Showing posts with label British Home Children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label British Home Children. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Breaking the Silence: British Home Children in Canada

For immediate release

April 3, 2013

Breaking the Silence: British Home Children in Canada

Ottawa-Over 120,000 children came to Canada as domestic servants and agricultural labourers from the British Isles between the 1860’s and the 1940’s. Only now are many Canadians learning that a family member was a Home Child.

The Ottawa Public Library in partnership with Ontario East Home Child Family and the British Home Child Advocacy & Research Association will present information and provide assistance in finding their stories.

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2013

Time: 1:00-4:30 p.m.

Location: Main Library, 120 Metcalfe Street, Mezzanine and Auditorium

For more information, visit or contact InfoService at 613-580-2940 or

This program is free and registration is not required.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Talk to be given on Home Children

A press release has just been received from Touchstones Nelson -

"Are you a descendant of a British child immigrant? Is there a “home child” in your family background? How would you know? Join historian and author Art Joyce Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at Touchstones Nelson, Shawn Lamb Archives, 502 Vernon St., Nelson, BC for his presentation "Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest: Honouring Canada’s Child Immigrants".

These girls from the Barnardo's homes in England were among the 100,000 British poor children who were emigrated to Canada between 1869-1939. The families of the children often had no choice in their emigration and they were forced to work on farms or as household servants until legal age for little or no money. This group is arriving at St. John, New Brunswick in the 1920s. Photo courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.

Between 1869 and 1939, 100,000 children were emigrated from Britain to Canada as a means of providing indentured labourers for newly developing farms or – in the case of girls – domestic servants for households. Tens of thousands more children were sent to Australia and New Zealand. Siblings were often separated and in most cases never saw one another or their parents again.

Joyce discovered that he was the grandson of just such a “home child” five years ago while doing genealogical research into his Joyce ancestors. Since then he has expanded his interest to include research on the history of Canada’s child immigrants, and in particular, the impact of this on families in the Columbia Basin.

He plans to compile a book based on both his family’s experience and the experiences of other Basin families who have “home children” in their background.

Joyce is the author of two books of West Kootenay history, "A Perfect Childhood and Hanging Fire & Heavy Horses", on the heritage homes and public transit of the historic city of Nelson, BC. A passage from A Perfect Childhood is quoted in the Knowledge Network’s BC Moments series and he was a popular heritage columnist for the Nelson Daily News from 1996-2000. For the past seven years he has worked as reporter and arts and culture editor for the Valley Voice newspaper in the Slocan Valley. Joyce is also the author of two recent books of poetry".

The website is at

A special "Canadian Military" websites and blogs will be listed here on Monday November 7th!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

British Home Children Talk

The first Fall meeting of the Ottawa Media Club will be Monday, September 19, 2011. at 6 pm at the Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa.

There will be a talk on the British Home Children called Great Expectations – The Middlemore Experience.

Between 1873-1932, more than 5,000 Birmingham children were settled in Ontario and the Maritimes, by John T. Middlemore of Birmingham. This startling event will be explained, following exhaustive research for her book, by author Dr. Patricia Roberts-Pichette and research assistant Caroline Herbert.

Dr. Patricia Roberts-Pichette and Caroline Herbert are both members of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, and the organization has the Home Children database on the website">

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A New Website for The OGS British Home Children

This afternoon I checked the Ontario Genealogical Society site to see if there were any new items, and I saw where the British Home Children now has a website at

As the website says "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."

They have a Resources Link, and are going to have a "Members Only" page in the future.

The cost to join the SIG is $5.00. If you are already an OGS member just mail in your $5.00 cheque to the OGS provincial office indicating that it is for 2011 membership in the BHC SIG. You may also call the office or email Marsha, our Membership Co-ordinator at to add this branch.

The email address for the British Home Children is

Thursday, January 6, 2011

BRANTches - November 2010

BRANTches is the publication of the Brant County Ontario Genealogy Society, and its editor is Christine Woodcock.

In the latest edition (November 2010) of the newsletter, it was noted that the September meeting saw Misty DeMeo of the County of Brant Library System give a talk on the digitization project. The first part of the project involved scanning documents and photographs of all kinds, and the second part will involve personal memories and family history.

The October meeting was a 2-day affair which saw the Branch host the British Home Child Memorial Quit Display and the British Home Child Descendants Reunion. By all accounts, it was a great success.

There are many photos of the day in the newsletter, and there were display tables showing the homes were the Home Children in the put when they first came to Canada - Fegan Homes, Barnardo Homes, Miss Marie Rye, Middlemore Homes, MacPherson Homes, National Children's Homes, St. George's Homes, and Quarrier Homes.

There is also an articles on "How to Create a GEDCOM File", "New Books in Our Library", "From the Library Shelf", and "The Adventures of a Ten Dollar Bill: How I Tore Down My Brickwall" in which the editor tells how she found her great-grandfather and great-uncle.

To find out more about the Brant Branch, please visit

Saturday, September 19, 2009

2009 - Year of the Home Child

Did you know that 2009 is the Year of the Home Child?

I found out about it by reading the "Ottawa Branch News", which arrived in the mail recently. It was a short notice included under "Interesting Web Sites".

There is a British website <> dedicated to the Descendants of the British Home Children (BHC). They have appeared to have declared 2009 as the Year of the Home Child.

Between 1869 and 1948, over 100,000 children were sent to Canada from the UK.

They have had quite a few events (some of them are listed for Canada), but I was more interested in links they had to other organizations, of which one caught my attention because it is in Canada. They also have "Images From Our Past", which provides photos of Home Children.

Locally, there is the BIFHSGO Home Children Index at <>.

Dave and Kay Lorente—BIFHSGO Hall of Fame members—started researching Home Children in 1991, and later signed a memorandum of understanding with BIFHSGO to let them take over the researching for Home Children.

Today, when you go to the website, you will see their work in a free, searchable database.

So far, they have put on children who immigrated to Canada between 1869 and 1948, and the indexing of the Middlemore Home Children who arrived between 1873 and 1933.

Fellow Hall of Famer (2009) and blogger, John D. Reid, has written a book entitled, Researching Canada's Home Children, published in association with BIFHSGO.

These are great resources for one's Home Children research.