Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Lori Oschefski (#47220772)
 member for 5 years, 6 months, 30 days
[Add to MyFriends]
Bio and Links
Bio Photo The British Home Children

For more information on the British Home Children please visit:

or find us on Facebook at:

My mother, her bothers and sisters, my Great Aunt Katie and my Grandfather were all brought into Canada as British Home Children.

Approximately 125,000 children were sent to Canada from England, under the Child Immigration scheme from 1833-1939. These boys and girls ranged in age from toddlers to adolescents and were all unaccompanied by their parents even though only one-third of them were orphans. Most emigrant children came from respectable, if poor, families bound by strong ties of affection and support. Most of these children were brought to institutions such as Barnardo's as a last resort, when a crisis, or repeated crises desertion or death of a parent, illness, unemployment prevented a family and its network of kin from coping. Although some families regarded admission as a temporary expedient, the rescue homes carefully controlled or even discouraged further contact between all children and their relatives for fear that the children would be tempted to return to homes. Once in care, most of these families never saw these children again. Siblings in care in Britain were often separated from their families and each other. Siblings were often separated from each other when they were sent to Canada. Most never saw each other again. Many spent their lives trying to identify their parents and find their siblings and most were unsuccessful.

The Barnardo homes were set up in Canada and England by Dr. Thomas Barnardo for homeless or destitute English children. Peterborough, Ontario emerged as the main Canadian distribution centre for Barnardo children from 1889 to 1922. The Hazelbrae Barnardo Home in Peterborough was built by Thomas Belcher in 1872 for Alexander Smith. It was renovated in 1883 by George and Margaret Cox and donated to Dr. Barnardo. In 1923 it was destroyed by fire.

Although Dr. Barnardo's organization was not the only one involved in the immigration of children to Canada, he became the most influential figure in child migration of the last half of the nineteenth century. His crusade to 'rescue children from the streets' was one the best known social interventions in the last half of the nineteenth century. Dr. Barnardo himself, died in 1905. When he died, there were nearly 8,000 children in the 96 residential homes he had set up. Around 1300 of these children had disabilities. More than 4,000 children were boarded out, and 18,000 had been sent to Canada and Australia. After his death, the Barnardo organization would continue to run in his name and is still an active children's charity organization in England today.

Of the 125,000 children sent to Canada, 20,000 came from the Barnardo Homes. There were many other organizations involved in the migration of children out of England. Some of the better known were Annie Macpherson, Maria Rye, Fegan Homes, Dr. Stephenson and the National Children's Home. Annie Macpherson and Maria Rye pioneered child migration to Canada in 1869. Emigration seemed the only way to break the tragic cycle of grinding poverty that was so rampant in the Victorian years. Dr. Barnardo began migration of children in about 1872 through Macpherson's organisation. By 1881 Dr. Barnardo established himself in his own right in the migration of children by the acquisition of a receiving home in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and then the Hazlebrae home in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. He would go on to set up "receiving homes" across Canada, including a large training farm in Russel Manitoba. There he would send the older boys to be trained as farmers with hopes they would acquire land form the Dominions Land Act and become farmers in their own right.

Once in Canada, the children were not usually adopted into new families, but rather were taken into households to be trained and to work as indentured agricultural labourers and domestic servants until about the age of 18. The poor choice of placements in Canada and the subsequent lack of supervision left these children vulnerable to being exploited and abused - and many were. The organizations sending these children never adequately took into consideration the welfare and safety of the children in their charge. Sensational stories of isolated incidents of criminal and immoral behaviour committed by home children, exploitation in the press and propaganda spread about these children by influential people of the time raised Canadians' fears about the character of the young emigrants. As much as they feared these children, Canadians needed the cheap help on their farms and in their homes. These organizations, including Barnardo's in the later years, quickly lost sight of the mission of rescue as the need increased. The British Child Care organizations, who professed motives of providing these children with a better life, developed other ignoble and pecuniary motives. As Canadian's need for these children, despite their fears increased - the organizations could not immigrate these children into this country fast enough. The organizations in effect rid themselves of an unwanted segment of their society and profited when they in effect "sold" these children to Canadian farmers.

Leave Public Message
 Website: www.britishhomechildren.c...
Contributions to
Find A Grave
 • 829 Memorials Added
 • 913 Memorials Managed
 • 3 Memorials/Week
 • 1,098 Photos
 • 1 Photo Request
 • 2 Volunteer Photos Taken
 • 1,606 Virtual Flowers
 • 6 Virtual Cemeteries
 • 3 Sponsorships
 • 2 Friends
Search Contributor's Records

First NameLast Name

Virtual Cemeteries
BHC who are on the Vimy M... (189)
BHC who died in WW1 (808)
British Home Children (1269)
Gillingham Park Fete Trag... (25)
My family (55)
Park Lawn Cemetery (64)
Find A Grave Friends
Roanna Camden C..., Spirit Baker
Messages left for Lori Oschefski (48)[Leave Message]
Lila Cole Grishok
Theodocia Collins Rule
Lori, could you contact me about the bio on John Rule's page that says "Dicey" went to Missouri with Thomas R? I am having trouble putting her in Missouri in 1830. Thanks so much! Lila
Added by Lila Cole Grishok on Jun 22, 2015 5:57 PM
B. C. B. : : = )
RE: Dan Jones
What name do I put on the e-mail for it to get to her?
I have changed the memorial. And will change my
family tree.
Added by B. C. B. : : = ) on Feb 28, 2015 3:02 PM
B. C. B. : : = )
RE: Dan Jones
Wedding Certificate said he was from Cookstown.

I was wondering? I could not find any Jones in
Cookstown. I will change it. Thank You.
Added by B. C. B. : : = ) on Feb 28, 2015 2:47 PM
Sharon Rogalsky
Bertha Hannah Pickering
Hi Lori,

I believe in your story about Bertha you have missed one of her siblings.

Marion Pickering was born in 1881 in Hampton in Arden so she was 5 when their parents died and Bertha was 7. Marion went to live with their maternal grandparents, the Tranters, in Barston. When she was a young woman she signed as the witness present at the death of her grandmother.
I have a photo which I believe is of her with her grandmother altho there are no names on the back.

My information about the Pickerings largely comes from my distant cousin Nick Harding in England who has been in contact with the descendents of Frederick, the older brother of the girls.
It seems they are your informants also so I am a bit confused as to why there is a discrepancy in the family tree.

Added by Sharon Rogalsky on Feb 09, 2015 2:16 PM
Well he wasn't with his mother in 1921 so guess I have a hard hunt now.
Added by bjsgd on Jan 03, 2015 10:53 PM
James H Carr
Thanks so much Lori. I found it on Ancestry. Now to find out what happened next.
Thanks so much again.
Added by bjsgd on Jan 03, 2015 10:37 PM
Hann and Woodworth
HI Lori,
Before the year of the British Home Child, I submitted info on the two names above. What happened to that site and if it is still available, where can I access it? Both of these boys were sent to my 2nd cousin 2x removed to live. The Woodworth child was adopted by my cousin and his wife, but the Hann child chose to keep his own name.
Over the past few years I have been corresponding with a lady who is related to me by marriage (sort of)and just recently we were talking about her family. As it turns out (Serendipity), Her aunt married the Hann boy and had two children with whom she is in touch. Shocked we were that we didn't know this all of these years.
My other problem is that the Woodworth boy who became a Carr, enlisted in the 177th Overseas Canadian Expeditionary Force in Elmvale in 1916. After that info, I can find nothing further on him. I have his picture in uniform with his Canadian Family. Any suggestions for finding him?
I have checked the Commonwealth War records and could find nothing. Any help appreciated.
Added by bjsgd on Nov 13, 2014 7:04 PM
RE: George Tipper
In fact the edge of the private memorial can just be seen in the picture of the CWGC one.
Added by wertypop on Nov 09, 2014 1:48 AM
RE: George Tipper
It is most likely a private memorial put up by his unit or family, noramlt there will be a private memorial and a CWGC. I did not take a picture of it with the CWGC headstone and the private one together so I m not sure of how near they are to each other.
Added by wertypop on Nov 09, 2014 1:46 AM
Phantom Plot Picster
RE: Alice Woodford
How wonderful Lori. Thank you - I will send you and email with what I have so far of Alice's story. MaryAlice - I think I am named after her actually.
Added by Phantom Plot Picster on Aug 27, 2014 7:51 AM
[View all messages...]

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service