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Description found in Archives

British Children Emigrated to Canada By Authority of Boards of Guardians [textual record (microform)] [1878-1920].


Microfilmed [ca. 1950-1970]

Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

1 microfilm reel

Scope and content

Sub-series consists of a nominal list and inspection register relating to British children brought to Canada from specific British Unions (local groups of parishes united under Boards of Guardians for poor-law administration purposes) in the years approximately from Confederation, the 1860's-1916. The register was received in 1981 from the Records of Entry Unit of Employment and Immigration Canada, where it had previously been used for official verifications of entry into Canada. Some of its pages had been damaged before filming, causing loss of surnames at the left margin and of remarks at the right. This book was apparently created and maintained by federal Immigration Branch staff responsible for the inspection of the homes in which child immigrants were placed upon arrival from Britain. Internal evidence suggests that the register was begun as a compilation from information in other records some time between 1886 and 1897, and was abandoned in 1920. At least some of the earliest names seem to have been copied from a separate series of nominal registers (which have not survived), or from lists supplied by the childrens' sponsoring bodies. Remarks and inspection data were added by Immigration officers. The children's names are grouped in the register by first letter of surname, and thereunder in chronological order by year of arrival in Canada. Undated arrivals at the beginning of each letter group are apparently for children arriving in or before 1886. The dated entries are all for arrivals, 1886-1916, except for one arrival dated 1878. The latest record of an inspection visit is dated 1920. The information provided for each child varies over time. Entries before 1897 sometimes provide only names, and page numbers referring to the lost registers; sometimes also the child's age, year of arrival, name of originating Union in Great Britain, and name of sponsoring individual or immigrant society (if applicable) are given. After 1897 most entries state: name, year of arrival, age, name of Union, name of sponsoring person or society, date of first federal inspection visit to the child at its Canadian home, number of subsequent inspections required, dates of these inspections (usually day, month and year), page number where name appears in the lost registers (no longer stated after 1904), and miscellaneous remarks. A one to four-digit sequential number of unknown meaning appears beside many of the names throughout the register. Where stated, the children's place of origin is almost always in England; there are only a few entries for Irish and Scottish Unions. Most of the child immigration organizations of the time are represented among the sponsors. The child's place of residence in Canada is not given. "Remarks" appear opposite the names of fewer than half the names, mainly after 1890. They consist of very brief notes on the child's condition and movements, such as failure to arrive from England, returns thereto, marriages, illnesses, death, disappearances and mistaken identities, deportations, and war service, 1914-1918. The numbers of Immigration case files are cited in a very few instances. Where the child's location or identity was in doubt there are references to other lists, paylists or "books" of sponsoring organizations.

Textual records: microform
Microfilm reel T-537
90: Open
Textual records: microform
96: Restrictions vary
Microfilm reel
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Copyright belongs to the Crown.

No finding aid

Additional information

Source of title
Title is based on the contents of the sub-series.

No further accruals are expected.

Dates of creation note
This record was filmed by the Department during the 1950's and 1960's under microfilm authority M6-62. The original was then destroyed.