In 1873, twenty-six waifs and strays, from the poorest backgrounds imaginable, set sail for Toronto, Canada, some 4000 miles from the industrial heart of Birmingham City. Many left parents and siblings behind.
The average age of a child migrant was eight but some as young as two were sent. There are stories of great sadness but also stories of great success.
It is estimated that around 13% of Canada’s population is descended from British ‘Home Children’, 130,000 of which were sent in total from all over the UK.
Many families were separated, with some children remaining in the UK while their siblings were sent to Canada. Where siblings sailed together, most of them were separated once in Canada. We have connected families both in the UK and Canada, many of whom had no knowledge of their living relatives across the Atlantic