I first learned about the Orphan Train Movement when I first learned about the childhoods of one set of my great-grandparents. Stanley LEWIS and Mary CORKILL were born in Liverpool, England ~1860, and both ended up at the Liverpool Sheltering Homes in 1873. And both and Mary's siblings were "shipped to Canada" in 1874 - as part of the UK's Child Migrant Scheme. In Canada, the "over 100,000" needy children became known as "British Home Children." And, many of them were put on trains after arriving in Halifax, NS, or Quebec City. *
The reason I'm writing is that my husband and I are "senior citizens." Because he was forced to retire for health reasons one year ago, this past summer we started visiting the "Senior Center" for lunch. Last week a couple at our table had a British accent, so I asked. They had been in the US for 50 yrs. We got chatting, and I mentioned my great-grandparents' story. They did not know about the "Home Children" in Canada. But, they did know about the "Orphan Trains" in the USA.
While I'm writing, I could mention that a very good resource book is called "Boston's Wayward Children." It was written as a document on how the City of Boston dealt with the many homeless children in the late 1800's. That is where I read that the Orphan Train Movement actually started in Boston. New York City took note and decided to do it in their City. **
Happy Holidays !
Betty (near Lowell, MA, USA)
(on Lists and Boards for 10 yrs.; now an Admin for 9 Lists and 3 Boards, including CAN-USA-Migration and Child-Migrants-UK Lists)
Just a reminder that the needy-children arriving in Canada and who were put on trains for their .final destination. were also nicknamed: "orphan train riders."
My grandmother was reportedly born in Boston in 1889, and was told she was a foundling. She was adopted in 1892 and was re-orphaned in 1899. She could have very easily become part of the Orphan Train Movement. Instead she spent Age 10 to 20 in orphanages in Downtown Boston.
(My .educated guess. is that my grandmother's older Adoptive parents were her actual maternal grandparents. I believe their married daughter in CT had a pregnancy outside of her marriage.)