Margaret Jane Kerr was taken from her father by the church, she and her sister Mary A. Kerr were sent to England where they lived in a children's home before being shipped to Ontario Canada to work as domestic servants. 

British home children

Over 100,000 children age 4 - 15 were sent to Canada between 1870 and the early 1930s by British child care agencies. The alleged goal was to give these 'orphans' a better life in Canada than the one they had in Brittan. What really happened to thousands of children is they were pulled from their home often with out their parents consent or knowledge, put in an orphanage and then sent to Canada to work on the farms and in the homes of Canadians.  They received little or no money, many had no education and most never saw their family in Brittan again. Many siblings, like my grandmother and her sister, were separated when they reached Canada. It is sad part of Canadian history for my family and hundreds of thousands of other Canadian and British families.

12 March - 12 April 2009  "Homechild"

The Vancouver Arts Club Theatre presented "Homechild", a play about an elderly man, Alistair, who was a home child in Ontario Canada.

Alistair is well into his eighties, he is living on a farm in rural Ontario with his son and sister-in-law, his wife having died ten years ago. The play is set in Glengarry county in Ontario where the playwright's parents both came from and where a lot of children were placed on farms. The play is set in 2000 but part of it occurs in flashbacks -- detailing how Alistair was separatedfrom his sister Katie when he came to Canada as a Barnardo boy.

A touching tale of memory and the endurance of love, Homechild highlights a little-known period in Canadian history and its reverberations through several generations.

external Links to British Home Children pages

  • Perry Snow's web page(external page)

  • Tweetybird Genealogy - lots on Marchmont in Belville where Margaret Kerr was sent(external page)

  • Young Immigrants to Canada(external page)

  • British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (external page)
  •  British Home Children of Canada - sign the petition for the Government of Canada to give an appology.