From the early 1860s up to the 1970s, children who were institutionalized in ‘Homes’ across the United Kingdom were sent to countries across the British Empire (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa) to work on farms and as domestic help.
The majority of the up to 120,000 British Home children sent to Canada arrived between 1869 and 1939. Mostly, they ranged in age from four to fifteen. After the beginning of the Second World War, the child emigrant scheme came to an end in Canada for the most part. However, children were still being sent to Australia into the 1970s.
More than ten percent of the Canadian population descend from a British Home Child, although many are still unaware of this part of their background.
Karen Mahoney and Sandra Joyce discuss the work they do at British Home Child Group International, which includes providing free research, genealogical tips and reuniting families of British Home Children world-wide.
To learn more about the history of British Home Children, please visit their website here.