Providing information from our records to Relatives of former child migrants
Which child migration records do we hold?
Father Hudson’s Society has records of those former child migrants who had been in the care of the Birmingham Diocesan Rescue Society and subsequently placed in a children’s home such as St. Paul’s, St Edward’s or St Joan’s in Coleshill. A few of the many children in Nazareth House, Rednal, Birmingham were placed there also by the Birmingham Diocesan Rescue Society and so Father Hudson’s holds records on those. If you are the former child migrant reading this, you are most likely one of those children sent to Australia. We welcome contact from you and will be pleased to assist with any enquiries. The Society also holds records relating to Canadian Emigration and enquirers about this are generally descendants.
Which establishments does Father Hudson’s Society hold records for?
We may hold records on you if you were in any of the following establishments:
• Francis Way Mother and Baby Home, 124 Four Ashes Road, Bentley Heath, Knowle, Warwickshire.
• Woodville Mother and Baby Home, 176 Raddlebarn Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham.
• St Edward’s Boys Home, Coventry Road, Coleshill.
• St George’s and St James’ Cottage Homes, Coventry Road, Coleshill.
• St Joan’s and the Nursery, Coventry Road, Coleshill.
• St Paul’s, High Street, Coleshill.
• St Andrew’s, Blythe Road, Coleshill.
• St Vincent’s Working Boys Hostel, 102 Moseley Road, Birmingham.
• Manresa Working Girls Hostel, Vernon Road, Edgbaston.
In addition, we may have records if the Birmingham Diocesan Rescue Society placed you with:
• Maryvale Nursery, Old Oscott Hill, Kingstanding, Birmingham.
• Nazareth House, Rednal, Birmingham
• Pallotti Hall, Siddington, Nr Macclesfield
• St Joseph’s, Jesson Road, Walsall.
In some cases, we may only have a register entry and not a file, e.g. St Paul’s registers commence in 1884. Our oldest files go back to 1902.
Who do we provide services for?
• People who were previously in the care of the Diocesan Rescue Society or Father Hudson’s Homes.
• People who were formerly in the care of the above organisations, who subsequently were sent to Canada or Australia as part of the child migration schemes.
• Members of the family of origin who wish to enquire about their relative who was in care/migrated.
• Descendants of persons formerly in care/migrated, who wish to learn more about their own family history. This service is only provided if the person formerly in care or the former child migrant is deceased.
What information is contained in the records?
The records may vary from a few pages to quite a collection of various documents. The contents of records usually contains the application for the child to come into care, a baptism certificate, any correspondence relating to the child, school reports, medical information and a record of which homes the child lived in. The contents of the records depend on the era in which they were compiled, e.g. records from the early 1900’s tend to contain very little information, whereas records from the second half of the 1900’s are more detailed. In addition, our records of those who migrated to Canada are sometimes only related to arranging their emigration and do not contain information about their backgrounds.
How do I go about accessing the records about my relative
You can contact us by letter or email. You may also telephone a duty social worker, on 01675 434020, if you would like an initial discussion about this. There is sometimes a waiting list in operation due to the demands on this service. You will be advised of the anticipated waiting period. Current charges are outlined on the application form.
What information would be provided to relatives enquiring about the former child migrant?
If the former child migrant is deceased, access can be provided to general family information but not to personal information about that person. If the enquiry is from a member of the original family enquiring about a child who was sent abroad, efforts would be made to locate the former child migrant in care to let them know of the contact from their family of origin. Relatives can download an application form here.