Wednesday, 25 May 2016

British Home Children with no Canadian descendants

Continuing exploration of the basis of the oft quoted statistic that 10% (sometimes more) Canadians have a British home child ancestor, I've been looking for information on immigrants who did not have Canadian descendants.

John Sayers pointed me to a table published by Fegan Homes, that brought roughly 3,226 boys to Canada between 1885 and 1939.

It's a tabulation of boys Fegan brought to Canada between 1885 and 1908, a total of 1,861 boys.
Of those the organization had lost track of 856 as they were past the age when Fegan's had any further responsibility.

Of the remaining 1,005 about two-thirds were in Canada comprising those with a known address and those who had "gone of the North West" - likely using the farming skills they had developed to take up a land grant. The remaining one third had either returned to England (15%), gone to the USA (13%) or died (5%). While its possible some of the one-third may have had children who remained in Canada likely the majority did not.

If these figures are typical, and they may not be in which case I'd appreciate knowing the evidence, then the basis for calculating the number of British home child descendants in Canada could be significantly less than the 100,000 home children typically quoted.

Incidentally, if you're interested in the Fegan boys there's a database on the BIFHSGO website at www.bifhsgo.ca under Home Children.

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