Researching British Home Children
BHCARA British Home Child Registry
Released on September 28th 2016, this Registry combines the former Perry Snow database and the Norah Dennis database into one large complete registry. The registry is run by Mrs. LeeAnn Beer and contains information on over 80,000 BHC
Please note: This Registry is a "work in progress". We have a growing list of over 81,000 children. Children will continue to be added over time as each entry is verified and corrected to the best of our knowledge. Once completed we will be open for new submissions, updates, and corrections. However, to maintain the integrity and correctness of the information, it will be our Admins who enter the final information to prevent the entry of mistakes and wrong information. This is critical to producing a long-standing Registry with accurate information. The information entered will be reviewed with the contributor, with any explanation needed for corrections/additions to the information, given. Corrections/updates for those children online are being done on a limited basis. Contact us at to inquire about your BHC if on-line.
British Home Children in Canada - Research Site
-Keep in mind that not all children are in these databases - its ongoing work to add children as we find them. Thousands of names have been added to this site, with more being added.
-on this page scroll to the top of the page, type your child's name in the search bar at the top of the page.
Check this site for any mentions of your child
Library and Archives Canada
These records will tell you what ship, when they left, when they arrived and usually what organization brought them. This database also includes some Maria Rye and Middlemmore records. The database also includes information on the sending organiations and the receiving homes. The work is ongoing, with more information being added periodically.
Please keep in mind that the majority of the children are in this data base, however many are also missing. If you cannot find your child here, you might have to search the BHC Registry or the incoming Canadian passenger lists or the outgoing UK lists held byAncestry.ca or ancestry.co.uk or you can try the free site familysearch.org/
British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association
Created in 2011, the BHCARA Facebook group is a membership of over 6,000 BHC descendants whose mandate is to share the stories of our BHC and to offer free genealogical help and advice on researching our Home Children. We have many excellent researchers whose help often begins within minutes of posting.
Thousands of names and bits of information for BHC have been entered in our group.Use the search bar (located on the left of the sceen if on PC) Enter your BHC - try last name only
The Children's Child Care Records
As of the mid 1890's the organizations bringing children into Canada were required to keep records on these children. No legislation was in place mandating the care of these records once the organization shut down. Some, like Barnardo's kept and preserved these records. Some abandoned the records and some were accidently dystroyed. There was generally two sets of records kept, for the UK and in Canada. For a listing of who to contact for records visit British Home Children in Canada site
Board of Guardians
Large archive of BHC information released
Héritage is part of Canadiana.org. The Library and Archies Canada has agreed to publish their reels of information on the Heritage site so that they would be accessible to the public, for free and without a trip to their Ottawa archives to view the films. The index is not searchable. The BHCARA has been going through the reels to identify where the pockets of information on our BHC are found. There are thousands of documents and although we try to list the years each section pertains to, often we are finding random years in that index. Please use the years listed here as a GUIDELINE ONLY.
Identification of where these files are in the Heritage Database has been done by John Sayers (supplied the reel numbers), Dawn Heuston, Diane McGregor, Georgina Sales, Lori Oschefski, Roy Leigh and LeeAnn Beer. We once again, thank our members for pitching in and making lighter work of bigger projects. We would like to thank Diane McGregor for taking on the job of sorting these files out per immigration year.
Young Immigrants to Canada
Maria Rye Children
Organizations in England
Many of the sending organizations are still active in England and hold records on the children. This information may be obtained by contacting them directly
If your child came from a Workhouse in England, before 1901 then there is a high chance you will find an inspection report for them on the Library and Archives Canada web site. There were inspection reports done in later years, but they are not on the site.
under Keywords, type in Workhouse, hit enter. There is also a listing of some government reports with some names transcribed on this web site at:
The Barnardo Magazine - Ups and Downs
70 copies of this magazine have been published on this web site -1895 to 1906, May 1910, May 1913 and August 1912 - published with permission of the Library and Archives Canada and names extracted from issues: July 1939, December 1940, December 1942 and December 1946
If your child is from Barnardo's there is a good chance they could be mentioned in the organizations vintage magazine Ups and Downs. There are over 58,000 mentions of children in these magazines.
The British Isles Family of Society of Greater Ottawa has published an index of the children mentioned in 141 of the 173 issues that were believed to have been printed. Search the index then contact them directly thorough their web site for copies of the articles.
See listing to the left for issues available on line.
Tweetybird's Genealogy Tree
British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
Contact the BIFHSGO through their web site for an information they might have.
RG17 (Record Group 17) is a collection of Canadian Department of Agriculture records. Prior to 1892;
This new index contains some 14,000 bits of information on children who arrived prior to 1892. This is an index only with some basic informatin - the file must be ordered from Library and Archives Canada
BHC Who Died in the First World War
A comprehensive Registry of the BHC who died in the First World War. This Registry, created and maintained by the BHCARA gives information on the First World War BHC casualties and links into their Government sites where you can find their individual information.
British Home Child Burial Index
Compiled by the BHCARA, this index contains a growing list of 3,369 burials of British Home Children. The list is being updated regularly as more are found. To add a BHC to the burial index, please send the information to us at
Magazines published by sending organizations
The Salvation Army published a magazine called "The War Cry" which was their official magazine for Canada and Newfoundland. Not many BHC are mentioned, but always worth a look through.
People in Canada holding information & some records for the children
John Sayers of the British Family History Society of Greater Ottawa. John holds information on many of these children and organizations including Barnardo's (Ups and Downs), the Catholic organizations and some Middlemore records. He can be reached at:
Ms. Oschefski holds 57 digital copies of the Ups and Downs magazines as well as various other lists and information. Most of what she has is accessible on this web site but you may contact her directly for any help or research questions - or contact her through her Facebook group. She is also the administrator of the former Perry Snow Registry and the Norah Dennis Database - now released on line which contains information on some 72,000 BHC.
The are facebook groups where there is experienced volunteer researchers available to help with any difficulties you are having.
BHC Advocacy & Research Assoication
Canada's leading group's Facebook page with over 5,500 members.
Our sister groups on Facebook
Other useful sites
Library and Archives Canada, Personnel Records of the First World War
provides access to the service files of members of Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) along with records for other First World War personnel.
Information about the home or institution
your BHC came from in the UK
Western Land Grants
This database relates exclusively to Letters Patent issued by the Lands Patent Branch of the Department of the Interior. The records refer to grants issued in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the railway belt of British Columbia, c. 1870-1930. Many of our Home Children obtained land under the Dominion Lands Act. This data base would be of patents issued for land.
Provincial Vital Statistic Sites - Births, Marriages and Deaths
Saskatchewan and Alberta Homestead Index
Organizations such as Barnardo's promoted and offered packages to assist boys in Ontario to come west and obtain homesteads from the Dominions Lands Act. This database would allow you to find and order their application forms and files for their property if the Home Child obtained land through this program.
The Maple Leaf Legacy Project
Hundreds of British Home Children lost their lives in the wars. The aim of the Maple Leaf Legacy Project is to photograph or obtain a photograph of every Canadian War Grave of the 20th Century. These photos will be made freely available on the project’s web site - many of these entries are our Home Children.
City Directories were kept in each city across Canada and the UK. (as well as other countries). In England they are known as the Kelly Directories, in Canada the Henderson Directories or the Vernon Directories are some of the names. Library and Archives Canada hold all the directories from across Canada. Some have been published on-line. Local libraries also hold copies from their areas. If your not local, contact them through e-mail.
Archive.org has published some city directories, including all of Peterborough's