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. Before the journey, most of these children spent time at the Middlemore Homes where they were properly clothed, given some education and, where necessary, nursed to a good state of health.
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 left parents and siblings behind. Were some of these children, or their families who remained in the Birmingham area, in your ancestry ?
There is an exhibition at the Birmingham and Midland Institute in September. The Lost Children Exhibition