John Throgmorton Middlemore opened the Children's Emigration Home in Birmingham, England, in 1872 and took his first group of children to Canada in 1873. By 1875, he had established his own receiving home in London, Ontario, called the Guthrie Home. When it closed in 1890, Annie Macpherson allowed him to settle his children from her Stratford receiving home, and for her staff to conduct the required annual visits. Although no more Middlemore children were brought to Ontario after 1892, Macpherson staff continued those visits until 1899.
Starting in 1885, Middlemore settled small parties of children in New Brunswick. In 1893, he began bringing children to Halifax and settling them in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. From her Hillfoot Farm home, Emma Stirling assisted with any needed resettlements until 1895.
The Middlemore Home at Fairview Station near Halifax opened in 1897.
Middlemore also brought children to Canada from workhouses, industrial schools, reformatories and private sponsors in England.
The last Middlemore party arrived in 1932. Approximately 5,200 children came to Canada through the Middlemore Homes between 1873 and 1932.
Children from the Middlemore Emigration Homes in England who came to Canada between 1936 and 1948 were brought here by the Fairbridge Society to their farm school in British Columbia.
Research at Library and Archives Canada
Department of Agriculture: General Correspondence (RG17)
Before 1892, immigration was under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture. There are files relating to various sending agencies, including Middlemore. Those records have been indexed by name in our Home Children Records database.
Immigration Branch: Central Registry Files (RG76 B1a)
This series contains correspondence between the Immigration Branch and many of the sending organizations. The files contain a variety of documents relating to the activities of the organizations, often including annual reports, lists of children’s names and medical certificates. The documents within each file are arranged by date. Microfilm reels can be viewed on site.
Most of the microfilm reels in this series are digitized on the free website Héritage. Enter the reel number in the search box, e.g. C-4715. If the reel is digitized, click on the reel title to see the images. The page contents are not searchable, but you can skip ahead through the images to find the volume and file of interest, then browse through the pages in that file.
File title: Middlemore Homes, Halifax
RG76, volumes 62 and 63, file 2869, parts 1 to 6, 1893-1929, microfilm C-4731
RG76, volume 63, file 2869, parts 6 and 7, 1929-1945, microfilm C-4732
Juvenile Inspection Reports (RG76 C4c)
Immigration officials created inspection reports as they carried out regular inspections of children brought to Canada by various organizations. These records date from 1920 to 1932; however, there are a few from 1911 to 1917 and after 1932. There is usually one page per child, showing name, age or date of birth, year of arrival, ship, sending organization, the names and addresses of employers and final comments, e.g. "completed, gone west".
The inspection reports are available on the following microfilm reels, which can be viewed on site. They are also digitized on Héritage, as explained in the section above. Note that the original records have not survived and the quality of the microfilm is poor. The records are arranged in alphabetical order, not by organization.
||EVANS, Arthur E.|
||EVANS, Arthur L.
||HENDERSON, Ann F.|
||HENDERSON, Charles H.
||SHAW, Walter A.
Middlemore Children's Emigration Homes fonds (MG28 I492)
The original records are in the custody of the Birmingham Archives. Library and Archives Canada holds microfilm copies. Those microfilms can be viewed on site.
The records include application and history books, settlement and reports of children sent to Canada, case files and annual reports.
Volunteers with the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa have indexed the records by name. Those references can be searched in our Home Children Records database.
Research in other institutions
The original records are in the custody of the Birmingham Archives, but Library and Archives Canada holds microfilm copies (see above).
- Great Canadian expectations: the Middlemore experience by Patricia Roberts-Pichette (AMICUS 44836737)
- Middlemore memories: tales of the British home children by Michael Anthony Staples (AMICUS 28873097)
See our Home Children 1869-1932 page for links to other research sources, websites and institutions in Canada and the United Kingdom.