Wednesday, 3 April 2019

British Home Children Sesquicentennial

A BBC article Search for descendants of first children in care 150 years on recalls Methodist minister Thomas Bowman Stephenson's 1869 initiative setting up an orphanage in Church Street, Lambeth.

Another sesquicentennial this year is that of the first British Home Children brought to Canada by Maria Rye. Three children arrived with her on the Austrian in June that year: Mary Kneeves (age 5), Ellen Fallen (age 10) and, Herbert Radley( 4 mo., died Feb 13, 1870, buried St Marks Anglican Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario).
Rye's first major party sailed from Liverpool on the Hibernian on 30 October 1869 bound for Niagara-on-the-Lake. How many were in the party? Marjorie Kohli in The Golden Bridge states 92 (or 94). The Home Children Records database on the Library and Archives Canada website contains 99 — not all children. See their list here and a report containing further details for most of them here, including those first three who came in June.

With that many it's virtually certain there are descendants from that first year. Has anyone researched Mary Kneeves and/or Ellen Fallen?

Thanks to John Dickenson for the tip on the BBC article.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Please see: http://www.niagarahistorical.museum/media/MSRBHC-v.5-Nov2018.pdf
This spreadsheet was compiled by David F. Hemmings, President of the Niagara Historical Society for its Museum website. Over 5,300 British Home Children, mostly girls, were brought into Eastern Canada (and a few to the USA) by Miss Maria S. Rye's organization through Our Western Home in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario from 1869 to 1896. A further group of girls also passed through this Home under the auspicies of the Church of England Waifs and Strays Society from 1896 to 1914. By 1916 the Home was closed and used by Polish Army officers training at Niagara Camp. The building was demolished in 1923. The listing of BHC girls is on a spreadsheet with as much information as is currently available. Research work is currently ongoing to understand what happened to these girls after their days in fostering or servitude, including what proportion of them were likely to have married and stayed in Canada. If you have any ancestors who were BHCs emigrated with Miss Rye organization, or if you have any other questions, we would appreciate hearing from you. Please email David at hemmingsdd@gmail.com .