One of the frustrating things when researching your family history is when an ancestor simply disappears. When that ancestor is a child it seems all the more poignant.
- The British Home Children database held at the Canadian Archives and Library contains the names of tens of thousands of children who emigrated from Britain to Canada between 1869 and 1930. There are many other resources available, a number are listed below.
- The children, not just orphans but abandoned and pauper children as well, were shipped to Canada by the churches and other philanthropic institutions in whose care they found themselves.
- These organisations motivated by social and economic forces, thought the children would have a better chance of a good and moral life if they were put into homes in rural Canada. Many did but some suffered harsh treatment, treated like slaves on the farms they were sent to.
It was a mixed blessing, with winners and losers.
Library and Archives Canada
Go straight to the database to search by name, ship or year of arrival.
The Holland Family
This site is a family history site but has a good methodology for tracking children back from shipping lists through the census. A useful ‘how to’ view.
Young Immigrants to Canada
A list of workhouses and institutions in the UK that sent children to Canada
These are interesting lists as they give the destination of the child. You can then use Google maps to find the exact location.
These children were sent out in 1935, to Fairbridge Farm School. It gives the place of birth of the child which is useful.
British Home Children Registry
This database has been constructed with the aim of collecting and preserving as much detail about each British Home Child as possible. You can search the registry, claim a child or add a record. It also provides links to other useful organisations.
To find out more about Canadian Migrations, explore the posts on Intriguing History and see other historical connections