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Please help me concerning orphans

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Denise Report 20 Sep 2012 12:57

In 1898, my husband's Grandfather was orphaned when his Mother died 4 years after his Father. He was 7 and his elder brother was 11. For generations, the family had lived in and around Cambridge. The following census in 1901 shows that the boys had been sent to live as boarders with a couple in their mid 50s, about 115 miles from Cambridge to Herne Bay in Kent. I can find no family connection to this couple, and many of the boys' relatives still lived in the Cambridge area. In fact, one of the boys' sisters went to live with their Grandfather in Cambridge. They were apparently not sent there to work for the head of the household as the elder brother was shown on the census to be working as a telegraph messenger. Was it common practice to send orphans to strangers and if so, how did they choose where to send them? thank you for your help. Denise

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 20 Sep 2012 12:59

Was it maybe a boys home?

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 20 Sep 2012 13:00

Care to give names so we can look at whats been found


brummiejan Report 20 Sep 2012 13:01

Denise, can you put details so we can have a look? You never know, someone might come up with something.
It does seem a long way to go doesn't it.


brummiejan Report 20 Sep 2012 13:03

1901 England Census

Name: Thomas V Bye
Age: 9
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1892
Relation: Boarder
Gender: Male
Where born: Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, England

Civil parish: Herne Bay
Ecclesiastical parish: Christchurch
Town: Herne Bay
County/Island: Kent
Registration district: Blean
Sub-registration district: Herne
ED, institution, or vessel: 11

David Polley 56 Where born: Coggeshall, Essex, England
Emma Polley 56 Where born: Coggeshall, Essex, England
Edward A Bye 13
Thomas V Bye 9

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 20 Sep 2012 13:05

There was a lot of TB at that time and people used to go to the coast for residential treatment. Margate which is along the coast from Herne Bay was one place where they were sent .

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 20 Sep 2012 13:11

I see that Edward was also a telegraph boy and its a private house.

Theres no obvious connection as to why they are with them .

I have a feeling I saw somewhere that sometimes people advertised for foster homes for children. maybe thats what happened but its just speculation .


Denise Report 20 Sep 2012 13:45

Thanks very much for your help Shirley and brummiejan. I've even looked up David Polley and his wife in earlier census reports to see if they lived in Cambs at some time. They lived in Coggeshall (where they were both born) in 1871, and in 1881 they lived in nearby Witham Essex on a farm where David Polley was a farmer and seedgrower (80 acres employing 6 men & 3 boys). It's very frustrating. My husband's mother was told that her father was brought up by his elder sister but there were definitely no Emmas in Tom's family, and they never lived in Coggeshall or anywhere outside Cambs until 1901. I was hoping that there might be a register, or some sort or official record of orphans, but I suppose that 's hoping for too much. Thanks again. Denise.


Penny Report 21 Sep 2012 06:08

I believe a minister or vicar would have 'connections'/ He maybe knew of the seed grower on the south coast, suggested two strong lads that needed a home and a purpose in life.


Denise Report 27 Sep 2012 11:00

Thanks Penny. Any ideas are welcome as its so intriguing (and frustrating) not knowing why they were sent so far away from their home county. D


DazedConfused Report 27 Sep 2012 11:10

Margate was home to a large TB Hospital - if you google you can see pictures of this magnificent edifice which has long gone.

Also it was not uncommon for orphaned children to be sent all over the place. My g/grandfather and his siblings were all split up after the death of his mother when he was 4. He, one of his brothers and their father (who disappears soon after) went to the workhouse and later an industrial school and the girls went to 2 different girls homes, all in Liverpool. The odd thing is that 3 of the 4 children all ended up in London by the time they were in their teens.