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Do you have a child migrant in your tree?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Lynda Report 29 May 2008 00:53

Yes, terrible things happened to a lot of children and continue to this very day. It seems not a day goes by that you don't read/hear about another child who has been abused/killed - whether with their natural parents or with foster parents.

But here's a happier story. My little granny was one of the home children, as they are called here in Canada. Her father died when she was just under six; she had a brother a couple of years older and a sister about 3 years younger. Her mother was unable to care for/support all of them and the two oldest were placed in homes. My granny was put in a home for girls in Marylebone, where she stayed for about 5 years; the home was taken over by the C of E in 1895. She remained in contact with her mother. When she was about 10 her mother gave her consent for granny to be sent to Canada, and she told granny that she would have a better life in Canada. Granny was just shy of 11 years of age when she came to Canada in 1896, as a member of 'Miss Rye's party'. She lived in 3 or 4 different homes in Ontario, and the home in England received progress reports about her, the last one when she was just shy of 19. She attended church and sunday school, was paid a wage for doing housework, and (as she herself told us) was sent to school. At some point she came west to Manitoba where she met and married my grandfather in 1912. Around that time her stepfather contacted her to let her know that her mother had died. She and grandpa had 7 children, 6 that grew to adulthood; a total of 98 descendants, and more on the way. Grandpa died in 1935, and granny died in 1976 in her 91st year.

I've read a lot of the home children stories, and I realize that a lot of them lost all contact with their families and suffered at the hands of their new 'families' in Canada. And the natural reaction is horror at what they went through.

For my family, though, if Granny had not been sent to Canada we would not be here.


Karen Report 15 Jun 2008 12:28



Lorraine Report 11 Nov 2008 18:02


Jac Report 11 Nov 2008 19:11

Thanks so much for this nudge - just what I needed.

Jac XX


George Report 3 Mar 2009 22:21

nudged up for the benefit of newer members


puddleducky Report 4 Mar 2009 12:54

nudging for later
Thank you.


Dianne Report 4 Mar 2009 17:08

This is very interesting. I worked in an old Victorian school some years ago. In a cupboard was the original Headmaster's Day Book. Entries included children not attending today due to gathering crops/picking potatoes etc.

One entry mentioned that a large number of children had been shipped away to Canada and would not be attending the school in future. It was a wonderful book and should have been in the local Archives, not stuck in a cupboard in the school.

Dianne xx


Christine Report 25 Apr 2009 11:24

I think some of today's Social Services Departments are continuing with the spirit of this scheme.


Sally Report 25 Apr 2009 23:50

how terrible thease children were treated and we are supposed to be the civilised nation


Quinsgran Report 26 Apr 2009 06:02


Why did I start this?

Why did I start this? Report 26 Apr 2009 07:35

My Grandmothers brother was sent to Canada as a home child. I contacted Action for Children and they have been very helpful. They are allowing me to view his records from the childrens home he was in before being sent to Canada which should happen in August this year. They are quite rightly giving priority to adults who which to view their own records from when they were in a childrens home.
I am really excited about seeing his records hopefully some of the questions I have will be answered.
It took quite a lot of searching to find the childrens home but managed to locate him when I was able to see the 1911 census.
I first tried to find him in Coventry as his daughter who lives in Canada believed he was in a childrens home there. It was only after I found him in a home in Hampshire that I realised her father actually had said to her that 'he had been sent to Coventry' a phrase that would mean nothing to a Canadian. My great Uncle had many relatives living around him at the time so his records should make for very interesting reading !


George Report 12 Jun 2009 19:16



Quinsgran Report 12 Jun 2009 22:15

Just reading /thinkers/barnardo.html#emigration.

It states destitute and orphaned children has a long history in Britain-with around 130,000 children being shipped off to various parts of the Empire over some 350 years.

The first group was arguably sent in 1618 to Richmond Virginia USA; the last sent to Australia in 1967

The advantages to the authorities. In the late 19th century it cost 12 pounds a year to look after a child in an institution. To send one overseas was a one- off payment of 15 pounds (abridged)

Another site says over 200,000 children were sent overseas.

The first group of children were sent with convicts in 1788 on the first fleet


George Report 22 Jun 2009 17:41



George Report 15 Nov 2009 12:08


Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 15 Nov 2009 12:35

i see at last that the British and Canadian and Australian Governments are going to apologise to the Home children for their actions in deporting them !!
Apparently the practice was still going on up to the 1960,s.

Having since posted about my Aunt in 2004 i am in contact with the descendant of another Home Child who is related in my dads side of the family, This lad was in Barnardos and his son has got his dads file, it seems that when a child was signed into Barnardos then the parents forfeited their parental rights and Barnardos then had Carte Blanche to make any decision on the child.
So thats why kids were sent without their parents knowledge


ElizabethK Report 15 Nov 2009 13:23

This account of the Austaralian part is interesting

I think I have got it right !

Lady Cutie

Lady Cutie Report 15 Nov 2009 17:05

Nudge ..


Quinsgran Report 15 Nov 2009 17:58

If you have read all the earlier comments you will see children as late as 1975 were sent away


BatMansDaughter Report 16 Jan 2010 15:00

Nudge for future ref.

Dee xx