Researching  British Home Children

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Quick Links:

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 or or you can try the free site


British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association
Facebook Group

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

Many children were sent by the Board of Guardians from Union Poor Houses. The Canadian government did occasional inspections of these children. 

Large archive of BHC information released

Héritage is part of 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.

Check for Maiden names and Births in the UK

Marjorie Kolhi

Maria Rye Children

Young Immigrants to Canada  

This site has a wealth of information on the British Home Children including many mentions of the children, newspaper articles, letters and ship listings

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

Tweety bird's site contains transcriptions of the Ups and Downs magazine from Barnardo's. 
Type your child's name into the search box.

British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa 

Contact the BIFHSGO through their web site for an information they might have.

New index!

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

Ken Donavan
Ken Donavan
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PreProduction-Collage_A-Barnardo-Boy-6 (1)
PreProduction-Collage_A-Barnardo-Boy-6 (1)
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Test0064 (2)Arthur Funnell
Test0064 (2)Arthur Funnell
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Samuel and Mary
Samuel and Mary
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gipsy simon smith
gipsy simon smith
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Alma Penny
Alma Penny
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Dad 01
Dad 01
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 Magazines published by sending organizations

Many immigration group photos from Quarriers and an abundance of back ground information, information on children in Canada (not many names mentioned - initials given)

waifs and strays magazine.JPG
The Church of England Waif and Strays Society published magazines over the years. 
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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.
Search The War Cry - Salvation Army

Personal Contacts

People in Canada holding information & some records for the children

John Sayers

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: or thorugh their web site: or on Facebook

Dakeyne Boy's Farm

photos can be found at:
Jenn who holds the records for these children can be contacted at:

Lori Oschefski

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.

Marion Crawford

Marion Crawford can help with our East Coast inquiries  contact her through e-mail  or through their web site: MIDDLEMORE ATLANTIC SOCIETY, NB, CANADA

Ivy Succee - Founder of the Hazelbrae Barnardo Home Group

Contact Ivy at: 

or through Facebook at:
Hazelbrae Barnardo Home Memoral Group


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.

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.

Find A Grave

Find a grave  is a free resource for finding the final resting places of famous folks, friends and family members. With millions of names, it's an invaluable tool for researching.

Locate Family

In Canada, locate family member through postal code searches, street addresses

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

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. has published some city directories, including all of Peterborough's