Miss Rye's Emigration Home for Destitute Little Girls, Peckham, London
Miss Maria Rye was a pioneer of the emigration of orphan children to Canada. She worked both with the poor law authorities and with charitable organisations such as the Waifs and Strays Society.
As well as organising the travel arrangements of the children, she established a home in London, where destitute girls aged from 9 to 14 were accommodated prior to emigration. 'Miss Rye's Emigration Home for Destitute Little Girls' was opened in 1872 at Avenue House, just off the High Street, Peckham. Its object was 'To receive destitute little girls and send them to Canada, where they are placed out in families to be trained for service, the younger ones being adopted by patrons, and brought up as their own children.'
Avenue House was run by Miss Rye's sister Elizabeth (Bessie). Prior to their emigration, girls usually spent two or three months at the home receiving training in housework, kitchen work and laundry work, that would equip them for employment as domestic servants.
When Miss Rye retired in 1895, she donated Avenue House to the Waifs and Strays Society, together with her Canadian reception home at Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario. Avenue House then became the Society's Peckham Emigration Home.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Emigration and Empire: The Life of Maria S. Rye (1999, Routledge)
- Bagnell, Kenneth The Little Immigrants: The Orphans Who Came to Canada (2001, Dundurn)
- Birt, Lilian M The Children's Home-Finder: the story of Annie Macpherson and Louisa Birt (1913, J. Nisbet)
- Corbett, Gail H Nation Builders: Barnardo Children in Canada (2002, Dundurn)
- Kershaw, Roger and Sacks, Janet New Lives for Old: The Story of Britain's child migrants: The Story of Britain's Home Children (2008, The National Archives)
- Kohli, Marjorie The Golden Bridge: Young Immigrants to Canada 1833-1939 (2003, Natural Heritage Books)
- McEvoy, Frederick J 'These Treasures of the Church of God': Catholic Child Immigration to Canada (in CCHA, Historical Studies, 65 (1999), 50-70)
- Parker, Roy Uprooted: The Shipment of Poor Children to Canada, 1867-1917 (2010, Policy Press)
- Maria Susan Rye entry in Dictionary of Canadian Biography
- British Home Children in Canada.
- National Library and Archives Canada especial the Home Children section.
- Young Immigrants to Canada.
- British Home Child Group International - has database of over 23,000 Canadian British Home Children
- British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) - has several indexes of the names of children brought to Canada by various organizations in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
- National Archives of Australia — Immigration Records.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.