MiddleMore: Emigration: 1873 to 1949

The first group of children, a party of 29, departed for Canada on 1st May 1873, accompanied by John Middlemore. On arrival in Canada, the children were settled with families. Older children were settled as farm or domestic assistants, receiving board and, in some cases, wages. Younger children were often fostered by families with no children of their own. 

The Middlemore Homes continued to take a party of children to Canada each year, departing in May or June and settling children in Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. A home was established in London, Ontario for the initial reception of children. This home, ‘Guthrie House’, was closed by 1891, but a new reception home, ‘Fairview’, was built in Halifax in 1898. Information from the annual reports of the homes indicates that no emigration was possible in 1917 or 1918, 1940 and 1942 – 1945 due to war. 

In 1924, changes in Canadian legislation placed stricter controls on juvenile immigration. As a result, the numbers of Middlemore children sent to Canada decreased. From 1926, children from the Middlemore Homes were also sent to Australia through collaboration with the Fairbridge Society of London. Around this time, the organisation also moved to new premises. A new Middlemore Homes in Weoley Park Road, Selly Oak opened on 23 October 1929.

6067 children were emigrated to Canada and Australia through the Middlemore Homes between 1872 and 1945 . The Middlemore Homes was one of many agencies involved in child migration to Canada and Australia in the late 19th and early 20th century. Other child migration agencies included Dr. Barnado’s Homes and the Catholic Emigration Society.