05 October 2017

Search EThOS, and descendants of Canada's Home Children

One of the databases mentioned by Paul Milner during the recent BIFHSGO conference, one I've mentioned before but had forgotten, is a collection of 450,000 doctoral theses from the British Library. The collection title is EThOS.

Given recent debate on the blog I was interested to find in the collection Thy children own their birth : diasporic genealogies and the descendants of Canada's Home Children, a June 2006 PhD thesis by Andrew N Morrison.

The thesis is not about the Home Children, more about "the cultural practices and identities of those descendants of child migrants who have a particular interest in researching their Home Child roots."

Extracting from the conclusion, p238-9:

First, the great majority of the descendants of Home Children with whom
I spoke during the course of my research have been profoundly affected by what
happened to their forebears. The influence of their background on their lives has
manifested itself in a number of ways. For instance, some have gained strength and inspiration from the fact that their parents and grandparents managed to make successful lives for themselves in Canada despite the difficult start in life that they had, while others recognise the negative impact that their background has had on them and are saddened when they think of how their families still suffer because of what happened to their Home Child ancestors. Then there are those who celebrate the contribution that the Home Children made to the development of modern day Canada -- these people often use every opportunity possible to "spread the word" about what these child migrants achieved -- while, on the other hand, there are people who do not believe that this is necessary at all; although they may recognise the significance of what happened to their ancestors, they do not believe that they should spend undue time dwelling on past events.

To read the complete thesis you need a free registration.

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