Ancestry UK

Children's Home Records

Please note that many organizations have very limited staff resources for dealing with records enquiries. Please be patient while awaiting a response.

Charity Organisations

Many children's homes were run by national and local charities, of which Barnardo's is probably the best known. Records of their children's homes will form part of each organisation's archives. Access to such records may incur a charge and also be restricted to former inmates or, in the case of individuals now deceased, their immediate descendants (subject to proof of death being provided). A counselling service may also be offered for those accessing their own records.

Barnardo's National Children's Home
  • Action For Children (formerly the National Children's Home). Can provide access to their own records for individuals who were adopted through the charity or who resided in one of its homes. Help also for those searching for family history information.
Waifs and Strays

A similar situation applies to institutions which were run by other bodies which still survive and which maintain their own archives. For institutions which, after their closure, evolved into charitable trusts, the Charity Commission website may produce contact details. For homes that were run by long defunct organisations, the best place to begin looking for any surviving records is the county or metropolitan record office covering the area.