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Lori Oschefski (#47220772)
 member for 4 years, 8 months, 21 days
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Bio Photo The British Home Children

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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.

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Messages left for Lori Oschefski (39)[Leave Message]
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
Donna Griffin
John Joseph Baker
Hi Lori, my great grandfather, John Joseph Baker, came to Canada in 1872 as a Barnardo Home Child. He was sent to Miss MacPherson's home in Belleville, Marchmont Home. He was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England Dec. 20, 1860. He had two brothers and a sister. The brothers went to Australia and he and his sister, Sarah, came to Canada. John's father was a seaman and perished at sea. His mother died of dropsy. He was a sickly child and once well, was shipped to Canada. He was primarily involved in farming, then a florist and finally a potter by trade until he became a custodian at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He married Phoebe Haffner and had a family of five. He was honoured by Queen's University by being made an honourable member of the university, after thirty-two years of service. John died in 1940 at the age of 79. His wife, Phoebe Ann Haffner, died in 1947 at the age of 86. He is buried in Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston, Ontario. I have a picture of his tombstone, should you wish it.

Donna Griffin
Added by Donna Griffin on Aug 20, 2014 5:17 PM
Phantom Plot Picster
Alice Woodford

I am writing to see if you know how I might research an orphan girl age 16 sent to Canada in 1896.97? She was sent as Alice Woodford but also the name Alice Rowbottom was used. Thank you in advance for any help you might be able to provide. Very interesting reading your profile - thank you for sharing! -Mary - you can contact me in email.
Added by Phantom Plot Picster on Aug 20, 2014 12:12 PM
Wayne Koch
Alfonso Novetske
Curious if you have any relationship to this individual? I've been researching the members of his aircraft (Miss D-Day) lost in the English Channel during WW II. My father served with memmbers of this crew.
Added by Wayne Koch on Apr 28, 2014 8:42 PM
B. C. B. : :=)

There is a new thing on the memorials.
You need to go to your Contributor page. At the top on the right click the edit tab.
This will bring up any edits that have been sent to you for your memorials.
On the right is a drop down. go to it then go to the bottom of the page and click on the button there.
The computer will do what ever you selected. It will also send a message saying so,
to the member that made the suggestion.
Added by B. C. B. : :=) on Jan 10, 2014 12:31 AM
B. C. B. : :=)

Are you related to the Rix or Elder family?
I am related to the Rix family, (My Grandmother's)
If you are not related would you please transfer
Mabel and David to me.

Added by B. C. B. : :=) on Apr 21, 2013 6:24 PM
Georgia Anne McKinley Allen
Lori, Georgia Anne McKinley Allen #62963993 was my ggGrandmother. I find her listed by you in Mount Mora Cemetery and listed by another findagrave member in Saint Joseph Memorial Park Cemetery. I have also seen her listed by others in Ashland Cemetery. Can you confirm her burial location?


Brenda Landis
Added by squashum on Jan 11, 2013 11:35 AM
Rhonda C. Poynter & Friends
British Home Children
Hi Lori,
I was going through your memorials for a completely separate reason - a very distant relative of mine was killed in the Gillingham air crash -, when I stumbled across your BHC page. This absolutely sent a chill through me, as I have literally heard in the last 48 hours that a distant cousin of mine through my father's side, Johnny Payne, as well as his brother were BHC, and perhaps I could trace more about them through that website. Considering I had never heard of it - and I know my British background, you wouldn't believe how many people we lost in WWII, from the Freckleton Disaster to HMS Hood to Gillingham - just days ago, I felt that this just had to be a sign, and so I am (hopefully) asking you a couple of simple questions...How do I know that my Johnny W. Payne is the same one listed on the BCH rolls? I have his age, and it lines up; his brother George also shows, if it's my George, so to speak. Also, believe it or not, I think that another relative may have been a BHC - Charlie Taylor. All I've ever heard was that 'the kids started getting taken away about 1920, and most of them grew up to go into service." Then they would say that it was basically what America would call giving the kids up for adoption - which I now know was NOT the case. When I saw your notation stating the same thing, I thought, I must be on the right track here...when I first began tracing, and finding all these relatives who were on the wrong ship or plane or even in their own homes at the wrong time, I thought that we had the worst luck in the world...then I realized just how gutted England was during the Blitz, and England did not have the Sullivan Law like the U.S., which basically meant an entire family could be on the same ship, in the same regiment, etc. At any rate, any thoughts you have about this would be most appreciated - I guess that what I am asking comes down to this: If those are my Johnny and George Payne on the rolls, can I get further info from that, and how? Thanks for your time - I have really appreciated going through your well organized pages. Best, RCP and Gannon Blue
Added by Rhonda C. Poynter & Frien... on Nov 08, 2012 12:31 AM
Ted White
Alfred Penicard
Hello Lori,

Thank you for adding the grave marker of Alfred Pennicard and the family background which you included. Do you have any connection to the Pennicard family? I ask because my grandfather's sister, Louisa Merriott, married Charles Pennicard in 1886 and I have been trying to find out more about his family which also originated from Kirdford in Sussex as did Alfred's father William. I have not been able to link up the two families yet but need to look at the Kirdford PRs. Pennicard is a very rare name in England.

Interestingly I am also connected to Alfred's mother, Naomi Ruth Heather - her cousin Priscilla married my grandmother's brother, Thomas Chandler, on another side of my family.

I was born in Sussex but we have lived in Burlington, Ontario for over 40 years.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes, Ted White
Added by Ted White on Nov 03, 2012 5:06 PM
RE: Emma Stirling
your most welcome
Added by Ruebeewren on Aug 25, 2012 6:25 AM
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