Thursday, February 13, 2014

Home Children - 11% of Canadians are Descended from

Taken from Library and Archives Canada


Between 1869 and the late 1930s, over 100,000 juvenile migrants were sent to Canada from Great Britain during the child emigration movement. Motivated by social and economic forces, churches and philanthropic organizations sent orphaned, abandoned and pauper children to Canada. Many believed that these children would have a better chance for a healthy, moral life in rural Canada, where families welcomed them as a source of cheap farm labour and domestic help.

After arriving by ship, the children were sent to distributing homes, such as Fairknowe in Brockville, and then sent on to farmers in the area. Although many of the children were poorly treated and abused, others experienced a better life here than if they had remained in the urban slums of England. Many served with the Canadian and British Forces during both World Wars.

The Home Children database is being produced by the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) in cooperation with Library and Archives Canada. BIFHSGO volunteers go through different archival fonds held at Library and Archives in order to locate names of children. So far, passenger lists (1869-1922), selected files from the Immigration Branch: Central Registry Files (1869-1935), the Department of Agriculture (1869-1892) and other governmental fonds, 1869-1935 (e.g. RG 25, 15, 2, 31) have been consulted. BIFHSGO volunteers have also indexed the records of the Boards of Guardians (1886-1916). Other fonds have been identified and will eventually be consulted and indexed.

To read more about Home Children, you may wish to visit the Young Immigrants to Canada Web site {NOTE: the site is under construction so link does not consistently work - Google it]. You will find information about homes and organizations, reunions, titles of books on the subject and some lists of children's names.

Children were sent to various locations in Canada, including western Provinces. Most NEVER spoke about it, and so you may find an ancestor within this group. 11% of Canadians are descendants of the Home Children. Read more and search the free databases

There is a story about Canada's oldest living home child at

Don't you marvel at the myriad of stories of where we came from?

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