Home Children: child immigrants to the Gatineau Valley
Between 1869 and the 1940s, more than 100,000 children were brought from Britain to Canada to work as farm helpers and domestic servants. The name chosen to identify them - Home Children - seems an ironic title to describe children removed from remaining family members and shipped overseas.
As families flocked to Britain’s industrial cities, injuries or death of a working parent quickly plunged the other family members into poverty and left children on their own. Work houses and care facilities in Great Britain became overwhelmed, the idea of sending children overseas to live with families as helpers took shape in terms of sending and receiving organizations.
Descendants and families of these children are now seeking to know more about their kin, and we are aware of several who have been in touch with the Gatineau Valley Historical Society. We have a plan to add to our website a section containing information on Home Children who were placed in the Gatineau Valley. If you have a story to share, we invite you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Home Children in the title.
Resources: For further information and sources regarding research on Home Children, please see Library and Archives Canada (www.bac-lac.gc.ca) and the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.