Genealogy Club update

Lydia O’Connor

The presenter for the SaddleBrooke Genealogy Club’s first meeting of 2018 was club Vice President Patty Gregory-Burke. She told us about a little-known fact in the constant search for our ancestors: British Home Children, Canada’s Forgotten Children.

During the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain, the larger cities became over populated and as a result there were many orphans and children of families of extreme poverty. In 1869, the government began sending these impoverished children unchaperoned to Canada to help populate the country. This program lasted about 86 years and totaled approximately 120,000 children some as young as four years old. These unfortunate children were sent to group homes and farms where many suffered abuse, ill treatment and died. Parents back in England were unable to have their loved ones returned when their circumstances improved because of government red tape. Many of these children in later life as adults were ashamed of their past and never talked about it so these facts were not known for many years. Some of these children were more fortunate and were adopted and led normal lives. This practice ended in the 1920s. Patty’s talk was accompanied by a film presentation with many actual details and eye-opening facts. Of course, we know that not all our Canadian descendants began this way.

This may explain why some researchers have run into a brick wall when investigating their families who originated in England and came to Canada. Patty’s knowledge of this subject was developed while researching her own grandparents who came from Canada and were part of this group of children.

We have a multi-talented group within our club. Not only do we have special topic presentations each month, but we also have members who conduct Special Interest Groups meetings such as: Ongoing Education the third Thursday of the month from 1:00-3:00 p.m., Family Tree Maker the second Tuesday of the month from 9:00-11:00 a.m., and DNA. These are all conducted by Gloria Quigg. Also an Irish Group hosted by Bonnie Lucus meets the second Thursday of the month and Rondie Yance has a Write On session to help researchers write their story. Dave Tiefenbach is also conducting a RootsMagic class at present.

If you are interested in any of these groups, contact us at our website or join us each month from 1:00-3:00 p.m. in the Coyote Room at the SaddleBrooke One Clubhouse.