Tuesday, March 09, 2010

2010: Year of the British Home Child

2010 has been designated as Year of the British Home Child in Canada.

From 1869 to 1939 various workhouses, sheltering homes, orphanages and child care organizations in Great Britain immigrated over 100,000 orphaned, abandoned, pauper children ages 1 to 18 to Canada today known as the British Home Children. Of the over 50 sending agencies, some of the more well known names are Maria Rye, Macpherson, Fegan, Quarriers, Barnardo, Middlemore, Catholic Emigration Society, Salvation Army, Church of England Waif & Strays.

Canada Post is issuing a stamp to commemorate the British Home Children this October.

It is estimated that 12%, over 4 million of the Canadian population, are a descendant of a Home Child. How many would there be worldwide?

There is a British Home Child mailing list and accompanying Descendants website for further information http://www.britishhomechildren.org/ This site will also list Calendar Events as they become available.

We hope you will join us in publicizing this important part of Canadian history by helping us spread the word and educating the general public.

If there are any descendants on this list I am trying to get enough people together to make squares for a Memory Quilt so please contact me if you are interested.  The Quilt square (or photos for a square) deadline is Mar 18. We are writing our Home Children stories to be published in an Anthology Book later this summer - no deadline as yet.

Maria Rye Home Children Database
Gail Collins 1869-1879 gcollen@sympatico.ca
Chris Sanham 1880-1896 chris@sanham.com

[Posted with the permission of Gail Collins]

On 24 Feb 2010 Britain's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, offered a formal apology to home children:
British Child Migrants Get Apology, Associated Press