "a compilation of information from the British Home Children mailing list".

Barnardo's UK
If your British Home Child ancestor was sent to Canada through Barnardo's then this site will give you the contact information you need to determine if they have records, and to obtain a copy of records, while in the home.

Quarriers UK
If your British Home Child ancestor was sent to Canada through Quarriers then this site will give you the contact information you need to know "about the records held by the organisation since the 1870s".

Hidden Lives Revealed
"provides an intriguing encounter with children who were in the care of The Children's Society in late Victorian and early 20th Century Britain".

Pier 21
"collects stories from those British Home Children with connections to the Pier and its history".

Ragged School Museum
lets you experience "a slice of Victorian life".

List of Girls in Miss Rye's Peckham Homes 1881
From the 1881 census of England

Welfare Archives at the University of Liverpool
"Records deposited at the University of Liverpool by child-related voluntary organisations, community projects and organisations working with the homeless".

updated 03/2015