Are You a British Home Child Descendant?

Hi Friends, Did you know that more than ten percent of those living in Canada today have a relative who came to that country as a British Home Child? That’s more than 3,700,000 descendants! Some of the British Home Children and their descendants stayed in Canada and others moved to the United States, and a few returned to Britain.

In my latest novel, No Ocean Too Wide, the three youngest McAlister children are taken to Canada as British Home Children in 1909. Their story and all they endured has touched many readers. It has received some amazing reviews on GoodReads and Amazon. Take a look at those and order a copy if you haven’t yet. The word is spreading, and many readers are curious to know if one of their ancestors might have been a British Home Child. 

One reason you might not be aware of this part of your family’s history is that, most Home Children faced deep prejudice in Canada. They were made to feel worthless and told they were nobodies. Sixty percent of these children suffered neglect or abuse. When they grew up many never even told their close family members they came to Canada as a Home Child because they didn’t want to face their shameful past, and they wanted to avoiding speaking of painful experiences they may have endured.

If you’d like to find out if your ancestors were British Home Children there were many records kept on the individual children. The British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association has a very informative website and a page with some of the leading sources of information to help families seeking their histories. Visit their Research page and follow the links there to search for your family member. 

They also have a Facebook group with many helpful posts and great connections with others who are looking for information about their British Home Child ancestors. The group is welcoming and eager to share information and help in your search.

I hope you’ll join us for the online Book Club video discussion on Thursday July 18, 8:00 – 9:00 pm ET. You can find out more info and sign up at the Facebook event page. 

I’d love to hear your story about your British Home Child ancestor! Please share it in the comments. 

Until Next Time – Happy Reading,

Carrie

10 thoughts on “Are You a British Home Child Descendant?

    • Hi Sam, I was captivated by the research for this series. So many BHC kept their past a secret, and that’s why it’s not well known today. I hope you’ll enjoy reading No Ocean Too Wide.

    • Hi Alicia, I was very surprised to learn these facts too. They had a great impact on the story and my desire to spread the word about British Home Children. I hope you’ll enjoy reading No Ocean Too Wide.

  1. My maternal grandmother was a BH C, coming to Canada in 1911 at age 17. She ended up In Sudbury, raised 9 children and had hundreds of descendants.

  2. My paternal grandmother was 5 yrs old when she and her 7 yr old brother were sent to Canada and ended up in an orphanage in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in 1907.
    Kate

    • Hi Catherine, Wow, they were so young. Can you imagine how scared they would be to make a trip across the ocean and then enter an orphanage? They are close to the age of one of my characters in No Ocean Too Wide. I hope reading the story will help you imagine what it might have been like for them. Can you join us Thursday night for the online book club discussion? Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/315615075989678/

  3. This injustice continues today; although the children deprived of their unique natural parents, their moms and dads, are sent away by force upon a sea of legalese without a planned destination. While suffering the illogical loss of the Family’s attachment and best interest in one another, they are rendered intensely vulnerable subjected to horrific abuse and sometimes even murder, at the hands of primarily serial hirelings in the 100% known environment of danger referred to as “foster care”. Thank you for writing a book which exposes this piece of present human history, in it’s current state.

    • Thanks for your comment, Miriam. It was a complicated situation then and it continues to be today. We were foster-adoptive parents, so we’ve seen that side of it too. There are some who take advantage of that system and don’t have the children’s best interest at heart, but there are many others who truly care and love the children in their care. That’s one reason I wanted to write about British Home Children. All children need to be loved and nurtured, and I hope readers will be motivated to do what they can to care for children and families in need.

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