Boys' Orphan Home (Mr Fegan's), Deptford, London
In 1881, James Fegan established a home at Ramsgate in Kent for orphan and destitute boys who would benefit from its seaside air. The home's original location in some ramshackle buildings at Hereson which were given the name Southwark House. A general joke was that to reach it, you went as far as 'The North pole' (a public house with that name) and turned to the right.
The subsequently moved to a former school building at 175-177 High Street, Ramsgate, which Fegan acquired at a bargain price. The property had its own small meadow and was conveniently situated near the then railway station. The home, which was also known as Ramsgate Orphanage, could accommodate up to 80 boys aged from 5 to 12 years.
The home is believed to have closed in the 1920s. Its High Street premises still exist, now in private residential use.
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.
- Fegans Child and Family Care, 160 St James Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 1HE. Holds the organisation's children's case files.
- Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery, Civic Centre, Mount Pleasant, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1JN. Acquired Fegan's non-case archives in 2015 — contents currently being processed.
- Library and Archives Canda, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario. Holds microfilm copies of Fegan Home settlement records (1885-1939).
- British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO). Has online indexes to Fegan Home settlement records.
- Fullerton, William Young J.W.C. Fegan: A Tribute (1931, Marshall, Morgan & Scott)
- Sharp, Syd Black Boots and Short Trousers (1995, Syd Sharp)
- Tiffin, Alfred Loving and Serving: An Account of the Life and Work of J.W.C. Fegan (1976)
- 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)
- The Fegans Child and Family Care website
- From Gruel to Gourmet: the story of Fegan's homes for boys in Stony Stratford — a school project, including vintage video clips.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.