Ancestry UK

Homes matrix

The Children's Homes website details the many and varied institutions that became home for thousands of children and young people in Britain. They range from orphanages, homes for those in poverty or with special needs, through to reformatories, industrial and approved schools, training ships and hostels. As well as their location, history etc. the site includes many maps, census listings, and historic images of the buildings and inmates.

To find a particular institution, organization or locality, use the red Menu button menu bar at the left, or the Search box near the top of the screen.

NEW!The Prison Website details the many and varied institutions in the British Isles that, over past centuries, were used to confine those who had fallen foul of the law. As well as the buildings, which range from large county gaols and convict prisons to small local lock-ups, you can find information on how prisons were run, how inmates were treated, and what records exist of these forbidding establishments. As well as their locations, history etc. the site includes many maps, census listings, and historic images of the buildings and inmates.

The Barnardo's Homes internal rule book. The guidance given to the staff of Barnardo's homes on every aspect of running their establishments.

The Irish mother and baby homes in Dublin (Pelletstown, Regina Coeli, Bethany, the Magdalen Asylum), Kilrush, Tuam, Bessborough, Sean Ross, Castlepollard, Dunboyne, and in the county homes at Cork, Thomastown and Stranorlar.

Nobody's Child: The True Story of Growing up in a Yorkshire Children's Home — Gloria Urquhart's utterly compelling and beautifully written true-life memoir of growing up in the 1950s in the care of Leeds Council, and the search for the baby brother she was separated from at the age of three. By turns heart-rending and heart-warming, if you liked Call the Midwife, you will love Nobody's Child. More...
Children's institutions in France — over 2000 now catalogued. Use 'List by Location' option on side menu to browse entries.
'Magnificent' (Church Times)Children's Homes surveys the many and varied alternatives to children's 'natural' homes — charitably funded orphanages, homes run by religious or occupational groups, institutions for those who had 'gone astray', establishments for children with special needs, homes run by the poor law authorities, and by local councils. What happened to all these institutions? What was life like for their inmates? And where can their records be found? More details...

One woman's memories of life in Dublin's High Park Reformatory.
Hundreds of former Magdalen Homes, Mother & Baby Homes and council-run children's homes now added to the listings.
What were the shocking events at the Waifs and Strays Society's Standon Approved School in 1947, which led to its sudden closure? Read all about it!