Library and Archives Canada (LAC) holds many sources for researching home children as described in a revised 54-page research guide. It includes resources at other institutions in Canada and the U.K., as well as at LAC. There is also background information and sources relating to specific organizations and homes.
A section on the children’s lives in Canada should be required reading for those who propagate the idea that Canadian farmers only exploited these young people.
It is commonly known that some of the children were abused, and many were poorly treated by today’s
standards. Many of those stories have been told and are heartbreaking to read.
What is less known is that most experienced a better life in Canada than if they had remained in the
urban slums of Britain, trapped in poverty and held back by a rigid class system.
In Canada, many home children went on to own farms themselves. Others became teachers, carpenters,
doctors, nurses, merchants, secretaries, clergy, tradespeople, politicians and a wide variety of other
occupations. Many enlisted with the Canadian and British armed forces during the South African War
and the two world wars.
You can request a copy of the Home children research guide in PDF format by using via LAC’s Ask genealogy a question form.