Today I’m guest posting on Little Immigrants, an online memory project dedicated to the British Home Children sent to Canada between 1832 and 1940. It’s the first of 3 posts I’ll be writing about members of my family who arrived in Canada as Home Boys. It’s estimated that between 3 and 4 million Canadians are descended from the British Home Children migration scheme that saw around 100,000 children brought to Canada from the poorest parts of Britain.
The poor and their children have always been a challenge for the affluent and middle classes. In the 1800’s labourers were scarce in the British colonies while vagrancy, poverty, and pollution was at an all-time high in Britain. The workhouses in Britain overflowed, and it was thought that the best opportunity for these children to pull themselves out of the poverty they’d been born into was to send them to what was seen as a land of opportunity. These children were called orphans, but most had a living parent in Britain. [Read more…]