How to find information

 

There seemed to be a wall of silence in both countries about the British Home Children. The Home children themselves didn’t talk about their experiences, they seemed to feel that they had done something wrong and it was their fault they had been sent to Canada. Some talked to their grandchildren rather than their own children and some wrote about their experiences in journals and diaries. It was the descendants of these children, who heard the stories and read the journals who started to ask questions, and so broke the silence. Even then it took a number of years before both Canadian and British Governments acknowledged this huge movement of children from one country to the other. This enabled many records to be released and families were then able to find out what really happened to their Home Child. Several groups of ancestors meet on a regular basis; they have set up web sites, exchange news and information, share stories and photographs with Facebook sites. Quilts with each square commemorating a Home Child have been organised but, in spite of all this activity, many Canadians still do not know this part of their history.

 A badge designed in 1994 by Lizzie Smith of St Jerome, Quebec whose father was sent through the St George's Home in Ottawa. You can see the lion representing the mother country, the industrial towns where they lived and the ship being guided by the star of good hope. Sheaves of corn promise the children will never go hungry again and at the bottom the motto which translates as, "Our hope is in Canada"

A badge designed in 1994 by Lizzie Smith of St Jerome, Quebec whose father was sent through the St George’s Home in Ottawa. You can see the lion representing the mother country, the industrial towns where they lived and the ship being guided by the star of good hope. Sheaves of corn promise the children will never go hungry again and at the bottom the motto which translates as, “Our hope is in Canada”

A huge thank you to all descendants of a Bristol Home Child who have shared with their stories with me over the past few years, it has been a privilege to work with you. Family historians if you have a Bristol Home Child in your family, I would be interested to hear from you.

I have constructed a database of all the children who were sent from Bristol. If you think you can identify a member of your family then do send me an email

and I will send you what I have for that child.

My email is shirleyhod2@aol.com

Recommended Reading

  • “The Golden Bridge” by Marjorie Kohli published by Natural Heritage Books, Toronto
  • “Lost Children of the Empire” by Philip Bean and Joy Melville published by Unwin Hyman
  • “The Little Immigrants” by Kenneth Bagnell published by Dundrum
  • “Labouring Children“ by Joy Parr published by University Toronto Press
  • “Children of the Empire” by Gillian Wagner published by Weidenfeld & |Nicholson
  • “Uprooted” by Roy Parker published by Policypress 

Useful Records

A large number of English records relating to the children are closed for either 75 or 100 years.

Bristol and Barton Regis Poor Law records, including records of the two workhouses, were housed in St Peters Hospital which received a direct hit in a 1940’s bomb raid. All records housed in the building were destroyed. A limited selection survived, they can be found in Bristol Record Office.

 Useful websites

For the census and birth, passenger lists and reports including much  information go to the following sites-

Library & Archives of Canada

www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/Pages/home.aspx – free site for emigration records of the children.

Records held at Bristol Record Office

www.archives.bristol.gov.uk

British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association

www.canadianbritishhomechildren.weebly.com – large amount of information available.

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.

www.bifhsgo.ca – good information especially for the children sent out by John Middlemore from Birmingham and James Fegan from Kent.

Facebook Sites for the

Middlemore Children association

British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association

 

 

 

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