Saturday, December 14, 2013

British Women’s Emigration Association Database

The British Islands Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) has just written to me about a new database which they have just put on their site - British Women’s Emigration Association Database.

They say that “The Hon. Mrs. Ellen Joyce was the head of the British Women’s Emigration Association (BWEA) from 1901 until 1919. Mrs. Joyce was married to a Church of England clergyman and they resided at St. John’s Croft, Winchester, Hampshire, England. Most of her work appears to have been carried out from this house as the address shows frequently in her correspondence.

The aim of the Association was to encourage middle class women to emigrate to the colonies because of a perceived surplus of women in England and Wales while there was a dearth of British women in the colonies, particularly in Canada and Australia. The 1901 Census revealed that there were a million more women than men in England and Wales.

The young women ranged in age from 14 to mid 40s and the majority went to Ontario or Western Canada, most were single but a few of the older women were widows. All were said to be `of good character’.

Any records in England that contained information on individual women were destroyed in 1964, therefore the records held by Library and Archives Canada have added significance for any persons researching women’s immigration to Canada”.

To view the database, go to