The immigration of children from Great Britain accounts for a significant part of Canadian history. Between 1869 and the end of the 1930s, religious authorities and philanthropic organizations sent more than 100,000 poor, orphaned or abandoned children—better known as home children—to Canada, believing that they were offering them a better chance for a healthy life. Many Canadians have an ancestor who experienced this often-misunderstood migration.
Anyone who came to Canada alone as a child was very likely one of the home children. Family members quite possibly obtained information on this from written documents or oral histories.
Library and Archives Canada has several genealogical records on home children, including passenger lists, correspondence, inspection report cards and various documents produced by different organizations that took part in the children’s transport and care.
Stay tuned for our upcoming series of articles on home children who later made their mark in Canada’s history, and on well-known people whose ancestors were home children. The series will help you discover our vast collection of genealogical resources that enable you to trace an ancestor who might have been one of the home children.
Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!