Macpherson Home, Stratford, Ontario, Canada

The distributing home in Stratford was one of several in Ontario set up by Miss Annie Macpherson for the initial accommodation of emigrant children from Britain. The children brought over by Miss Macpherson came both from her own Home of Industry in East London, and also from other agencies for homeless children such as Barnardo's.

In 1877, Miss Macpherson had decided to concentrate her activities at the farm home in Galt which she had opened in 1871. The running of the Galt home was then taken over by her brother-in-law and sister, Joseph and Rachel Merry. In 1882, Miss Macpherson decided to closed the Galt home and relocate its operation to a new site at 51 Avon Street, Stratford, Ontario. At that time, the property and its many acres of land, lay at the edge of Stratford. The new establishment was again superintended by the Merrys.

Rachel Merry. © Peter Higginbotham

The Knowlton Home. © Peter Higginbotham

After Rachel's death in 1892, her son William took over the running of the Stratford home. It continued in operation until the First World War brought emigration to a halt. In 1915, Miss Macpherson's homes were combined with those of the Liverpool Sheltering Home and Stratford was briefly used by both organisations.

The Stratford home finally closed in 1920. The property still stands, now in residential use.

Records

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.

  • Records for the homes run by Annie Macpherson were inherited by Barnardo's (see below). These include:
    • Home of Industry, Spitalfields: History books, register and emigrant register (1870-1924)
    • Annie Macpherson Home, Stratford, Ontario: Register and history books of children sent to Canada (1871-1915)
    • Marchmont Homes, Canada: History books and lists (1870-1914)
  • Barnardo's Family History Service deals with enquiries regarding records of individual children — various services are available costing from £25 upwards.
  • Making Connections — a service for those wishing to access their Barnardo's adoption records.
  • Barnardo's historical administrative records are now deposited with Liverpool University's Social Welfare Archives with stringent restrictions on their access.

Bibliography