Cottage Orphan Home, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
In 1870, an appeal to found a cottage home for destitute little girls in Cambridge was launched by two members of St John's College, Mr A.C.P. Coote and Mr H.J. Watney, who themselves help finance the scheme. A site was subsequently purchased on Fitzwilliam Road for the sum of £240 and the home built at a further cost of £475. The home could house up to twelve girls aged 4 to 10, with the first four inmates being admitted on 1st January 1872.
An 1879 directory locates the home at 5 Fitzwilliam Road with Mrs Connely as Matron, but in later times its address — was given as 2 Fitzwilliam Road. The location of the home is shown on the 1926 map below.
In 1948, the home was taken over by the Children's Society (formerly the Waifs & Strays Society) then from 1951 was run by Barnardo's who record its address as 1 Fitzwilliam Street. In 1972, the property was acquired by the local council as a hostel for working-age boys. The building no longer exists.
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.
- Cambridge Archives and Local Studies, Box SH 1009, Shire Hall, Castle Hill, Cambridge CB3 0AP.
- Barnardo's 'Making Connections' and Family History Services — for enquiries relating the records of children formerly in the care of Barnardo's and those of other organisations absorbed by them.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by surname.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by date of birth.
- The Children's Society Records and Archive Centre is at Block A Floor 2, Tower Bridge Business Complex, 100 Clement's Road, London, England SE16 4DG (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Files for children admitted to its homes after September 1926 were microfilmed in the 1980s and the originals destroyed. Some post-1926 files had already been damaged or destroyed during a flood. The Society's Post-Adoption and Care Service provides access to records, information, advice, birth record counselling, tracing and intermediary service for people who were in care or adopted through the Society.
- The Society has produced detailed catalogues of its records relating to disabled children, and of records relating to the Children's Union (a fundraising body mostly supported from the contributions of children).
- Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
- Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
- Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
- Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)
- The Barnardo's website.
- The Goldonian Website — memories and information from former Barnardo's children.
- The Hidden Lives website provides a variety of resources about the historical activities of the Children's Society (formerly known as the Waifs and Strays Society).
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.