Saturday, 18 January 2014

Home Children

Between the 1860s and 1930s,more than 100,000 children were sent from the UK to Canada during the British Child Emigration Movement.

My Great grandfather Harry Stafford and his younger brother Charlie were "Home Children"
The pair came to Canada in Sept 1898 on the ship The Dominion. They had two half sisters (Ethel and Emma)who were admitted to Dr Barnardo's Home many years later in 1912.

In 1897 the boys father William Thomas Stafford had a stroke and was institutionalized. On October 15,1897, Harry and Charlie were admitted to Barnardo's Sheppard House at 182 Grove Road in East London.

This is a copy of Harry's school record from when he was at Sheppard House.
click to enlarge

The ship departed Liverpool on Sept 15,1898 and arrived in Quebec Sept 23,1898. There were 84 boys and 122 girls on board with the brothers, all facing an unknown future in a new country, so far from home.

Passenger list of The Dominion- Sept 1898 with Harry and Charles Stafford
Click to enlarge
Once in Canada, Harry was sent to live with the Henry Thompson in Beatrice,Ontario (just north of Bracebridge) Charles was sent to the same area but with different foster parents.

The boys were able to visit one another and were moved around Ontario to different farmers over the next eight years.

Harry did manage to get back to England for visits in 1907 and 1909.

I do have copies of some of the original records from Barnardos that they sent to me about 20 years ago. They are packed somewhere but I will scan them once they surface.

If you would like to know more about Home children, I have put together a page with links to sites,  databases and a bit of history of some of the better known "homes"

Harry Stafford

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