Smaller Organizations


There were many smaller agencies and training schools that sent children to Canada. Many travelled with parties of children from larger organizations.

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. 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: Cumberland Industrial School, Cockermouth, Cumberland, 1895-1896.
RG76, volume 122, file 24108, microfilm C-4786

File title: Fulham Board of Guardians, London. A 1904 report on children sent to Canada includes information on fourteen Fulham children.
RG76, volume 330, file 329957, microfilm C-10242

File title: Glasgow Juvenile Delinquency Board and Girls Industrial School, Mary Hill, Glasgow. Children sent to Saint John, New Brunswick, 1895-1906.
RG76, volume 119, file 22968, microfilm C-4782

File title: Hurst House Training Home was opened in South Croyden, England, in 1906 by Janet Wallis. A small number of children were sent to Toronto and Bronte, Ontario, 1907-1915.
RG76, volume 440, file 671447, microfilm C-10318

File title: Liverpool Self-Help Emigration Society. Some children were sent to Andrews Home, Montreal, 1897-1917.
RG76, volume 162, file 42202, microfilm C-7319

File title: Tiffield Reformatory, Towcester, Northamptonshire; Saltley Reformatory, Birmingham; Newsboys' Home, Liverpool. Some boys were sent to Canada, 1895-1900.
RG76, volume 123, file 24641, microfilm C-4786

File title: United States: Inspection reports on orphaned and abandoned children from Maine, some from the Children's Home, Augusta; placed in homes in New Brunswick, 1913 to mid-1920s.
RG76, volume 598, file 869134, microfilm C-10667

File title: Wellington Reformatory Farm School (Wellington Farm School for Boys), Penicuik, Scotland, John Craster, manager. Some of the boys were sent to Canada and were settled on farms in New Brunswick, 1895-1899.
RG76, volume 111, file 22306, microfilm C-4775

File title: Working Boys Home, Liverpool; Liverpool Children's Friend Society Boys' Home. Some boys were sent to Lennoxville, Quebec, 1896-1911.
RG76, volume 131, file 29241, microfilm C-4794

Other records

Library and Archives Canada holds microfilm copies of some collections from British repositories and some printed lists of children from various sources. Those items, which are listed below, have been indexed by name in our Home Children Records database.

  • Charlotte A. Alexander fonds (MG29 C8)
    Charlotte Alexander ran the Girls' Training Home in Brentwood, England. She sent girls to Canada to work as domestics. This fonds consists of correspondence, 1885-1893, arranged in nominal files (volumes 1-2), and an indexed register, 1885-1893, containing summaries of various cases (volume 3).

  • Chorlton Union Records, 1889-1947 (MG40 M30)
    This register contains information about children from the Chorlton Union who immigrated to Canada, including year of birth, parental situation, sending agency, date of sailing, name and address of employer (microfilm A-1626). It also includes a few adults and families, some of whom went to other countries.

  • Girls' Friendly Society Fonds (MG28 I349)
    Ellen Joyce was involved in several societies, including the Girls' Friendly Society. It was affiliated with the Church of England and sent women and girls to the British colonies to work as domestics. Some of the girls emigrated with their widowed mothers. This fonds includes correspondence and minute books. Information about individual girls can be found in the Commendation Register Canada No. 1, 1907-1922 (volume 62, microfilm A-1194).

  • Leeds Board of Guardians and Public Assistance Committee fonds (MG40 M42)
    This fonds includes a Register of Emigrant Children, 1888-1895 containing the names of 216 children, with details such as age, religious denomination, whether orphaned or deserted, the emigrating agency, date of sailing, etc. (PL3/7/5, microfilm A-1632). For information about the contents of other series in this collection, see the archival description (MIKAN 103458).

  • List of Children: Isle of Man
    Library and Archives Canada has a copy of a list of children sent to Canada by the Isle of Man Home for Orphan and Destitute Children. The list is a complete transcript of the information found in the original registers held at the Manx Museum. Most of the entries relate to children who arrived between 1884 and 1897, although there are a few from later years. Many of these children sailed with parties of Quarrier and Macpherson children.

Research in Other Institutions

Tiffield Reformatory School

Admission registers are held at the Northamptonshire Record Office.

Whinwell Children's Home (Annie Croall)

The Stirling Council Archives holds the records of the Whinwell Children's Home in Stirling, Scotland. The collection includes records relating to children sent to Canada. A description of the collection can be found in the Scottish Archive Network Online Catalogue.

Gordon Boys Home (Woking, Surrey)

In the 1890s, a few Gordon boys were sent to Amherst Island, Ontario, and placed in homes by Rev. Stearne Tighe. Information requests about former students are handled by The Gordonians.

Northumberland Village Homes (Whitley Bay, Northumberland County)

James Hall opened this home for girls in 1880 and some girls were sent to Canada. Records are held at the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums.

British Women's Emigration Association

Ellen Joyce headed this association. She sent mostly young women, but also some children and older boys. Records of the B.W.E.A are held at the Women's Library, London School of Economics. However, it appears that records relating to individual emigrants were not retained.

Chase Farm Schools (Enfield, Middlesex)

Records are held at the London Metropolitan Archives.

Hurst House Training Home

For background information, see the History of Christian Family Concern. The records are now in the custody of Croydon Council. For information about old records, see Post Adoption Services.

Research Online

Mary Louise Rippey and Leland Harvie published an article about Emma Stirling and Hillfoot Farm in the Nova Scotia Genealogist (2000, volume XVII, no. 1). A reprint of that article is available on the website of the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia [PDF, 249 KB]. It includes information about many of the children. See also Our children in old Scotland and Nova Scotia: being a history of her work by Emma M. Stirling.

Published Sources

The following book includes information about some of the smaller organizations, including reformatories, farm and industrial schools, ragged schools and poor law children.

  • The golden bridge: young immigrants to Canada, 1833-1939 by Marjorie Kohli. (AMICUS 28334219)

Children's Friend Society:

This society may have been the only agency that sent British children to Canada before 1869. The society brought over approximately 200 children between 1832 and 1837. Researchers can learn more from the following publications:

  • The Children's Friend Society: juvenile emigrants to Western Australia, South Africa and Canada, 1834-1842 by Geoff Blackburn. (AMICUS 14200349) This book includes details about some of the children sent to Canada.
  • "Young Immigrants to Canada: The Children's Friend Society" by Marjorie Kohli in Families (Ontario Genealogical Society), volume 49, no. 4 (Nov. 2010): pages 3-6. This article gives a history of the Children's Friend Society and includes a list of names and details of the children sent to Canada. That list is also available on the author's website Young Immigrants to Canada.

Other Resources

See our Home Children 1869-1932 page for links to other research sources, websites and institutions in Canada and the United Kingdom.

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