Ancestry UK

Coombe Ragged Day Schools and Boys' Home, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

The Coombe Boys Home was established in Dublin in 1853. It was one of a number of homes run by Ellen Smyly, in association with the Irish Church Mission.

The Home originally had premises at Skinner's Alley, off The Coombe, later moving to 96-98 The Coombe. Applicants to the Home were required to be at least seven years old, destitute, and free from disease, and able to produce their parents' marriage certificate. Children of mixed marriages or of Roman Catholic parentage were given preference.

There were boys, girls, and infants in the Day School, but only boys in the Home. The Schools for the Home and for the outdoor children were run in separate rooms. The outdoor boys were to be mostly a very wild set, and earned their living by selling newspapers, etc. Breakfast and dinner were provided at the School.


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  • Records for Smyly's homes (including emigration records) are physically held at the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin. However, access is restricted to staff of the Smyly Trust to whom initial enquiries should be directed at 15 Rock Hill, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland (+353 1 283 2071,


  • Smyly, Vivienne The Early History of Mrs Smyly's Homes and Schools (c.1976, privately published)